Delving into the Data: How These Leading Cities Cultivate a Thriving Small Business Ecosystem
The success of small businesses often depends on the environment in which they operate. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 5 small-business-friendly cities worldwide, based on factors such as business climate, startup support, and access to resources.
In this stat-heavy article, we'll explore these cities and provide real examples of businesses that have flourished within their boundaries.
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1. Austin, Texas, USA
Austin is well-known for its thriving startup scene, with the city boasting the highest rate of new entrepreneurs in the US at 1.53% (Kauffman Foundation).
The Texas capital also ranks first in the country for small business growth (CNBC).
One example of a thriving Austin-based business is Kendra Scott, a jewelry and fashion retailer that started in 2002 and has since expanded to over 100 stores across the US.
Singapore consistently ranks as one of the best cities in the world for starting a business, with the World Bank placing it as the second-easiest country to do business in.
Singapore's business-friendly policies, efficient infrastructure, and low corporate tax rates (17% maximum) have made it a hub for small businesses.
A successful Singapore-based startup is Grab, a ride-hailing and delivery service that has expanded throughout Southeast Asia since its launch in 2012.
3. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is a hotspot for small businesses, with over 90,000 small businesses operating within the city (City of Toronto). With a highly educated workforce and a diverse population, Toronto provides an excellent environment for businesses to grow.
The city also has several incubators and accelerators, such as the DMZ at Ryerson University, that provide resources and support for startups.
A notable Toronto-based business is Shopify, an e-commerce platform that has become a global leader since its inception in 2006.
4. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is renowned for its vibrant startup scene, with around 500 new startups established in the city every year (Berlin Partner). The city's affordable cost of living, strong support from government and private organizations, and a thriving creative community make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs.
One successful Berlin-based business is N26, a mobile banking platform founded in 2013 that now serves over 5 million customers across Europe and the US.
5. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne has become a hub for small businesses, ranking among the top 20 cities in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020. The city benefits from a strong economy, supportive government policies, and a wealth of talent from its top universities.
Melbourne-based businesses have access to several incubators and accelerators, such as the Melbourne Accelerator Program. A standout Melbourne success story is Afterpay, a buy-now-pay-later service that has gained widespread popularity since its launch in 2014.
The top 5 small-business-friendly cities worldwide – Austin, Singapore, Toronto, Berlin, and Melbourne – each offer a unique set of advantages and resources that foster entrepreneurial success.
From favorable government policies and economic stability to strong support networks and a diverse talent pool, these cities create an environment in which small businesses can flourish.
By following the examples of successful businesses in these cities, entrepreneurs worldwide can learn valuable lessons about the factors that contribute to small business growth and sustainability.