Photos: Ten best cities to start a business -- and where Denver ranks

NerdWallet.com recently listed Denver among the ten best cities for female entrepreneurs -- and the city manages another top ten finish when it comes to the site's picks for the best cities to start a business.

Continue to count down the photo-illustrated top ten, supplemented with NerdWallet text and a graphic breaking down the stats, and click here to check out the original post.

Note: The criteria for the rankings is based on the following:

1. Access to funding: we calculated what we defined as small business loans--the dollar value of commercial and industrial (C&I) loans under $250,000 lent per capita in 2013 by banks with under $10 billion in total assets in each city.

2. Human capital: access to quality human capital and ease of hiring are important factors for businesses, so we measured recent population growth and the percentage of residents in each city with a Bachelor's degree or higher.

3. Local economy: we evaluated the strength of the local economy through per capita income and unemployment rate.

4. Business-friendliness: we measured the number of businesses per 100 residents and included the small business friendliness rating from Thumbtack's 2013 Survey of Small Business Owners by assigning numerical values to letter grades (an "A+" is equivalent to a score of 12, "A" is 11..."F" is 0).

5. Affordability: since affordability is vital for startup businesses, we included the 2013 cost of living index in our analysis.

Number 10: Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis has one of the highest amounts of C&I loans lent per capita as well as the lowest cost of living index of the 50 largest cities. Institutional resources include Emerge Memphis, an organization that provides strategic support to startups and entrepreneurs in the Mid-South....

Number 9: Denver, Colorado

Denver's top industries are aerospace and aviation, broadcasting and telecommunications, energy and healthcare. Some of the business-friendly characteristics of the city include a high proportion of well-educated people and a moderate cost of living. People hoping to start a business here can find resources at the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center....

Continue to keep counting down NerdWallet.com's list of the ten best cities to start a business. Number 8: Seattle, Washington

Seattle has a strong hiring pool to attract businesses looking for human capital -- almost 58 percent of residents 25 years and older hold at least a Bachelor's degree, the highest mark of all 50 cities. The city's per capita income of $42,280 is the highest of the top ten places. Aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners can learn and network at events hosted by Seattle Entrepreneurs....

Number 7: Austin, Texas

Austin is attractive to small business owners in a variety of aspects -- it is home to a rapidly growing and well-educated population, has a low unemployment rate and cost of living and received an "A+" on the Survey of Small Business Friendliness. The lack of a corporate tax is another benefit to Texas businesses. Austin's Small Business Development Program fosters the growth of local business through various tools and resources aimed to help small businesses at various levels....

Continue to keep counting down NerdWallet.com's list of the ten best cities to start a business. Number 6: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta offers businesses a well-educated human capital market -- over 47 percent of residents 25 years and older hold a Bachelor's degree or higher. Incidentally, Atlanta is also among NerdWallet's best cities for recent college graduates, with universities such as the Georgia Institute of Technology supplying talent to local businesses. Georgia Tech also has a startup incubator -- the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)....

Number 5: Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is a hub for the healthcare, automotive and finance industries and small business owners appreciate what the city has to offer, as evidenced by its "A" grade on the Survey of Small Business Friendliness. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center network, which provides counseling, training and other resources to new or hopeful entrepreneurs, operates a center in Nashville....

Continue to keep counting down NerdWallet.com's list of the ten best cities to start a business. Number 4: Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh has the highest population growth rate of all top ten cities along with a relatively low cost of living, and business owners are positive about the city as a home for small businesses--Raleigh received an "A" on Thumbtack's Survey of Small Business Friendliness. The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in Raleigh provides free services to help North Carolina businesses grow and prosper....

Number 3: Omaha, Nebraska

The unemployment rate in Greater Omaha is the lowest of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., and the cost of living is also lower here than in most other places, making it an affordable location for new businesses. Omaha-based entrepreneurs have access to business support in organizations like the Omaha Small Business Network and the Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha....

Continue to keep counting down NerdWallet.com's list of the ten best cities to start a business. Number 2: Miami, Florida

Miami is home to more businesses per 100 residents than any other large city in the U.S. Furthermore, it is one of the fastest-growing major cities in the country, with population increasing nearly 19 percent between 2007 and 2012. Aspiring businesspersons can find several resources here, such as the Miami Entrepreneurship Center (MEC261), a non-profit incubator and free coworking center for startups....

Number 1: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City offers a low cost of living and unemployment rate and its banks lent the highest per capita monetary amount of small business loans of the 50 largest cities in the nation. Oklahoma City's major industries include aviation, healthcare and biotechnology. The city is home to several small business incubators, such as i2E, Inc., a private not-for-profit that aids tech-based entrepreneurs and early stage businesses....

Here's a graphic showing stats related to the top ten:

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Business archive: "Photos: Ten worst states for working moms -- and why Colorado is on the list."

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