ICIC’s mission 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.
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.
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, Staples, various foundations and individual donors.
Learn how you can support ICIC’s work
They are distressed urban areas of concentrated poverty and unemployment. Take a peek at our rigorous definition of inner cities.
Inner city residents represent 10% of the population—that’s 32 million people. Nearly a quarter of the population living in poverty live in the inner city. Inner cities represent 16% of U.S. unemployment, 22% of U.S. poverty, and 32% of U.S. minority poverty.
Among its devastating effects, Hurricane Katrina had a destructive impact on regional employment. The storm, and its aftermath, eliminated more than 190,000 jobs in New Orleans alone. In the months following the disaster, employment rolls fell precipitously and remained stubbornly low, even as investment in the city began to increase. Now, over 10 years later, the New Orleans economy is bouncing back, and a focus on clusters and entrepreneurship are some of the major drivers of the city’s post-Katrina growth. Read More