Author:Wokoma, Ncophia

This month, Utah Business partnered with Holland & Hart to host a roundtable event featuring Utah based entrepreneurs to discuss operating a business in Utah. Moderated by Troy D'Ambrosio, executive director at the University of Utah's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, here are a few highlights from the event.

Why is Utah a great place to be an entrepreneur?

Maggie Kruse | VP of People & Culture | Nav

I mean, the quality of life you have here compared to other states that I've been in, is phenomenal. And I really think [Utah] is kind of a hidden gem. I think we hear a lot about the community and how people feel like they're welcome. I think it's that, and I think that the work ethic in Utah is by far one of the best I've ever seen.

Anne Marie Wallace | State Director | Women's Business Center of Utah

American Express puts out every report every year, annually in December, called the Open Report. It's basically a report on the state of women-owned businesses across the country. It includes rankings both for economic clout (which is the growth in number), the employees that they have, and the revenue they earn, as well as secondary ranking. That's employment vitality. But Utah ties for number two in the whole country. We hear all these things about how we're the worst, in like almost everything for women, like the wage gap, and poverty, and education.

Dr. Susan Mattson at UVU is a world-renowned researcher, but she would agree that there's one area that's really great for Utah when it comes to women and that's entrepreneurship. We see there's an "access to capital" problem, and that's a big problem. But when you look at the whole, opportunity is really good here for women business owners. It's easy to start a business. Other states, it's really difficult to get a business registered and licensed, Utah has made that very easy.

Maggie Kruse | VP of People & Culture | Nav

I lived in Atlanta and Boston for 20 years combined between the two. In Utah, I have had insanely brilliant, kind, wonderful male mentors. And that doesn't exist in other states that I have lived in at all. I'm looking forward to seeing Utah lead the way for women's equality and I don't think we're there yet, but I do actually see it moving in that direction. When we really can work together for that type of diversity, that's where the magic will happen.

What sets Utah apart from other states?

Than Hancock | EVP of Sales | Podium

I have six kids and I think that raising a family in Utah is just easier. It just is ... from a cost perspective and from a convenience perspective. I laugh when people ask me about my commute and I say 20 minutes, when that was what it took to find a parking spot in the Bay Area. I think Utah has done a lot to support the family and I actually think it plays out in the work culture as well.

I have found it to be incredibly friendly to raise a family here, especially because there's so much to...

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