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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).

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Team SI

Courtesy of Team SI

Tim Whitley’s professional experience led him to a vision for a business (Team SI) that leverages data insights into integrated strategic marketing using both digital and traditional platforms. He calls it “TraDigital.” Having stepped ahead of the curve at the right time, Team SI has skyrocketed since its inception in 2010. Tim attributes this growth to smart decision-making, consistent R&D, a motivated, customer-centric team, and following the “do right” rule. Strong partners like Google stand by the value of this powerful combination. Philosophically, Team SI works to educate its customers, rather than just selling to them. Tim and his partners are also deeply connected to their community, engaging in many volunteer, thought leadership, and pro bono initiatives. Among many others, he serves on the board of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, which was created to foster creative, entrepreneurial, and economic growth in the state.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 1900%
2015 Revenues ($M) $5.93
HQ Location Little Rock, AR
Business Leader(s) Tim Whitley
Title President and Founder

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