An Analysis of the Geography of Entrepreneurship: Understanding the Geographic Trends of Inc. 500 Companies Over Thirty Years at the State and Metropolitan Levels
36 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 1, 2012
This report offers the first-ever deep dive into the geographic trends of America’s fastest-growing private companies - the Inc. 500. Inc. magazine’s annual ranking, which began in 1982, has become an important point of pride for high-achieving companies and a source of research for economists. Not until now, however, has anyone dissected the past thirty years of comprehensive data from these high-growth companies. Through a partnership with Inc. magazine, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has done just that.
In this, one of a set of studies examining Inc. 500 data over time, we offer a geographic analysis of how regional characteristics are associated with fast-growing companies and innovations. Tracing hundreds of Inc. firms per year and thousands per decade, we have captured a range of innovations and analyzed the regions that continuously produce fast-growing companies.
Knowing that very little is understood about the geography of high-growth companies, we approached this analysis with a range of questions: where are the fast-growing Inc. firms located at the state and metropolitan levels? How have they shifted over time? Do we find greater geographic concentration of Inc. firms over time? How is the geography of Inc. firms different from commonly associated growth factors, such as high-tech industries, venture capital firms, and research universities?
Part of “The Ascent of America’s High-Growth Companies,” a Kauffman Foundation report series that analyzes geographic trends of Inc. 500 companies from 1982-2010.
Keywords: geography, entrepreneurship, high-growth, firms, companies, inc. 500
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