Kentucky currently leads the nation in new businesses created, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Specifically, Kentucky saw a 6.05 percent year-over-year jump in new businesses opened during the second quarter (Q2) of 2013, the most recent quarter for which information is available.
Kentucky saw 6,686 new businesses open during Q2 2013.
"Business creation is one of the key building blocks for economic development," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "The fact that Kentucky leads the nation in this key metric by a big margin shows that our hard work has put us on the right track. New businesses are a sign of economic know-how and success, so this report is important to both the business community and the Commonwealth."
The data highlights Kentucky's ongoing upswing in new business creation. During the first quarter of 2013 Kentucky ranked second nationally, by percentage, in new businesses opened. During the fourth quarter of 2012 it ranked third, and during the third quarter of 2012 fourth. Over the four most recently reported quarters, Kentucky ranked third nationally in new businesses created.
Many of the new businesses created in Q2 2013 were "micro-enterprises," businesses with five or fewer employees.
"This is very good news, because new businesses are a key part of Kentucky's ongoing, positive economic story," said Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development Larry Hayes. "They are a source of new jobs and new business ideas. Knowing this, we continue to partner with them and share our resources to help them succeed."
Such new business growth is in line with Kentucky's 2013 efforts to kick-start its entrepreneurial culture, specifically by launching the Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels) and the Office of Entrepreneurship.
Kentucky Angels links companies pursuing funding with would-be investors from across the state. The first meeting is Jan. 28, 2014.
The Office of Entrepreneurship was designed to develop an entrepreneurial climate for new talent in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startup operations, assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities and create a pipeline of business activity that can be streamlined with traditional growth opportunities. It is a division of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
Last year was strong for many aspects of Kentucky's economy, including a record $23.1 billion in exports of Kentucky-made products and services, up 14.2 percent, through last November. Kentucky also created 274 new business projects, totaling $3.17 billion in investment, in 2013.