Best Cities to Start a Business in Tennessee

Last updated: March 19th, 2024

In the past half-decade, startup activity in Tennessee has flourished like never before. The cities of Nashville and Chattanooga have experienced a total facelift, drawing in young professionals from all over the region who have opened new businesses and transformed the workforce, contributing to a climate favorable to innovation and economic diversification. One hundred people move to Nashville a day, with Chattanooga not far behind, the city boasts a 5.2% annual average growth rate for the decade.

The reasons for this are simple: the cost of living is very low compared to northern states, and there is no income tax to speak of. For entrepreneurs, the well-established venture capital scene (investing over a billion dollars in local startups since 2012) is a huge positive.

Opportunities for outdoor activities abound: residents won’t have to travel far out of the city to immerse themselves in lushly forested mountain parks with waterfalls, brisk, flowing rivers, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Each resident of Chattanooga seems to be passionate about a particular outdoor sport, whether it be rock climbing, kayaking, or mountain biking, the city is an excellent urban base from which to tackle these pursuits.

For young entrepreneurs with a love for the outdoors, there is no better place to settle than Tennessee.

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Only cities with over 50,000 inhabitants are reported in the results. Some data had to be interpolated to the county level and extrapolated to all the cities in the county. We concentrated on the following metrics to obtain our ranking: Cost of livingBest state for businessUnemploymentKauffman index, and Universities.

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