Paniagua’s Enterprises Incorporated
French Truck Coffee

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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Bowa Construction

This year’s 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.
Courtesy of Bowa Construction

Founder and CEO Nosa Ehimwenman started Bowa Construction in 2009 after working in corporate America for 10 years and deciding he wanted to do more. After looking at the landscape of small contractors around Chicago, Nosa saw an opportunity to create jobs in a historically white industry. Nearly 10 years later and Bowa Construction is one of the most diverse construction companies in the city of Chicago. Nosa says, “One of the greatest joys is giving a young black or brown kid an opportunity in construction. I love taking that risk and watching them grow.” “Being here in this town is about moving and changing stereotypes,” says Nosa. The two buildings they’ve purchased and connected to their office used to be old liquor stores that they have renovated. In turn, they’ve changed the perception of the building and the neighborhood as a whole.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 1150%
2017 Revenues ($M) $25000000.00
HQ Location Chicago, Illinois
Business Leader(s) Nose Ehimwenman
Title President and CEO

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