19 of 100
BACK NEXT
19. Boise
Population: 203,649
Pro: Low-cost office space and housing
Con: Competitive labor market

Boise Valley is the third-fastest-growing metro area in the U.S. and is home to a very clever populace: Boise routinely tops lists of patent grants per capita. The tech industry is particularly strong - thanks to resources out of the University of Idaho and major corporations in the area, such as semiconductor firm Micron - but the health services industry has also demonstrated robust growth. And while unemployment is extremely low (just 1.9%), the university provides an annual crop of young grads eager for work.

Boise's Economic Development Team assists entrepreneurs with startup strategies, from selecting potentially profitable sites to accessing community and county data. Business owners who have made the move to this mountain town find low housing and office-space costs, light traffic, and low taxes.

Many also discover an improved quality of life. With sunny weather, plentiful outdoor recreational options, high-quality schools, and low crime rates, urban transplants may wonder why they didn't move sooner - though some might jet off to San Francisco from time to time (less than two hours away by air) for a high-culture fix. -Kelsey Abbott

The call of the mountains: Why entrepreneurs flock to mountain towns
Interactive map: Boise
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Boise


NEXT: 20. Raleigh, N.C.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
A sampling of beers being made with traditional Latin flavors A small but growing number of craft breweries are including passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and other traditional Latin flavors. More
Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead Banks often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and flawless credit requirements. But there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives for those who need capital fast. Here are some of the leaders. More
Facebook launched my startup These entrepreneurs relied exclusively on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to jumpstart their small businesses. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.