Kansas City is an entrepreneur's kind of town. Home to the Kauffman Foundation, a world-recognized center for entrepreneurship, local small business owners benefit from the center's training programs and networks. Kansas City has made concerted efforts to support the local animal health biotechnology industry by promoting what is known as the "Animal Health Corridor." Telecom also has a significant presence, with Sprint Nextel's world headquarters located in a Kansas City suburb.
Residents should soon be able to enjoy a revamped downtown district, thanks to a $4 billion cultural makeover now nearing completion. New developments include a restaurant district and a performing arts center that will house the city's symphony and ballet. -Malika Zouhali-Worrall