We are pleased to announce an exciting restructuring of our Research and Advisory Practice. Howard Wial joined the ICIC team in Boston on June 11th as our new Senior Vice President and Director of Research. ICIC’s current SVP and Director of Research, Kim Zeuli, has transitioned into a new role as Senior Fellow. The restructuring allows Kim to manage our growing portfolio of advisory projects and food resilience work, while Howard will oversee our enterprise-wide and strategic research initiatives, as well as our growing research team. In this role, Howard will continue to explore the fundamental questions that sparked ICIC’s founding in 1994 by Michael Porter, including revitalizing the economies of economically depressed cities and regions.

Howard holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. He spent ten years at The Brookings Institution, served as Executive Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois – Chicago and was most recently senior economic advisor to the Governor of Pennsylvania. Please join us in welcoming Howard to the team and congratulating Kim on her exciting new role.

Arts and Culture Organizations—The Overlooked Anchors

Why aren’t more arts and culture organizations adopting anchor strategies? ICIC and Kresge Foundation’s Arts and Culture Program are working together to answer this fundamental question, with the goal of catalyzing more arts and culture organizations to adopt anchor strategies and increase equitable economic growth in their communities. The research will highlight a variety of models for anchor engagement to resonate with the broadest possible spectrum of arts and culture organizations. In a recent blog, we highlight our new partnership, the overall research process and the expected outcomes of our work. Read more.

How One Female Founder is Trailblazing the Construction Industry

“When I think back to my early career, it feels like I’ve come 180 degrees – from being ostracized in the industry to being recognized as a leader in the industry.” These words represent the past 40 years of Inner City 100 alum Jennifer Pinck’s career and her two decades as a small business owner. Read more.

ICIC On the Move

  • Pacesetters Initiative: In partnership with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, all four of ICIC’s Urban Business Initiatives were represented at the first convening for the Pacesetters initiative on May 23rd. This initiative is a partnership of large and mid-sized Greater Boston Chamber member organizations who use their collective purchasing power to create opportunities at scale for local enterprises of color. Learn more.
  • Chicago Inclusive Entrepreneurship Summit: ICIC was honored to attend the first annual Inclusive Entrepreneurship Summit in Chicago, which took place on May 16th and was hosted by World Business Chicago and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The event convened leading practitioners and experts for discussions around creating a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago, and highlighted the eight members of the inaugural Blackstone Challenge cohort, which are working to support underserved entrepreneur populations in the city, including communities of color, women, veterans, and immigrants. Learn more. 
  • Racial Equity Training: ICIC’s Kathleen O’Shea was delighted to attend a workshop on race and equity hosted earlier this month by a number of ICIC’s partners in New Orleans. The training, facilitated by the Racial Equity Institute, convened leaders from the nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors for a two-day training and conversation around the history and origins of racial inequity in the U.S. 

Upcoming Events

  • 2018 Inner City 100: Registration is open! After receiving a record number of applications, our team has begun the selection process the Inner City 100 Award winners. This year marks the 20th year of recognizing the 100 fastest-growing small businesses in America’s Inner Cities. Join us to celebrate the small businesses driving America forward at the award ceremony and conference on Oct 1-2. Speakers include Deval Patrick, Rich Dennis, and Karen Mills to name a few. 
  • Opportunity for early-stage Boston food businesses: On June 18th, nineteen food entrepreneurs graduated from Santander’s Cultivate Small Business Program run in partnership with ICIC, Babson and CommonWealth Kitchen. This graduation marks the culmination of their participation in the pilot program where they were given access to a customized education, mentorship from local industry leaders, and capital grants. Read more about the first cohort here. We’re now actively searching for our next cohort of food entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses. Do you know an early-stage food business owner in the Greater Boston area? Reach out to Caroline Suttlehan at to refer them to the program. 
  • Join our team: ICIC is hiring at multiple levels! These Boston-based positions provide an opportunity to join a dynamic and professional team working to address important inner city business and economic development issues. View our open positions.



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