What's New at ICIC

New Research Analyzes How the Pandemic Has Affected Business & Jobs

This new report summarizes the key findings of ICIC’s analysis of the most detailed and comprehensive information about what has happened to businesses and jobs in these metros from the onset of the pandemic. To download the full report and access the accompanying data dashboard visit the link below.


How For-Profit Companies Can Act as Anchor Institutions

Anchor institutions are large or otherwise influential organizations that participate in community engagement activities and have relatively deep roots in (are unlikely to move from) their communities. This report, made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explores the motivations and strategies of for-profit corporations’ engagement as anchor institutions with lower-income communities.


Registration for this year's Annual Conference is now open!

The 2021 ICIC Annual Conference will occur December 7 & 9 and bring together our dynamic network of program participants, alumni, and collaborators to celebrate the resilience of the extraordinary entrepreneurs in our community who continue to battle through the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Information on agenda, speakers, and sessions coming soon!


The Authority on Inner Cities

ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs 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 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?

Inner cities are distressed urban and suburban areas of concentrated poverty and low income. Inner city residents represent 14% of the population—that’s 45 million people. Of U.S. residents living in poverty, 31 percent live in inner cities.

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Leading in Turbulent Times: Strategies for Small Businesses to Survive and Thrive

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected small businesses tremendously over the last year. Led by Harvard Business School Professor Lynda Applegate, the conversation will include a panel discussion with four 2020 Inner City 100 (IC100) award-winning entrepreneurs on business approaches each took to not only survive during the challenges of the past year, but also innovate through the crisis to ultimately thrive. The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A.

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Countless setbacks couldn’t deter Philadelphia businesswoman from creating a safe space for community’s children and families

Julie Kent

“Let me start by saying it was never my intention to open a school,” says Barbara Chavous-Pennock, CEO of Somerset Academy Early Learning Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Opening with this statement, she’s about to tell an incredible journey of never giving up and of always persevering—not even for herself, but ... Read More


ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities though innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.


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