Galloping gazelles in Charleston region

October 25, 2017

Fast-growing startups are in high gear – and no longer limited to Silicon Valley, Boston and New York.

To achieve long term economic prosperity, communities need a healthy balance of the ‘three-legged stool’ of economic development efforts – business attraction, business retention, and entrepreneurship. In other words, recruiting new investment and jobs into the region, taking care of existing businesses, and supporting new business startups.

The Economist recently reported that while business formation overall is down nationwide, fast-growing startups are in high gear. These fast-growth new businesses or “gazelles” have disproportionately positive impact on employment & economic growth, and are no longer limited to Silicon Valley, Boston and New York.

In fact, the Charleston metro scores as one of the highest-growth entrepreneurial hotspots in the U.S., based on entrepreneurship data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Kauffman Foundation. The report measures:

  • How quickly startups grew in their first five years
  • The share of firms growing beyond 50 employees in their first 10 years
  • The prevalence of ‘fast growth’ businesses, with a 20% annualized growth rate over three-years and $2 million in revenues

The presence of gazelles in Charleston highlights the influence and hard work of strong founders, the efforts of entrepreneurial ecosystem players like the Charleston Digital Corridor and Harbor Entrepreneur Center, and the continued influx of dynamic young talent – from our local colleges and universities and from outside of the region – attracted to the quality of place and economic opportunity here. The region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to mature and attract increased investment.

To read the full report, visit The Economist.

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