Let's face it, who wouldn't want to start a business in Hawaii? It boasts world-class beaches, great weather and a relaxed lifestyle.
Tourism and defense, the state's two biggest industries, traditionally have been key drivers of Hawaii's small businesses. Lately, the state is seeing a spurt in technology startups, too, said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii).
Young, visionary companies can take advantage of public and private initiatives. The state supports tech and digital media startups through incentives such as tax credits. Grants are available to small businesses pursuing innovations in renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, Hanabusa said.
Technology accelerators like Blue Startups, started by Tetris founder Henk Rogers, are mentoring an expanding network of internet, software, mobile and e-commerce firms.
Living costs and business expenses can be higher in Hawaii than in other states. "But entrepreneurs are overcoming these factors," said Hanabusa. "They see the appeal of being their own boss in the creative environment that Hawaii offers."
These metro areas rate highest for ease of starting a business, government support of entrepreneurs, and more, according to a recent Thumbtack survey of more than 8,000 small businesses.