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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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  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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Wylie Funeral Homes

Courtesy of Wylie Funeral Homes

Mortuary science is not a common career path for young adults, but for Brandon Wylie, it was an easy decision to begin working for his father’s funeral home. “I saw the work he was doing in the community,” Wylie said of his father. This community impact extends beyond the high level of empathy and sensitivity required in this industry. Wylie Funeral Home has invested significant funds into the West Baltimore neighborhood where it started, and in 2014, they worked with Baltimore’s Vacant to Values program to open a new facility on an abandoned lot across the street from their original location. For Wylie, this has been an opportunity to give back to the neighborhood that helped the business thrive. “That community allowed us to grow,” he says.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 119%
2015 Revenues ($M) $2.14
HQ Location Baltimore, MD
Business Leader(s) Brandon M. Wylie, CFSP
Title Mortician

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