Methodology for 100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter in 1994, defines inner cities as relatively large geographic areas of concentrated poverty within large cities (those with a population greater than 75,000). Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2019, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the four-year period between 2014 and 2018.

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 this year were the City of Oakland, Baltimore Development Corporation, Urban League of Louisiana, Mid-South Minority Business Council, and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm AAFCPAs.