Congratulations Inner City 100 Winners

On October 1st-2nd we celebrated our 20th year of the Inner City 100 Awards where we recognized 100 of the fastest-growing businesses in America’s inner cities.  This year’s group of companies achieved an average growth rate of 436 percent between 2013 and 2017, hailed from 46 cities in 23 states, and created 5,516 new jobs in the last five years.  Special recognition was given to FedEx Champion of Global Entrepreneurship Award Winner ER2 of Memphis, TN, Chevron Impact Award Winner Amerisal Foods of Van Nuys, CA, and Marcia Lamb Innovation Award Winner Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore. Congratulations again to all of the winners on their impressive growth.

Read the full list.

Duluth's Industrial Legacy is Also a Key to Future Equitable Growth

Like many Rust Belt cities, Duluth, Minnesota is grappling with how much it should continue to rely on the industrial sector for future growth. Is the city’s industrial legacy a key to future economic prosperity, or should it be relegated to history? To help understand the implications of this important question, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority engaged ICIC to undertake a comprehensive study that would help the city answer this question. The report finds that the city’s industrial sector continues to drive significant economic growth in both Duluth and the surrounding region. In a recent post, we highlight our recently completed assessment, including key insights and prioritiesRead more.

ICIC On the Move

  •  The Inner City Alumni Network (ICAN) hosted its first regional networking event on October 9th at Maker’s Loft in Oakland, CA. Kirsten Tobey, Revolution Foods’ Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer, shared anecdotes about her personal experience with ICIC and how it led her to take on a critical role as a member of ICAN’s Advisory Board. Entrepreneurs with backgrounds in a variety of industries were able to connect and engage in inspiring conversations about creating and promoting a successful small business ecosystem in their communities.
  • The Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) team completed its final training seminar in Sacramento on October 10th.  735 companies have attended the 11 city opening seminars in 2018.  In addition to Sacramento, seminars were held in Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles/San Bernardino, Springfield, MA, Memphis, Atlanta and San Diego.  Tentatively, ICCC plans on bringing the program to 15 cities in 2019, and could deliver programming to over 1000 companies!  Since this program first launched in 2005, 1700 ICCC alumni have reported 172% average revenue growth, created 16,000 jobs and raised $1.47 billion in capital. 
  • National Cohort Reception:  As the national outreach and recruitment partner of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, we’re happy to announce that we’ve accepted over 150 businesses for our current National Cohort. Our ICIC 10,000 Small Businesses team had the pleasure of welcoming them to the Babson College campus on September 19th.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners Conference:  ICIC representatives Kelsey Ray and Allie Padgett from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program team attended the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Conference September 24-25th in Spokane, Washington. We’re proud to partner with NAWBO to attract women-owned small businesses from across the country. Learn more.
  • Congressional Black Caucus 48th Annual Legislative Conference: ICIC was honored to be part of a session at this year’s conference organized by the Association for Black Foundation Executives with the support of JPMorgan Chase. The session, entitled “Building Economic Power in Black Communities through Business & Entrepreneurship,” was held September 14th in Washington, D.C. We were honored to release at the session an executive summary of our forthcoming report Helping Entrepreneurs of Color Grow Their Business, completed in partnership with the University of Washington and JPMorgan Chase. The research leverages insights from the first year of Ascend 2020, a national initiative to support minority and inner city entrepreneurs in six major cities across the U.S. Read the executive summary here. Stay tuned for the release of the full report this fall!
  • International Business Innovation Association e.Builders Forum: ICIC was proud to facilitate a workshop at this year’s e.Builders Forum, hosted September 17-18th in Detroit, which convened entrepreneurial ecosystem builders from across the U.S. The workshop session, “Anchor Collaboration in Your Ecosystem: Strategies for Building Robust Local Supply Chains,” included a presentation by ICIC’s Senior Fellow Kim Zeuli on anchor frameworks and best practices, as well as presentations by representatives of leading anchor collaboratives in Chicago and Detroit. Learn more.
  • International Economic Development Council Annual Conference: ICIC was delighted to participate in this year’s IEDC Annual Conference, which was held in Atlanta, September 30th-October 3rd. ICIC’s Zach Nieder moderated a panel on “Opportunities and Implications of Urban Industrial Strategies,” during which he presented on ICIC’s recently completed assessment of the economic impact of Duluth, Minnesota’s industrial sector. Read the report here. ICIC’s Kathleen O’Shea also took part in a separate panel discussion, “Catalyzing Economic Vitality for Minority-Owned Businesses,” which included both research and practical perspectives for supporting the growth of minority-owned businesses. Kathleen shared insights from our forthcoming research report, Helping Entrepreneurs of Color Grow Their Business. Learn more

Upcoming Events

  • Our culminating Capital Conference will be held in Boston, Nov. 12-13th, and will be attended by ICCC participants from across the cohorts.  This is an ideal opportunity for companies to help sharpen their capital pitch that in turn will help fuel further growth in their businesses.  You can register for the program here.  There are a limited number of scholarship stipends available and you can apply by filling out the INTEREST FORM.
  • The next ICAN regional event will take place on November 7th in Washington, D.C. with the support of Catholic University’s Busch School of Business. Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO of the Menkiti Group and a member of ICAN’s Advisory Board, will host the event for all ICIC alumni in the area. There will be an educational discussion on entrepreneurship, growth and capital moderated by Dean Bill Bowman of the Busch School of Business followed by a networking reception. If you are interested in attending, please contact Margaret Phan at or click here to register.



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