Springfield ranked as the 24th best city in the nation to start a business in a recent study published by small business and personal finance site, WalletHub.
The study used 14 unique metrics to gauge the relative entrepreneurial opportunities that exist in the 150 largest U.S. cities, based on population. Springfield scored in the top five in three of the categories, including most small business lending, lowest cost of living and cheapest office space.
“This ranking just confirms what we’ve known for quite some time,” Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Jim Anderson said. “Springfield has a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. This ranking, with the recent recognition received by The eFactory and the local success of the Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups demonstrate that.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that The eFactory at Missouri State will be recognized as a 2014 Corporate Investment & Community Impact award winner by Trade & Industry Development magazine. This recognition is one of only 15 such awards in the country, and one of three in the state of Missouri.
“The eFactory is the front door for entrepreneurship in our community,” Anderson said. “For it to receive this recognition and for us to be recognized as one of the best cities in the country to start a business speaks volumes about what our community is doing to support entrepreneurs.”
Anderson explained that many of the community’s entrepreneurial efforts are converging at The eFactory. In particular, he noted 1 Million Cups, a weekly gathering organized by local entrepreneurs in which start ups present their ideas and receive feedback from the audience. The program launched at The eFactory in February and has drawn a steady crowd of 100-150 people at its weekly meetings.
“The ingredients for a thriving entrepreneurial culture have always been here,” Anderson said. “Look at some of the Springfield region’s entrepreneurial success stories—Bass Pro Shops, O’Reilly Auto Parts, SRC, Jack Henry. What we’re seeing now is the result of a community focusing its strengths on building something greater.”