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100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter in 1994, defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, andspotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2015, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2010 and 2014.

ICIC relies on a national network of nominating partners, including city offices, economic development organizations, and small business development corporations, to find many of the businesses that appear on this list. Key partners in 2015 were Staples, Chevron, City of Oakland, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation,JumpStart, and World Business Chicago. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

From a Philadelphia glass blowing outfit, to an Oakland-based 3D printing shop, and a high-end Brooklyn chocolatier, America's urban core is filled with a wildly diverse array of fast-growing businesses. Here are this year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.

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50.

Proverb

Courtesy of Proverb

Among its projects, the team at branding agency Proverb has guided revitalized neighborhoods in cities like Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles in reshaping their image, and has helped religious leaders strategize about how to better connect with millennials.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 184%
2014 Revenue $1.08 million
HQ Location Boston, MA
Company Owner Daren Bascome
Owner Title Creative Director

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