As the leading authority on inner city economies and the companies that thrive there, ICIC plays a unique role in urban investment and public policy decisions. We speak the language of business advantage and shared value and have a proven track record of working with city leaders to help them develop custom, data-driven economic growth plans.
At ICIC, we believe that catalyzing cluster growth is key to transforming urban economies. Clusters are sets of related and interconnected industries operating within a specific geography. One can think of the automotive cluster in Detroit or the technology cluster in Silicon Valley. Clusters represent a region’s competitive assets and as such form a solid foundation for economic growth. We partner with the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project to support our cluster analysis.
Visit our new Cluster Growth Toolkit for Cities page, developed with the support of JPMorgan Chase, to find resources to help your city develop high-impact strategies for driving inclusive cluster growth.
Our proprietary State of the Inner City Economies (SICE) database maps the economic performance and resident prosperity of all American cities with a population greater than 75,000, which includes 328 inner cities. SICE is an indispensable resource to assess local competitive advantages and set strategies for inclusive economic growth. View a full list of the 328 cities in the U.S. with inner cities here.
ICIC recently helped develop a plan to support the economic development and future land use of Malden, Massachusetts’ Commercial Street Corridor, a light industrial and commercial corridor. ICIC supported the development of a strategy that preserves and creates inclusive economic opportunities in the corridor. ICIC conducted a comprehensive cluster analysis coupled with a workforce analysis to identify clusters that match the skill and education levels of local residents. The project was sponsored by the Office of Malden’s Mayor Gary Christenson, the Malden Redevelopment Authority and MassDevelopment, and prepared by Harriman and ICIC (see the Commercial Street Corridor Framework Plan, 2018).
ICIC’s Research & Advisory team also provides professional evaluation services grounded in our deep knowledge of non-profit organizations, small businesses and economic development. We have specific expertise in surveying businesses and entrepreneurs. For 18 years, ICIC has designed and fielded a survey of its Inner City 100 firms to capture insights about urban entrepreneurship, business growth, job creation, access to capital, supplier networks, and workforce development. Our 2014 report A Roadmap for Inner City Business Data Collection highlights strategies for collecting robust data on small businesses. As a partner on JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward initiative, ICIC annually conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the organizations and the businesses the program supports in an effort to measure their performance and impact.
ICIC recently completed an evaluation of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), an entrepreneurship program for prisoners in Texas. Our evaluation looked at PEP’s impact on reducing recidivism and creating economic opportunity for PEP’s graduates, while also analyzing the economic and fiscal impact of the program. ICIC’s evaluation, Impact Analysis of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program: Reducing Recidivism and Creating Economic Opportunity, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, finds that PEP has demonstrated that entrepreneurship works to reduce recidivism and should be considered as an alternative to traditional ex-offender workforce development and re-entry programs.
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The following highlights ICIC’s past engagements with partners across the nation: