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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, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2016, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2011 and 2015.

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 2016 were Staples, Chevron, JumpStart, Kaiser Permanente, New York City Department of Small Business Services, and World Business Chicago. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

From a high-tech commercial fishing outlet in Boston to a socially responsible apparel company in Oakland, there’s great variety in the types of businesses thriving in America’s urban centers and creating jobs where they are needed most. Here are this year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

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  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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Ena’s Driving School

John Pomp is an artist, trained as a painter and sculptor, devoted to glass for more than 20 years as a master craftsman. He learned the ancient art of Murano glassmaking from Italian maestros, transforming the seductive material into a classic modern collection of lighting and furniture. As an artist, his creativity never rests, and […]
Courtesy of Ena's Driving School, Inc

As a former U.S. Marine, Rajendra Hariprashad used his spare time to teach fellow Marines how to drive. Upon completion of his service, he saw a business opportunity and founded Ena’s Driving School, naming it after his mother. The company’s well-trained instructors and high-quality fleet of cars have helped Ena’s Driving School land several institutional partnerships with local schools and government agencies, and the company has a strong commitment to social good, offering free and reduced-price classes to veterans and low-income community members. Hariprashad sees his employees as the “foundation” of the company, and he balances strong and consistent staff training with flexible scheduling, telecommuting options, and other perks to allow his employees a strong work-life balance.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 233%
2015 Revenues ($M) $1.00
HQ Location Hollis, NY
Business Leader(s) Rajendra Hariprashad
Title CEO

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