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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.


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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  2. Five-Year Growth Rate (%)
  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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Courtesy of Studio-D

When Julian Payan and his partner Dinho Payan bought Studio-D in 2004, the hair salon had only two chairs and four employees. As Studio-D’s popularity increased and the salon continued to get busier, Julian and Dinho realized the need to expand the business. Studio-D’s clientele is primarily Latin-American women and the employees are fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Today the company has 25 employees and two salons; Julian and Dinho hope to open two additional locations in the Miami area over the next five years. Julian works on the business as the administrator, Dinho as the master artistic hairdresser, and together with the Studio-D team, the work is reflected in the quality of the salons, which continues to attract new clients.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 181%
2015 Revenues ($M) $1.74
HQ Location Miami, FL
Business Leader(s) Julian Payan and Dinho Payan
Title President (J. Payan); Partner (D. Payan)

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