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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.

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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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43.

CO+LAB

Courtesy of CO+LAB

CO+LAB, a digital agency focused on website strategy, design, and development, is located in the rapidly evolving city of Richmond, Virginia. CO+LAB’s focus on creativity, innovation, and use of new technologies has allowed it to attract top level talent both from within and beyond the Richmond area. Eddie O’Leary, CO+LAB’s founder, considered a career in politics before founding CO+LAB. His interest in the whys and hows for organizations of all sorts has enabled CO+LAB to cultivate a client base that includes large corporate and governmental clients, such as the Virginia State Lottery and several large health systems, as well as many of Richmond’s most prominent not-for-profit organizations. The company has grown without any outside capital, which O’Leary says has helped keep the company “disciplined” about finances as it has continued to grow. CO+LAB exists to provide can-do solutions that help its clients thrive.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 291%
2015 Revenues ($M) $1.35
HQ Location Richmond, VA
Business Leader(s) Eddie O'Leary
Title President

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