These cities are the best places for vetpreneurs

Three American cities have made significant improvements to become the
top municipalities for veterans to start a business.

According to the 2023 study by The PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program, the cities are: Raleigh, North Carolina; Austin, Texas and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“The military community’s resilience and entrepreneurial spirit is invaluable for our nation’s business sector. That’s why the PenFed Foundation is proud to commission this study for the fourth year in a row highlighting the cities that are making strides to support veteran businesses,” said PenFed Foundation President Andrea McCarren. “We want to help cities across the United States understand which environments are best suited for military veterans to start and grow businesses and inspire city leaders to take the actions needed to support veteran entrepreneurs.”

VEIP supports veteran-owned startups and businesses through education, preparation and network access. It conducted the study in partnership with Edelman Intelligence.

“Veteran-owned businesses often hire more veterans, so supporting veteran entrepreneurs provides more jobs and opportunities for the greater military community, who have served as PenFed’s core field of membership since 1935,” said PenFed Credit Union President/CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO James Schenck.

The study analyzed four main categories for each city, including livability, economic growth, support for veterans, and ability to start a business. This year’s edition put less emphasis on factors related to COVID and increased emphasis on livability and economic factors.

The study evaluated 390 metropolitan statistical areas using a custom scoring algorithm based on a set of quantitative data from existing PenFed partners and openly available data sources.

Other cities making the list include: Seattle – Tacoma – Bellevue; Madison; Cleveland – Elyria; Rapid City; Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers; Kansas City; New York – Newark – Jersey City; Washington – Arlington – Alexandria; Cincinnati; Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater; Houston – The Woodlands – Sugar Land; McAllen – Edinburg – Mission; Sioux Falls; Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Roswell; Columbus; San Antonio – New Braunfels; and Chicago – Naperville – Elgin.

VEIP has accelerated more than 70 veteran-owned startups and advised over 1,000 veteran-owned small businesses since 2018.

To learn more about the PenFed Foundation’s work with veteran entrepreneurs visit here.

Full study results can be found here.

Reach Julia LeDoux at

Featured Image Photo Credit: Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon

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