RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For two years in a row, North Carolina has been named the top state for business by CNBC.

Now the capital of the state that touts itself as the “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State” on road signs has its own top ranking in a business category, and in particular one relevant to veterans.

Raleigh has been named the No. 1 city in the U.S. for veteran entrepreneurs in 2023 by the PenFed Foundation, which releases an annual study on the topic.

The top ranking marks a big jump up for Raleigh, which ranked No. 11 in the 2022 study.

The study evaluated four main categories: livability, growing economy, support for veterans and ability to start a business.

While the City of Oaks only ranked in the Top 5 for one category — No. 5 in livability — it was strong across the board.



According to this year’s study, Raleigh’s strengths include high median earnings and high investment in new housing, and the city’s opportunities include lower foreclosure rates and a higher amount of entrepreneurs.

The findings also noted that while national median earnings decreased by 2.2 percent over the last year, they actually grew in Raleigh by 32.3 percent.

The study was conducted by the PenFed Foundation’s Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program, which supports veteran-owned startups and businesses through education, preparation and network access, in partnership with Edelman Intelligence.

Top 10 cities in the U.S. for veteran entrepreneurs

1. Raleigh, NC
2. Austin – Round Rock, TX
3. Milwauke – Waukesha – West Allis, WI
4. Seattle – Tacoma – Bellevue, WA
5. Madison, WI
6. Cleveland – Elyria, OH
7. Rapid City, SD
8. Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers, AR
9. Kansas City, KS/MO
10. New York – Newark – Jersey City, NY/NJ