What We Do




ICIC’s path-breaking research highlights the competitive advantages of inner cities and the thousands of thriving companies that are already capitalizing on these advantages. We have developed important national ideas such as documenting the size of the under-served retail market in inner cities, and creating a strategic agenda for urban colleges and universities to transform their neighborhoods.

ICIC research provides the factual basis we rely on to define new, effective economic strategies for inner cities.  Our State of the Inner Cities Economies (SICE) research effort is currently examining the economic performance and potential of the 100 largest cities’ inner cities to uncover drivers of performance, fuel greater private investment, and sharpen public policy with the objective of leading to greater inner city resident prosperity.

In addition, the Inner City Economic Forum (Forum), a group of 300 leaders, is developing a marketplace of ideas and propelling ideas into action for our country’s inner cities. The Forum identifies solutions to fuel inner city business growth in getting companies to scale, increasing capital flows to inner cities, and marketing the economic opportunities of inner cities.

Proof of Concept


The ICIC-BusinessWeek SmallBiz Inner City 100 finds, celebrates, and supports hundreds of high-growth inner-city companies. The annual list showcases thriving businesses creating jobs, income, and wealth for inner-city residents. Since the list's inception eleven years ago, 557 companies have made the list (1999-2009). These companies have been responsible for creating 63,000 new jobs. In addition, they employ nearly 86,000 people, of which 41% are inner-city residents.  The Inner City 100 is the most aggressive project in America to uncover and celebrate inner-city entrepreneurship and business success. The company list is published in the spring issue of BusinessWeek SmallBiz. 

In 2005, Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) was introduced in partnership with ICEF and Bank of America.  ICCC is a strategic initiative designed to stimulate the flow of capital to inner city markets.  ICCC is the country’s only program that matches inner city entrepreneurs with investors and seeks to increase capital flows, build inner city companies of size and scale, and change perceptions on investing in inner city businesses.

Communication, Dissemination and Engagement


ICIC uses the power of convening to bring together national business and civic leaders several times a year to discuss critical issues facing America’s inner cities.  Ranging in size from 300 to 1,000 people, ICIC hosts the New York Inner City Economic Leadership Event, The Inner City 100 Summit and The Forum Summit.  In addition, ICIC has a multi-faceted approach to disseminating its research and programs through media, speaking engagements, original articles, website, reports and newsletters.