What's New at ICIC

The Overlooked Anchors

Our newest report provides a framework for arts and culture organizations to play a more direct role in expanding opportunity and creating more equitable outcomes in their communities beyond the provision of arts and culture.

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National Conference November 13, 2019

For 25 years we have been working with small businesses in underserved communities to further their own successes as well as the inclusive prosperity of their communities. This is the first time in our organization’s history that we will be offering an all-encompassing National Conference, bringing together our dynamic network of current program participants, alumni, and collaborators.


In his policy brief, ICIC Senior Vice President and Director of Research Howard Wial presents his fundamental principles to guide investments in Opportunity Zones.

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The Authority on Inner Cities

Our mission at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents.

Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a national nonprofit research and advisory organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there.

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Learn More About ICIC

Work with ICIC

Inner cities are rich with opportunity. We help business, government and philanthropic leaders leverage local assets to transform communities. Our research and advisory team has helped to shape economic development strategies in more than twenty inner cities.

ICIC delivers the knowledge and the know-how to achieve sustainable economic and job growth.

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Support ICIC

Whether supporting one of our high-impact urban business programs or the entire organization, our partners know they are choosing to support an organization dedicated to transforming inner cities across the country. Our partners include Bank of America, Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, various foundations and individual donors.

Learn how you can support ICIC’s work

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What is an Inner City?

Read Our Latest Research

They are distressed urban areas of concentrated poverty and unemployment.

Inner city residents represent 11% of the population—that’s 36 million people. About a quarter of the population living in poverty live in the inner city. Inner cities represent 17% of U.S. unemployment, 25% of U.S. poverty, and 36% of U.S. minority poverty.

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ICIC’s National Conference

We hope that you will join us in November for a full day of educational content, capital and business coaching, the reveal of the country’s 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, plus new programming to be announced in the coming months. REGISTER



Overlooked No More: Advancing the Anchor Framework to Arts and Culture Organizations

Julie Kent

Arts and culture organizations can play a more powerful role in shaping community development in low-income communities by adopting and adapting key strategies used by traditional ‘anchor’ organizations like hospitals and universities. Arts and culture organizations already make important contributions to the vitality of their communities, and deserve a seat ... Read More

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