Baton Rouge behind Lafayette, New Orleans on entrepreneurial cities list

In the wake of the pandemic, more people are embracing risk-taking, leading to a spike in entrepreneurship.

In Louisiana, Lafayette and New Orleans are among the top 15 cities with the most entrepreneurs, while Baton Rouge is a distant 67th, according to a recently released report from Commodity.com, which ranked the 100 most populated metro areas.

Some 10% of workers across the country are self-employed, but Baton Rouge is below that average, at 8.6%.

Median annual income for BatIn Baton Rouge business owners is $52,000 and pay for workers is $50,000, both of which are low when compared to high-ranked entrepreneurial cities.

There were also 17,835 new business applications in Baton Rouge in 2020, compared to 29,830 in New Orleans.

So why is Baton Rouge so far behind the curve, especially when compared with New Orleans and Lafayette? BRAC officials say the likely culprit is the type of workers in the area.

“Compared to New Orleans and Lafayette, Baton Rouge has about 60% more government workers per capita, which we imagine plays a large part in our entrepreneurship level differences,” says Jake Polansky, BRAC Economic Research and Policy Analyst.

In New Orleans, 12.3% of workers are business owners and Lafayette’s number is 11.7%. However, business owners and workers in both cities make comparable salaries to Baton Rouge. New Orleans-Metairie is ranked 8th among the most entrepreneurial metros which Lafayette checking in at 13th. Read the full report.

This story originally appeared in a May 5 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.


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