The Cleveland Renaissance of the past decade has made global headlines, drawn residents back to the city and suburbs and boosted business.
In addition to attracting tourists and change-making millennials, this upswing laid the groundwork for savvy entrepreneurs drawn to a vibrant business environment, ample commercial and industrial support and a talented workforce. Northeast Ohio is an 18-county region home to 4.5 million residents with representation from 117 ethnic groups speaking more than 60 languages, which results in a fabric of dynamic neighborhoods with a strong sense of character and community.
In the Eastern Standard Time zone, Cleveland is centrally located among New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Toronto, proximate to more than half of all consumers in North America. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Greater Cleveland “hotter” for entrepreneurs than San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and New York. Ohio is among the top 10 states for doing business according to Area Development, and the cost of doing business is 10% lower in Northeast Ohio compared to the national average. The region’s four metropolitan areas (Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown) rank among the most affordable in the nation. A 2021 study by Living Cozy ranked Cleveland no. 2 among the nation’s most affordable locations for those buying their first house. The region has a diverse, dedicated workforce of more than 2 million people, and Cleveland ranks no. 5 in the U.S. for net new resident gain during the pandemic.
The region has a $238 billion economy and is headquarters for eight Fortune 500 companies, including Progressive Insurance, Sherwin-Williams Company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Parker-Hannifin Corporation, FirstEnergy Corp, KeyCorp, The J.M. Smucker Company and TravelCenters of America. Advocating on behalf of the corporate community, the Greater Cleveland Partnership boasts more than 12,000 members making it the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the country. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland anchors the region’s financial system and is one of 12 Reserve Banks that help form the U.S. central bank. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Ohio the no. 6 state for opportunity, with Northeast Ohio making up 40% of the state’s economy.
Greater Cleveland boasts more than 700 biotechnology and biomedical companies attracting hundreds of millions of dollars each year chasing the next breakthrough. From 2007 to 2019, output for health care in the Northeast Ohio region grew nearly 20%, or $3.8 billion, to become the second-largest sector of the regional economy. Northeast Ohio is also home to Cleveland Clinic, ranked as the no. 2 hospital in the world by Newsweek's World's Best Hospitals 2023 list and rated no. 1 in the country for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News also considers University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center among the best in the country, with 15 ranked medical specialties and one of the country’s top pediatric hospitals.
Cleveland is also proud to have a globally competitive technology sector, with several high-profile exits in recent years. The region’s 25 colleges and universities foster their own collection of business incubators, patents and spin-offs, and they produce more than 40,000 graduates a year, ensuring a steady pipeline of skilled workers. The city is also rich in arts and cultural institutions, including The Cleveland Orchestra and The Cleveland Museum of Art, which are both acknowledged as among the best in the world.
Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Superblock is the largest performing arts district in the United States outside of New York City, attracting more than 1 million patrons annually. While the Cleveland Metroparks is hailed as one of the top metropolitan park systems in the nation, and with the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park, residents have access to more than 70 square miles of parkland. Lastly, the Lake Erie coast represents the largest metropolitan lakefront in the world, and collectively, the North American Great Lakes account for 84% of the surface freshwater in North America and 21% of the world’s supply – an invaluable natural resource.
Greater Cleveland has an abundance of resources available for local entrepreneurs and those seeking to move to Cleveland to start, grow and better manage their businesses. Visit our Resources page to tap into this supportive network.
Impact investments intending to generate positive financial and societal returns
UN sustainable development goals
BIPOC- and female-led investments