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Keeping pace: Inner City 100 companies see continued success after being named among the nation’s fastest growing urban businesses

Every year at ICIC we honor the Inner City 100 (IC100), a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America. Led by entrepreneurs from across the country, these businesses create good jobs where they are needed most and encourage innovation in urban areas – the 2016 honorees had an average employee compensation of $58,230 (excluding management)! Between 2011 and 2015, they had an average growth rate of 458%, with each of the top 10 companies achieving a growth rate above 1,000%.

The focus of the 2016 Awards and Conference, held on September 14, was helping participants consider next steps beyond the growth they have already achieved as IC100 honorees. The theme, ‘Accelerating Success: The Road from Here,’ shaped the educational sessions, which included analysis of Tesla and Ideo case studies led by Harvard Business School professors, how one IC100 honoree took his company public, and long-term success stories from Staples CEO, Shira Goodman.

Since the event, we’ve seen many put into practice what they learned as an IC100 honoree. As we reflect on the year, we wanted to share how some of the businesses on the 2016 list have kept their momentum going:

Company: Oaklandish
CEO: Angela Tsay
Industry: Retail
IC100 2016 Ranking: 38
Five-Year Growth Rate: 307%
2015 Revenues: $3.26 million
Headquarters: Oakland, CA
Recent success: Oaklandish was recently featured in the San Francisco Business Times for its ability to establish new retail concepts that compliment its flagship retail store, and was commended for being an outstanding corporate citizen as well as a certified B Corp.

Company: Devbridge Group
CEO: Aurimas Adomavicius
Industry: Technology
IC100 2016 Ranking: 16
Five-Year Growth Rate: 689%
2015 Revenues: $11.20 million
Headquarters: Chicago, IL
Recent success: In November 2016, Devbridge Group was named #4 on the 10 Best Web Design Firms in Chicago. The 10 Best Design Analytic Review rates and reviews the best web design firms based on a large number of qualitative and quantitative ranking points, including client research, reviews, previous accolades, traffic and other SEO rankings, proprietary analytics, and other ranking sources.

Company: Raining Rose
CEO: Chuck Hammon
Industry: Manufacturing
IC100 2016 Ranking: 81
Five-Year Growth Rate: 153%
2015 Revenues: $38.03 million
Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, IA
Recent success: In addition to making the Inner City 100 for the tenth time in 2016 (and being only the second company to achieve this!), Raining Rose recently bought a Colorado-based lip-balm supplier. The acquisition will expand the company’s staff and product line.

Company: Impact makers
CEO: Michael Pirron
Industry: Consulting
IC100 2016 Ranking: 23
Five-Year Growth Rate: 461%
2015 Revenues: $17.85 million
Headquarters: Richmond, VA
Recent success: A pioneer of a B2B social enterprise model, 100% of this consulting firm’s profits go to charity. In the November/December issue of Conscious Company, Impact Makers was recognized as one of the Top 25 for-benefits companies in the world.

Company: Enlightened
CEO: Antwanye Ford
Industry: Information Technology
IC100 2016 Ranking: 84
Five-Year Growth Rate: 141%
2015 Revenues: $26.06 million
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Recent success: On November 21st, Enlightened received the SmartCEO GovStar Workplace Award for medium sized companies, which is presented to those government contractors with second-to-none workplaces. Each year, an independent committee of local business leaders selects the winners based on their growth, innovation, corporate culture, veteran support and industry impact.

Aside from their impressive growth, the IC100 companies also catalyze innovation, growth of diverse industries and the creation of good jobs in America’s inner cities – areas where these assets are needed most. Of the companies honored in 2016, 37% have a minority CEO, and together represent 26 industries including construction, consulting, engineering, architecture, business services, and technology. The honorees also have an average of 62 full-time employees and, as a group, employ over 7,300 people. In other words, the success of these inner city businesses is not only inspiring, but also an essential piece of the local communities where they operate.

See the full list of 2016 honorees at

Know a business that should be on the Inner City 100 list? Nominate today!


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