A report released this week by the United States Chamber of Commerce recognized Virginia among the top three states in the country for innovation and entrepreneurship. Virginia ranked sixth in the Chamber's report last year. The report recognized Governor Bob McDonnell's "Year of the Entrepreneur" campaign in the report and the role of Virginia's Business One Stop to help "entrepreneurs obtain the information and complete the steps required to register their businesses and find resources to help them grow and expand."
Speaking about the report, Governor McDonnell said, "Creating the best environment for private-sector job creation and innovation has been the top focus of our administration. Since we took office, our unemployment rate has fallen from 7.3 percent to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate in the Southeast and the second lowest east of the Mississippi. This report confirms that when it comes to supporting startups and new jobs, Virginia is a national leader and continuing to make substantive progress. But there is more to do. We have continued last year's "Year of the Entrepreneur" campaign in Virginia with the ongoing "innoVAte" initiative, including an undergraduate business plan competition that brought some of the most promising startup ideas from 21 of Virginia's colleges and universities to Richmond yesterday. Innovators like the young people who pitched their business plans to investors yesterday will form the backbone of a culture of entrepreneurship in Virginia that will continue to make the Commonwealth one of the best places to live, raise a family, and find a good job."
Among the findings of the report were that, "Virginia may be the best state in the nation for STEM jobs. The state is 1st in STEM job concentration and 2nd in STEM job growth only to North Dakota, where the concentration is much lower. Virginia also has the highest share of business establishments in high-tech industries."
The report also found that, "Virginia takes 1st place in our measure of general standard of living: median family income adjusted for cost of living Virginia is a national leader in professional, scientific, and technical services. Virginia grew that sector 37% over the past decade-impressive growth for an already large sector."
The full report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is available at http://www.freeenterprise.com/enterprisingstates/#map/3/VA/