If you have questions that are not covered below, contact us at InnerCity100@icic.org.
Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Michael E. Porter founded the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) in 1994 to spotlight the competitive advantages of America’s under-resourced communities and spur ongoing economic revitalization. Initially, Dr. Porter was met with widespread skepticism. Many doubted that sustainable small business ecosystems could flourish in these communities.
In 1999, ICIC created the Inner City 100 (IC100) – a national award that identifies and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing businesses in underserved neighborhoods. Since then, over 1,000 companies have been recognized as IC100 winners. These businesses have brought good jobs and economic revitalization to their neighborhoods and are a testament to the competitive business advantages of under-resourced communities and an inspiration to entrepreneurs nationwide.
Companies on the 2021 IC100 are selected and ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2016 to 2020. To qualify, a business/owner must:
* ICIC defines an under-resourced community to include areas of concentrated poverty within city centers and secondary/gateway cities.
** ICIC has lowered the revenue criteria from $100,000 and $1,000,000 to $50,000 and $500,000, respectively, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s prolonged economic and financial impact on the small business ecosystem.
Additionally, IC100 winners are catalysts of opportunity, optimism, and transformation in under-resourced communities. Thus, businesses or owners that are currently under criminal conviction or engaged in or supporting any activity that is illegal under federal, state, or local law are not eligible. Similarly, businesses engaged in activities that are harmful to the local community (e.g. predatory lending) are not eligible.
Yes. Your 2020 revenue and four-year revenue growth will be published in the 2021 IC100 list as well as in any editorial coverage of your business.
Every year, ICIC chooses three IC100 winners to receive the following awards:
No. The IC100 is determined solely by revenue growth; profitability is not a consideration. We will be using your reported revenue to calculate your growth rate.
Not necessarily. We look at the overall four-year growth rate from 2016 through 2020 compared with that of the other IC100 applicants. Among last year’s IC100 winners, year-to-year declines were acceptable and common. However, your company should be reporting higher revenue numbers in 2020 than 2016 to be considered. Companies who show lower revenue in 2020 than in 2016 are not eligible for the award.
Public companies are not eligible for the IC100.
ICIC defines an under-resourced community as an area of concentrated poverty within city centers and secondary/gateway cities. When you submit the initial application, we will run your headquarters’ address to determine whether your company is located in an under-resourced community.
The extended application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. It contains questions related to:
Additionally, it requires the submission of revenue verification materials.
ICIC recommends that the highest-level senior executive fills out the extended application.
ICIC defines revenue as gross revenue, less returns, and allowances before any cost of goods sold. Revenues can be recorded on either a cash or accrual basis of accounting. However, your 2016 and 2020 revenue figures need to be recorded on the same basis, be under the same legal entity, and be consistent with revenue numbers shown in verification materials you submit as part of the extended application.
If you do not have a final figure for your 2020 revenue when you fill out the initial application, you may enter an estimate and provide us with the more precise figure when you submit your verification materials.
To ensure the integrity and credibility of the IC100 list, we carefully verify the 2016 and 2020 revenue numbers for every finalist.
There are three kinds of revenue verification. You only need to choose one.
We ask all applicants to submit their revenue figures for full calendar years. Companies with non-calendar fiscal years should complete our revenue verification form for verification, rather than tax forms or audits. Please make sure the revenue figures entered on the form are for calendar years 2016 and 2020.
The initial and extended applications ask for confidential business information, which ICIC uses to evaluate your eligibility for the IC100. All information and documents submitted at each stage of the application process will be fully protected. Access to them will be strictly limited to ICIC personnel and our auditing partner AAFCPAs. If your company becomes a 2021 IC100 winner, its 2020 revenue and four-year revenue growth rate will be published part of your company profile.
The applications also ask for personal information such as the applicant’s name and contact information. We use your personal information for contact purposes. This personal information may be shared with ICIC program sponsors, nominating partners, and other program participants. You can opt out of having your personal information shared via the first two questions we ask in the extended application or by emailing InnerCity100@icic.org.
Once the 2021 IC100 award list is published, we will delete all tax returns that were submitted as part of the extended application process.
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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Roxbury MA 02119
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