What is it about North Carolina that makes it so special?
Is it the southern hospitality? The low cost of living? The pimento cheese and barbecue?
I like to think it’s all three. Whatever it is, we have all seen the rapid growth of businesses setting up offices in the state. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Outer Banks, North Carolina is in the spotlight for business development and expansion. I’ve broken down 5 reasons that may explain why North Carolina is becoming a popular destination for businesses of all industries.
As they say, a rising tide raises all ships. The southern hospitality seen in North Carolina translates over to the business world, with many companies focused on strategic partnerships. This theme is specifically prevalent in the entrepreneurial community. Coworking spaces have been taking hold of North Carolina. Packard Place, HQ Greensboro, Raleigh Founded, and Industrious are only a sample of over 20 coworking spaces across the state. People are moving towards collaborative work environments, and entrepreneurs leverage their networks to build better businesses.
Wide Variety of Industries
With a mix of technology, main street, medical, commercial real estate, and more, North Carolina has one of the most fragmented entrepreneurial ecosystems. There are geographic segments across the state all with different focuses.
- AR/VR out of the Triad,
- Fintech, Medtech, and Insurtech out of Charlotte
- Fintech out of Wilmington
- Tech in Asheville, Durham, Raleigh and more,
- Life sciences in RTP, Triad, and Greenville
- Tech pretty much across the entire state extending mountains to sea!
The diversity of industries allows companies of all kinds to thrive.
Education and Opportunity
The Triangle specifically has received national acclaim for the close concentration of higher education institutions. North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of Chapel Hill are all within 30 minutes of each other, centered around Research Triangle Park, which hosts campuses of technology and medical giants like IBM and GlaxoSmithKline. With 64 colleges and universities across the state, North Carolina has an abundance of education that filters out into the state’s economy.
North Carolina continually ranks on Top 10 Best Places to Live lists, stemming from the low cost of living, and falls below the national average for housing, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and utilities. Perfect for students, families, and retirees, Raleigh and Cary both ranked in the Top 10 Recession Resistant Cities.
Food & Culture
It’s no doubt that North Carolina has a rich and diverse culinary scene. Home of fast food favorites like Cook Out, southern staples like Cheerwine, and nationally recognized chefs like Ashley Christensen, even the finest dining establishments still capture the southern charm the state is known for.
North Carolina also has a vibrant music scene, with Asheville holding “art authority” over the state. However, Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, and the Coastal Regions each have their own bright music scene. Raleigh is home of the International Bluegrass Festival each year which brought in over 218,000 people to the city in 2019.
From the Foothills to the Outer Banks, North Carolina has a little bit of everything when it comes to geographies. Head West, and find yourself in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Head East, and you’ll find yourself on the beach. With the best of both worlds, there is always something to do, no matter the season
Growth of Capital
North Carolina is one of the most active Venture Capitalist states in the nation. In 2019, startups based in the Triangle raised more than $2B from 159 venture capital deals. In the past 4 years, North Carolina businesses raised an additional $2.9M through Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF), with exponential growth through 2019 and 2020. With 10 North Carolina companies currently raising with equity crowdfunding, capital is driving NC’s economy.
Know of any other reasons why North Carolina is becoming a destination location for businesses of all kinds? Comment below or start a conversation via email!
North Carolina Cumulative $ Raised Under Regulation Crowdfunding
Connector • Strategic Innovator • Community Builder • Entrepreneur
Anya graduated from Meredith College in 2020 with degrees in Business Administration and Economics, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. As a Raleigh native, Anya is passionate about her community, the local arts and music scene, and empowering entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams