There are few areas more energized and engaging with entrepreneurs than the Washington D.C. area. The area is quickly becoming the haven if you’re looking to form your own company or find bright minds to partner with. The proximity to the White House and an ever-evolving entrepreneurial spirit makes the area a perfect place to be if you’re looking to start a business. We wanted to hear from some of those business owners on why they believe Washington D.C. is such a good place for being an entrepreneur.
#1- It’s at the crossroads and has motivated people
I’ve lived in the Washington, DC metro area for more than 15 years. Last year when I decided to strike out on my own I could have moved myself to anywhere else in the country, but knew that DC was the best place for me and my growing company. The DC metro area is ideal for any entrepreneur because it is at the crossroads of sports, entertainment, politics, nonprofits, technology, culture, and so much more. While DC is a densely populated area, it has always felt like a small town to me. The area is home to some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, innovative, and motivated people I’ve ever known. DC professional truly know what it means to network and help one another not just grow, but thrive.
Thanks to Frances Reimers, Firestarter!
DC is not only the home of a diverse population of people from all walks of life, but the workforce is relatively well-educated. This means you can walk into a bar, restaurant, martial arts gym, or weekend activity and find people who have interesting perspectives and harrowing stories. Veterans, college students, longtime DC natives, executives, government workers, nonprofit employees, education professionals — DC hosts people who are ambitious, can provide great advice, and tell a good story. Furthermore, if you’re looking for great contractors, employees, or interns, a business owner has an array of different people to choose from. A healthy diversity of perspectives makes a business stronger.
Thanks to Jason Patel, Transizion!
#3- Income, population and reasonable locations
Washington, DC and the surrounding area is an incredible place to own and operate a business. Compared to other markets, average income is high, average population density is even better and you can still find reasonable locations for lease if you know how and where to look. The problem with this market in my experience has not been how to drum up traffic, but how to deal with the traffic that this city naturally creates.
Thanks to Adam Nations, uBreakiFix!
#4- Network and ready market
D.C.’s mayor has declared her intentions for making DC the most influential and supportive city for women entrepreneurs in the United States. As a woman entrepreneur with a women focused product, that’s awesome, but I specifically love how many universities are in the city which gives me access to students who want to produce quality work for free. In just two semesters, I’ve had students reach out to me from George Washington University and the Washington School of Photography who have asked to work with me for a class assignment. I’ve received free product photography, a newspaper profile, a price sensitivity analysis, an international expansion strategy, an offer to be the case study of a pro bono marketing competition, and a PhD student in journalism is writing and producing a feature story on my work that will be submitted to local news stations. All this doesn’t even begin to cover the conferences and events that are held by universities that are great places to both network and sell my product. I just love being an entrepreneur in Washington D.C.!
Thanks to Lynda T. C. Peralta, Pocket Palette!
#5- Several things
The Washington, DC metro is chock full of ambitious, highly educated and passionate people with great ideas. Combine that with the area’s unique focus on addressing the nation’s and world’s most pressing problems, and you have the perfect recipe for entrepreneurship.
Thanks to Karen Bate, KB Concepts P.R.!
#6- Various benefits
The DMV area (DC, Maryland and Virginia) offers a variety of benefits and incentives for entrepreneurs. DC boasts income tax credits for startups, Virginia offers great incentives for moving businesses and training employees, and Maryland is committed to revitalizing their metropolitans areas for entrepreneurs. There is also a nexus of smart, talented people in the DMV area, thanks in part to more than a dozen world renowned colleges within a hundred mile radius of the District. If you are looking to attract talent outside the area, DC and Arlington (among others) have transformed into smart cities that offer great transportation, fitness, and food options all which attract high caliber talent. Finally, the mid-atlantic location and the excellent airport and train options make the DMV a great region for startup headquarters. Traveling to PA, NYC via Amtrak is a breeze and you can fly to almost any city in the US from the three different international airports.
Thanks to Jeb Ory, Phone2Action!
#7- Plenty of labour
More than eight universities in the D.C. metro area attract and keep bright people, the kind of employees you want for a start up business. The recent development of neighborhoods in D.C. (upper 14th street, H Street Corridor, andTrinidad just to name a few) keeps expanding urban living options for D.C. proper. The D.C. area economy, buoyed by a combination of government jobs, beltway bandits, and industry has remained strong for decades, even as most of the country faced economic downturns. As a result, unemployment rates in the D.C. metro area have remained among the lowest nationwide for decades while housing resale prices have stayed strong — all qualities that attract good employees to a region.
Thanks to Bobby Montagne, Walnut Street Finance!
Why is DC a good place to do business? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.