Atlanta Has Emerged as a Preeminent City for Minority Startups

By Alice Charlton 
Last updated on September 30th, 2020 02:14 pm
Atlanta skyline at night

As we have made note of before, studies indicate that thesignificance of minority businesses to the economy in the U.S.is greater than ever before. Various groups are positioned to invest in and help to scale women- and minority-led businesses, which have so often been overlooked in American history. And particularly now, with the economy in shambles as a result of the mismanaged COVID-19 outbreak, there’s belief that excelling minority businesses could help to fuel a return to economic growth.

This is an exciting idea to consider broadly. When imagining significant growth in minority startups more specifically though, it’s worth consideringwherethis might occur. The hope, naturally, is that it’s a widespread trend with national implications. We’re likely to see a few hubs and hot spots leading the way though, and when thinking of it this way, the city of Atlanta stands out as a likely leader.

To an extent, this is self-explanatory. Atlanta is a large city with firmly entrenched industries, but also one that has seemed revitalized in recent years. And on top of that, Georgia is a reasonably diverse state (and trending further in that direction). But there are also some specific points that lead us to view Atlanta as a likely leader in any forthcoming surge of minority-led startups.

Atlanta Supports Minority Founders

First and foremost,Atlanta is home to organizationssupporting diverse business growth (which are operating throughout Georgia). What these organizations do for one business or the next can vary, but by and large they work to identify minority-led startups, help them to develop and gain access to resources, and advocate on their behalves. The presence of support of this nature can make all the difference for any new startup — particularly when the current climate is compared with past situations in which minority-led businesses have often been overlooked or disadvantaged.

Georgia’s LLC Filing Process is Easy

This point is actually not specific to businesses run by minorities. But it does have something to do with the appeal of Georgia more generally for startup founders.Registering a new LLC in Georgiais a matter of checking off five boxes. The business must be named, a registered agent must be appointed, two forms must be completed, and an employer tax status application has to be filled out. Altogether this makes for a very easy process, and one that takes a lot of the complexity out of starting a new company. Again, this isn’t anything that relates exclusively to minority-led startups, but it’s one of the perks that contributes to Georgia’s broader appeal for new business owners.

There Are Lots of Successes Already

One of the clearest reasons for Atlanta’s appeal specifically is that other minority business leaders have already had success there! Per one 2019 look at the best cities for minority entrepreneurs,Atlanta is among the national leadersin this space — with some 26,653 minority entrepreneurs said to reside in the city. This, coupled with the fact that the city on the whole is more than 50% African-American, makes for an encouraging environment. Minority startup founders can head to Atlanta knowing that others like them have found significant success there.

The City’s Leader is an Inspiration

City leadership may not be a factor for everyone considering launching a business, but we consider it worth noting thatAtlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms topped one major publication’s listof inspiring women to watch. And that was in 2018, before Bottoms became a prominent figure on the national stage (and briefly, a possible vice presidential nominee). Regardless of your personal politics, Bottoms can be said to have set a fine example for potential minority business owners. A Black woman with a public school background, she started her political career with “a group of women who didn’t have campaign experience” and wound up winning an upset bid to become Atlanta’s mayor. The specific effects of her presence on individuals can be debated — but it seems only logical that her success should have positive influence over minority success to follow in the city.

Because of these factors, we have our eye on Atlanta as a likely hub in what we hope will be a new era of minority-led startups and innovation.