Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the state’s economy, and the state continues to be a national leader when it comes to entrepreneurship. For several years in a row Montana has ranked at, or near, the top of the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship. The states entrepreneurial spirit combined with lower than average startup costs, particularly construction and real estate costs, has led to more small businesses opening across the state.

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, in the last year, over 2,940 new establishments were formed by Montana entrepreneurs.  These start-ups are making an impact on the workforce, with close to 15,000 Montanans working in businesses less than two years old and almost 45,000 Montana workers in businesses created in the last five years.

Entrepreneurship is important in rural communities where traditional industries have decreased in recent years. Recent programs, like the University of Montana’s Center for Economic Development, have popped up to help stimulate entrepreneurial engagement and activity in rural areas.