Ranking spotlights fastest-growing companies in America's inner cities
The New York City Department of Small Business Services and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) today called upon New York City businesses to apply for the 2008 ICIC – Inc. Magazine Inner City 100, a listing which recognizes and ranks 100 of the fastest-growing companies in America's inner cities.
"New York City is home to many of our country's most innovative, rapidly growing companies which are creating jobs and revenue for the City, serving as trailblazers in their fields, and giving back in their communities," said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "I encourage these local businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments on a national stage."
The annual list, compiled every year by ICIC and showcased by Inc. magazine, illustrates that inner cities have successful and innovative business practices, are tapping into the available inner city workforce and have significant buying power. Last year's national ranking, published in Inc.'s June issue, highlighted these 100 companies chosen from over 4,500 applicants. On average, winning companies reported $39 million in revenues in 2005 and a growth rate of 535% over five years.
Since the list's inception ten years ago, 486 companies have made the Inner City 100. Located in 134 cities across the country, these companies have been responsible for the creation of over 50,000 jobs and generated over $21 billion in sales in a variety of industries. These companies are as diverse as they are profitable, with a number of immigrant and first generation CEOs and an average minority representation of 31%- three times the national average.
"The owners of these businesses are true corporate heroes as they are contributing to the growth of the communities in which they are located and have chosen to address, rather than ignore, deep rooted economic and social problems," said Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter, Founder and Chairman of ICIC. "They represent the leading edge of a new approach to America's urban revitalization – an approach that relies not on charity but on the practical competitive advantages businesses can find or create."
Some of the benefits of participating in the Inner City 100 include a two-day "CEO Forum" for urban entrepreneurs at the Harvard Business School, networking opportunities, and national recognition. Past winners state that the Inner City 100 designation helped them to get contracts, to increase board involvement, to open new markets, and to increase their credibility.
"Since appearing on the Inner City 100 list, Mosaica Education has been awarded several very prestigious projects in Chicago, New Orleans and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a big accomplishment for a New York-based company," said Mosaica CEO Michael Connelly. "We mentioned the Inner City 100 in our proposal applications, which I think played a part in our winning the contracts!"
To qualify for the Inner City 100 a company must:
Be an independent, for-profit corporation, partnership, or proprietorship
Be headquartered in, or have 51% or more of its physical operations in economically distressed urban areas (inner cities)
Have had 10 or more full-time employees in 2006
Have a five-year operating history (2002-2006) that includes an increase in 2006 sales over 2005 sales; sales of at least $200,000 in 2002, and at least $1 million in 2006
Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2007. For more information, to nominate a company, or for an online application, visit www.icic.org.
About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, promoting financial and economic opportunity among minority- and women-owned businesses, preparing New Yorkers for jobs and linking employers with a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/sbs.
About the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC's mission is to promote economic prosperity in America's inner cities through private sector engagement that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. ICIC brings together business and civic leaders to drive innovation and action, transform thinking and accelerate inner city business growth and investment.
Inc is the leading magazine written for the men and women who own and manage small-to-mid-sized, fast-growing companies. Published 12 times a year, Inc helps its 1.5 million readers by providing expert advice and practical solutions as they face the opportunities, pitfalls, and rewards of growing a company. www.inc.com, the Web site for growing companies, was named Best Online Magazine by Folio and Best Overall New Publication (all media) by the Computer Press Association.