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Let’s Join Forces to Help Urban Small Businesses

Since 1998, the Inner City 100 list has recognized over 750 fast-growing, inner city companies. Through these businesses, we’ve sought to tell the story of urban entrepreneurship at its best: hiring inner city employees, rejuvenating geographies, and at times pushing the nation’s innovative frontier beyond its previous heights. While there is still much work to be done in the war on poverty, these unique firms
provide both a template for other businesses and a window to better understand the factors that drive and impede their success. Before we can meet and study them however, we rely on nominating partners across the country to help identify and connect with these fast-growing businesses. How can you get involved? We’re hosting an ICIC partner webinar to answer that question. As a preview, here are answers to some FAQs for organizations looking to partner with ICIC.
What is the Inner City 100?
The Inner City 100 is an initiative to recognize and support 100 of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in America. We recognize these companies, through an annual publication in FORTUNE, to highlight the dynamic work done in inner cities and the businesses’ impact on their surrounding communities. In addition to recognition in FORTUNE, winners will be invited to attend the Inner City 100 Symposium and Awards in Boston where they gain national visibility and management education from Harvard Business School faculty.
How is the program different this year?
We’re adding another dimension to the Inner City 100 in 2014: 10 x 10. The Inner City 100 will be comprised of the 10 fastest-growing inner city businesses in 10 high-impact industry sectors. Winners will receive recognition among their peers by ranking within the following distinct industries: Construction; Manufacturing; Professional Services; Food and Beverage; Retail; Media and Communications; Software and Information Technology; Transportation and Logistics; Healthcare and Biotechnology; Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, and Tourism. The new rankings will enhance recognition of winners while providing for more industry-specific networking opportunities.
How can you get involved with the Inner City 100?
We look to organizations that work with small and midsized businesses (last year’s winner revenues ranged from just over $1 mil to nearly $600 mil) to help us find fast-growing firms from every corner of the nation (nearly 150 cities to date). We ask these organizations to nominate businesses from their networks under the premise that local establishments know their communities best. In the past, we’ve
received nominations from diverse stakeholders such as Chambers of Commerce, City and State offices, business service organizations, economic development organizations, financial institutions, and nonprofits among others.
 Do your businesses qualify?
If you work with or know of inner city businesses with 10 or more full-time staff, over $200,000 in sales in 2009, sales growth 2012-13, and over $1 mil in sales in 2013, then your businesses will qualify!
What’s in it for nominators?
We recognize all nominators as ICIC Small Business Partners on our website and provide you with a badge to include on your website. If your nominees make the list, your organization will be celebrated at the event and potentially in media across the country. The organization that nominates the most Inner City 100 winning firms will be named our Nominator of the Year – last year, the Baltimore Development
Corporation (BDC) took home the honor. Partnership doesn’t end at nomination though- just as we hosted a small business convening with BDC last month, there are numerous opportunities to work with us including blogs, events, and potentially videos featured at the event and over our web platforms.
What other small business programs does ICIC offer?
In addition to the Inner City 100, our other small business work revolves around our Inner City Capital Connections program, our partnership with Goldman Sachs on the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, and our strategic alliance with Next Street. We’ve partnered productively in the past with entities as diverse as Chevron Corp. and the US Hispanic Chamber towards the goal of helping inner city economies, and we’re
always looking for new ways to multiply our impact.


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