Salt Lake City Home to Youngest Entrepreneurs

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Salt Lake City area is home to several highly successful direct selling companies. Now, a new report by LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, says the Utah capital is also the No. 1 city when it comes to young entrepreneurs.

The study compared ages of business founders on their companies’ dates of origination in the 50 largest U.S. cities using anonymized data from business owners seeking funding through the LendingTree small business marketplace. The Top 10 cities are Salt Lake City; Buffalo; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Portland, Oregon; Milwaukee; and Austin, Texas.

According to the study, the cities with the youngest entrepreneurs are likely to have some of the lowest barriers to enter entrepreneurship. A closer look reveals that booming local economies, along with low local costs and taxes, may be fueling startup growth. These cities also have strong support systems in place to help founders and their startups succeed, from business incubators and accelerators to networking events and opportunities to apply for small business grants or attract venture capital. In short, these are the cities where young entrepreneurs are more quickly reaching their goal to form a business of their own.

The youngest business founders in the country can be found in Salt Lake City, Utah. Entrepreneurs here achieve their dreams of starting a business at just 37.8 years old. The area, known as “Silicon Slopes,” encompasses the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and nearby cities; it is home to billion-dollar tech companies such as, PluralSight and Qualtrics. These big players have helped established a steady, growing economy in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah. The area also has an established (and growing) pool of qualified talent. Combined with the relatively low cost of living, entrepreneurs in Utah have few obstacles—and plenty of opportunities.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Entrepreneurs in Salt Lake City; Buffalo, N.Y; and New Orleans have the youngest business founders, on average. Entrepreneurs in these cities, along with Oklahoma City, were younger than 38 years old on average at the time they started their businesses.
  • Providence, R.I.; San Jose, Calif.; and Hartford, Conn. fell on the other end of the spectrum—business founders were 42 years old on average when starting their companies.
  • Gen Xers helmed nearly 42 percent of new businesses founded in the last five years, followed by millennials who founded almost 38 percent.
  • Louisville, Ky. had the highest proportion of millennial founders, at 44.8 percent.
  • Providence, R.I. and Philadelphia had the highest proportion of Gen X founders, at 48.7 percent.
  • Baby boomers founded more businesses in Silicon Valley (San Jose, Calif.) than anywhere else, at 24.1 percent.

To read the full report, click here.