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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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COLAB Multimedia LLC

“Our People, Excellence in Execution, Customer Satisfaction, and Integrity” are the core values that govern how Creative Business Solutions (CBS), Inc. conducts business and establish relationships with its employees, strategic partners and valued customers. is a national award-winning management and information technology firm [est. 2007] headquartered in Washington, DC. CBS participates in the Small Business […]
Ansel Olson

COLAB, a digital agency focused on website strategy, design, and development, is located in the rapidly evolving city of Richmond, VA. COLAB’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, COLAB’s founder, considered a career in politics before founding COLAB. His interest in the whys and hows for organizations of all sorts has enabled COLAB to cultivate a client base that includes large corporate and governmental clients, such as the Virginia State Lottery and several large financial institutions, as well as many law firms and some 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. COLAB exists to provide web-based solutions that help its clients thrive.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 175.77%
2017 Revenues ($M) $2338013.00
HQ Location Richmond, Virginia
Business Leader(s) Edward O'Leary
Title President

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