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August 16, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Tennessee one of six states highlighted for entrepreneurship in latest Michigan study

Decades ago, Tennesseans used to move to Michigan for jobs in the automotive industry. Now, Tennessee is one of the states that has attracted the attention of our neighbors to the north in their latest benchmark report on entrepreneurial ecosystem factors.

The 16th annual edition of the “Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card” is out, and you might want to take at least a cursory look at it. If you are wondering why, the report highlights Tennessee as one of the states on the move.

The report is based on 2018 data and notes that five of six states cited has moved into the nation’s top 15. The Volunteer State had not, but it still drew a significant mention in the report.

“In a first scan of the Score Card data, six states stand out as worth learning more about: Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah,” the authors write in Section 3. “Each of these states moved up noticeably in the Entrepreneurial Change Index between 2010 and 2018 Index. 2010 was chosen as the start year because after the Great Recession of 2007-09 state economies were severely disrupted in many different ways but by 2010 nearly all states had settled into a business expansion mode.”

The report notes that Tennessee and North Carolina have specific and similar success contributors that are:

  • Relatively stronger business cost drivers, especially for Tennessee, and legal environment drivers in the case of North Carolina;
  • A strongly supportive entrepreneurial climate for North Carolina and a “decent climate” for Tennessee;
  • Moderate productivity drivers in both states; and
  • Gains in entrepreneurial change despite only moderate rankings in education and workforce drivers in North Carolina and “relatively poor” rankings in that category in Tennessee.

“Although North Carolina and Tennessee have not had the education, workforce and productivity strengths of Colorado, Maryland and Utah, their business costs and legal advantages appear to significantly compensate, improving – and sustaining – their Entrepreneurial Change rankings,” the authors write.

If you are interested in learning more, you can download the 160-page report here.

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