In its fourth annual Enterprising States study, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Virginia top marks in three out of six categories. Virginia was ranked No. 3 in Overall Innovation and Entrepreneurship, No. 5 in Overall Performance, and No. 5 in Overall Talent Pipeline.
This year’s theme, Getting Down to Small Business, focused on the importance of small businesses to lead the economic recovery, and looked at how states can implement policies to support entrepreneurs.
The study noted the importance of accelerator initiatives, economic gardening activities, business plan competitions, workforce development curricula and international trade programs—all of which Virginia does. Governor McDonnell’s 2012 Year of the Entrepreneur initiative and Virginia’s Business One Stop program received special recognition in the report.
Virginia was able to obtain a No. 3 ranking in Overall Innovation and Entrepreneurship due to its leadership in science and technology. According to the study, Virginia is the No. 1 state in STEM job concentration and has the No. 1 share of high-tech businesses.
The Commonwealth’s high standard of living and No.1 ranking in adjusted median family income helped Virginia to achieve a Top 5 spot in Overall Performance.
The report also noted Virginia’s well-educated workforce, including strong high school advanced placement scores, educational attainment, and higher education efficiency—all contributors to Virginia’s success in obtaining a Top 5 ranking in Overall Talent Pipeline.
These top rankings confirm Virginia’s position as a leading place for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Commonwealth recently received an “A” for its small business friendliness from The Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com.
With March unemployment at 5.3 percent, the lowest number since December 2008, the Commonwealth’s focus on small business and job creation is yielding positive results. To learn why Virginia continues to be a great place to start a business, click here.