Montana topped the charts for the fourth year in a row in a national ranking of startup activity, the Kauffman Foundation reported on Thursday.
The 2016 report on entrepreneurial trends in each of the 50 states also placed Montana high in the number of startups launched by business owners looking to take advantage of a market opportunity.
“We’re the number one place in America to start a business,” said Andy Shirtliff, the small business advocate with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The state of Montana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is strong.”
Release of the annual Kauffman report coincided Thursday with the Last Best Conference in Missoula, where entrepreneurs and business owners from across the state gathered in a South by Southwest style event aimed motivating one to pursue his or her goals.
Shirtliff, who announced the report’s findings during a morning breakout session, credited the state’s top ranking to the entrepreneurial spirit of Montana residents, along with several programs implemented over the past three years by Gov. Steve Bullock.
Among the contributing factors, Shirtliff named talent, culture, density, capital and state government.