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).

See our methodology and credits


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Aerial Development Group

Courtesy of Aerial Development Group

Britnie Turner founded Aerial with both a local and a global mission. Hoping to fund orphanages in impoverished areas of Africa through real estate investing, Turner bought her first house at 18 just after graduating from high school. After 3 years of failing and living in her car for several months, Britnie began rehabilitating homes in the inner city Nashville neighborhoods. She saw the immediate economic impact of those redevelopments and has since worked to scale this positive transformation. Aerial Development Group now focuses on urban revitalization throughout the Southeast. The company’s triple-bottom line approach—judging their success on their positive impact on people and the planet, while also making a profit—attracts both employees and customers who are drawn to the company’s mission of “Elevating People and Places.”

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 2148%
2015 Revenues ($M) $22.74
HQ Location Nashville, TN
Business Leader(s) Britnie Turner
Title Founder and CEO

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