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100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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Methodology

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 2012 and 2016.

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 2017 were Staples, Chevron, FedEx, Kaiser Permanente, City of Oakland, Baltimore Development Corporation, Blackstone Entrepreneur’s Network, Urban League of Louisiana, World Business Chicago, Team JXN, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

From an organic candy shop in Oakland, Calif. to a towing company based in Texas, there is a wide swath 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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6.

The Leading Niche

Courtesy of The Leading Niche

The Leading Niche uses data and cutting-edge consulting to deliver ‘”actionable intelligence” to commercial and government customers in domestic and international markets. These services include big data, cybersecurity, regulatory, compliance, and investigative consulting. The Leading Niche is able to surpass other players in its space by being more nimble than large competitors and more efficient and experienced than small competitors. CEO Tamara Nall and her team are deeply focused on the human aspects of their work. Ethics is a top priority, and Nall recalls turning down multi-million dollar contracts due to ethical concerns. In the future, she hopes to develop her company’s expertise into a software product to more easily deliver some of The Leading Niche’s key services. The company is headquartered in Harlem and over a third of the employees live in underserved communities.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 791.66%
2016 Revenues ($M) $6.19
HQ Location New York City
Business Leader(s) Tamara Nall
Title President

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