What is the Inner City 100?

The Inner City 100 recognizes the 100 fastest growing companies located in America’s Inner Cities. Created by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) 13 years ago, the program spotlights and supports growing companies in urban areas, highlighting the importance of creating healthy inner city economies in order to develop strong urban communities.

In 1999, ICIC created the Inner City 100 program to change perceptions about inner city business. ICIC uses data to prove that not only can companies thrive in inner cities, but there are competitive advantages of doing business in the inner cities. The results are astonishing. From 1999 – 2010, the 607 Inner City 100 companies that have made the list: 

∗   Are responsible for creating almost 72,000 new jobs
∗   Employ nearly 100,000 people of which 40% are inner-city residents
∗   Have an average compound annual growth rate of 50%
∗   Generate approximately $2.3 billion in total sales per year 

Led by some of today’s most creative entrepreneurs and our program sponsors such as Bank of AmericaChevron, The Staples Foundation for Learning (SFFL), and Goldman Sachs, the Inner City 100 have shown the nation how the advantages of inner cities, such as a diverse workforce and strategic location, can combine to create explosive growth.

Inner City 100 business successes over the past 13 years have inspired political and business leaders, academics and the media. The program has led to innovative investment programs, helped blaze a path for other inner city entrepreneurs, and provided enormous stimulus for change in their communities. The Inner City 100 has become a national movement with the support of civic, community, business, and academic leaders from across the country.  

Process Overview

Each year, ICIC and Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine put out a call for nominations and select the fastest-growing from among the applicants. The winners are determined based on revenue growth over a five-year period. To apply for the list, companies are asked to complete a brief, one-page application form. Companies that qualify based on that application are then asked to complete an extensive survey and provide financial documentation to verify self-reported sales figures. The final list will be published in a May issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2011 list! For more information please visit the Call for Nominations page.

The Inner City 100 Summit:

Companies who make the list are invited to the Inner City 100 Summit in Boston for a two-day event featuring seminars for Inner City 100 CEOs and Senior Managers at Harvard Business School, and a gala awards dinner that historically draws more than 700 guests.

Inner City 100 Sponsors: Bank of AmericaChevron, The Staples Foundation for Learning (SFFL), and Goldman Sachs.


For more information please contact Robert Menafee at