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Top Cities for Veteran Entrepreneurs in 2023

Veteran-owned businesses are a big focus for us at Troop. As a company founded by a proud marine combat veteran, we’re all-in on supporting our fellow service men and women as they reintegrate into civilian life and embark on a fulfilling career. 

The great thing about veteran-owned businesses is that they’re often the ones hiring more vets. After all, it helps to surround yourself with like-minded people who know the value of hard work and seeing things through. Every bit of support that we as a society can give to veteran entrepreneurs means more work for our military vets and more opportunities to build a life back home.

With 2023 just around the corner, we thought it would be great to take a look at where the best opportunities are opening up for new veteran business owners.

The Top U.S. Cities For Veteran Entrepreneurs in 2023

This annual study by the PenFed Foundation picks out the top cities in the U.S. for entrepreneurs who are veterans of the armed forces. They partnered with an intelligence firm to go over the data with a custom scoring algorithm and pick out the places in the country where conditions are best for vets to start a new business. Factors weighed in the study include:

  • Livability
  • Economic Growth
  • Support for Veterans
  • Ability to Start a Business
  • The Impact of Inflation

Without further delay, let’s get into the good stuff. These are the top 20 cities to look at if you’re a vet thinking of dipping your toes into business ownership next year:

    1. Washington –Arlington –Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
    2. New York –Newark –Jersey City NY-NJ-PA Metro Area
    3. Seattle –Tacoma –Bellevue WA Metro Area
    4. Dallas –Fort Worth –Arlington TX Metro Area
    5. Houston –The Woodlands –Sugar Land TX Metro Area
    6. Austin –Round Rock TX Metro Area
    7. Sioux Falls SD Metro Area
    8. Cleveland -Elyria OH Metro Area
    9. Rapid City SD Metro Area
    10. Boston –Cambridge -Newton MA-NH Metro Area
    11. Raleigh NC Metro Area
    12. Tampa –St. Petersburg -Clearwater FL Metro Area
    13. Madison WI Metro Area
    14. Kansas City MO-KS Metro Area
    15. Minneapolis –St. Paul –Bloomington MN-WI Metro Area
    16. Chicago –Naperville –Elgin IL-IN-WI Metro Area
    17. Columbus OH Metro Area
    18. Cincinnati OH-KY-IN Metro Area
    19. Jacksonville FL Metro Area
    20. McAllen –Edinburg -Mission TX Metro Area

We threw a bold over the four emerging destinations for veteran entrepreneurs that are rising the fastest through the ranks and making the biggest strides for their vets over the course of the last year. Sioux Falls jumped up a full 13 spots from 20th last year to 7th! At Troop, we’re pretty happy down here in the warmth of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast, but it might be worth looking more closely at what they’re doing up there in South Dakota if you’re just getting started…

The top 3 spots haven’t changed since last year. Washington DC, New York, and Seattle are doing great things for our military brothers and sisters. If you want to dig deeper into the weeds, you can check out the full results of the study here.

Don’t forget to support a veteran-owned business this holiday season! Semper Fi!