Some places are friendlier — and cheaper — than others to launch a business, especially if you’re just starting out in your career. NerdWallet factored in the population between ages 25 and 34 and the education level of each city, because a young, local entrepreneurial community is most likely to thrive with more networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities. To find these places, NerdWallet analyzed 181 metropolitan areas in America, parsing data on the local business environment and economy from sources including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and more. Columbia, Missouri ranked 12th in cities across the nation favorable to launch a business. Kansas City and St. Louis also ranked in the upper one-third of the 181 metro areas studied.
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