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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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  2. Five-Year Growth Rate (%)
  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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38.

Oaklandish

Courtesy of Oaklandish

Founded in 2006, Oaklandish designs and produces premium apparel and accessories that celebrate “local love and original Oakland charm,” with proceeds supporting an array of spirited community partnerships. A pioneering business, Oaklandish was the first company in the United States to do mobile retail, transforming large campers into novel shopping destinations. They’re also a social enterprise, with a B-Corp designation that isn’t just for show. CEO Angela Tsay reports that they’ve consistently made decisions that have gone against maximizing their profits, often in the service of the local community or the company’s employees.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 307%
2015 Revenues ($M) $3.26
HQ Location Oakland, CA
Business Leader(s) Angela Tsay
Title CEO and Creative Director

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