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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 2017, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2013 and 2017. 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 this year were Staples, Chevron, FedEx, Kaiser Permanente, City of Oakland, Baltimore Development Corporation, Blackstone Entrepreneur’s Network, and Urban League of Louisiana. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm AAFCPAs.

This year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.

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2.

2M Research Services, LLC

2M Research gets its name from the husband and wife pair, Dr. Marcus Martin and Dr. Eddilisa Martin, that first met on a plane and were engaged 30 days later. They’ve been together for 19 years now. These academics-turned-entrepreneurs explain that the creation of the business was intentional, not accidental. The two worked for 8 […]
Courtesy of 2M Research Services LLC

2M Research gets its name from the husband and wife pair, Dr. Marcus Martin and Dr. Eddilisa Martin, that first met on a plane and were engaged 30 days later. They’ve been together for 19 years now. These academics-turned-entrepreneurs explain that the creation of the business was intentional, not accidental. The two worked for 8 months on a business plan, understanding that “strategy is just as important as everything else.” They started with intellectual capital and a strong network and asked themselves what they could to with it. The resulting company is 2M Research, a research and advisory firm focused on providing federal, state, and local government agencies, commercial clients, and nonprofit organizations with objective and rigorous research, program evaluation, and policy analysis consulting services. Since being awarded its first federal prime contract in November 2013, 2M has successfully been awarded prime contracts in 18 federal agencies. Along the way they’ve discovered a unique ability to both find hidden talent in the local workforce and attract those with advanced degrees. Marcus’s goal is to make 2M an employee-owned firm in the next 4-5 years. Marcus and Eddilisa believe entrepreneurship is an answer for social problems, but that “we need to make sure the capability and option is there because the odds are so often stacked against people in these communities.”

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 4949.54%
2017 Revenues ($M) $9540000.00
HQ Location Arlington, Texas
Business Leader(s) Marcus Martin
Title Founder and CEO

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