Omaha is the kind of town where a kid from Grand Island who grew up styling mannequins can win a reality TV show and start a salon – all before turning 25. Omaha is a city where a 25-year-old with a talent for love connections can count hundreds of relationships among her business successes. Omaha is the place where a New York dancer can return to start a tribe of yogis – one free-spirited hug at a time.
Whatever their industry, Omaha’s young entrepreneurs say there’s some – thing about this city that makes being a young entrepreneur so possible. In fact, this year Omaha cracked the list of top 10 cities for young business founders: According to Forbes, Omaha ranks No. 9 when weighing loan data, cost of living, business activity, education and income. (Conspicuous – ly absent on the list: Silicon Valley.)
Young entrepreneurs bring something special to the Omaha market. The quartet of young business owners featured here offer more than a burst of economic activity. Rather, they’re invested in creating a city-wide attitude shift that reflects their own perspectives on how to do business and how to live. They want Omahans to love better (Courtney Hawkins, Omaha Love); reside better (Adam Briley, Briley Homes); look better (Kirby Keomysay, Kontempo.); and live better (Mary Clare Sweet, Lotus House of Yoga). They want to bring tastes of big markets like Phoenix, L.A. or NYC back to Ne – braska, and make the Good Life even better.