Entrepreneurship on the Rise?

The Kauffman Foundation, the "world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship," recently released the 2008 edition of their "Index of Entrepreneurial Activity."

The index, which measures the rate of business creation at the individual owner level, reports that despite the recession, "new business formation increased in 2008." This growth was not present in all sections of the nation, however. According to the Kauffman survey, the Midwest saw a slight decline in business start-ups in 2008. Unfortunately, while entrepreneurship was apparently on the rise, there was a drop in the formation of the "highest-income-potential types of businesses".

On a more local level, the states of Georgia, New Mexico, and Montana led the pack, each showing over 500 per 100,000 adults creating businesses each month. Bringing up the rear were West Virginia, Iowa, and Ohio, with the last showing a rate of creation of 190 per 100,000 adults per month.

In general, 2008 rates of entrepreneurial activity as reported by the Kauffman survey are higher along the west coast and in the Rocky Mountain states, and lower in the midwest and mid-atlantic regions. These findings would seem to have some overlap with the patterns reported by Newgeography's "2009 Best Cities for Job Growth" rankings, which, in general, showed stronger conditions in the west (outside of California) and pockets of weakness in the midwest and mid-atlantic regions.