With the job market gasping its way back to life and so many young people nursing the knocks and bruises they received navigating the choppy waters of the post-Great Recession economy, many millennials are now looking for the safe harbor of a stable job.

But far from all of them.

And those who are clinging to their entrepreneurial dreams deserve the support of a community of like-minded souls. And, ideally, also to avoid paying eye-watering amounts for basic necessities like rent and coffee. Where should they go to find these basic amenities that will support their start-up dreams?

It's not all about San Francisco and New York

NerdWallet has a few suggestions. The personal finance site recently crunched through numbers from the Small Business Administration, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics among other sources to uncover the best cities with thriving communities of educated, young entrepreneurs. Bonus points were awarded to places that were actually affordable. 

While some of their picks are expected, "it's not all about San Francisco and New York," the blog post announcing the findings declares. And in indeed the complete list of their top ten choices contains some unexpected finds:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. San Francisco-Oakland, California
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota
  6. Seattle, Washington
  7. Madison, Wisconsin
  8. Midland, Texas
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Fargo, North Dakota

If you're looking for the full breakdown of the data that went into these results, you can find it here. Looking for other rankings to compare this too? Thumbtack put one out last year that relied on the opinions of existing young business owners rather than official data. Many of that start-up's picks differ from NerdWallet's, but Austin earned a top slot on both lists

Why does this Texan city make such frequent appearances in these rankings? Maybe because it's cheap. As Nerdwallet notes, Austin, Salt Lake City, and Midland, Texas "offer costs of living below the national average," adding that "by reducing living and office space costs, entrepreneurs have more cash to invest in their growing businesses."

What city would you add to -- or remove from -- this list?

Published on: Jan 20, 2016