On October 7 at the Inner City 100 Conference and Awards, ICIC unveiled the list of the 100 fastest-growing U.S. inner city businesses. It was an impressive group: Representing 45 cities in 23 states, the Inner City 100 winners average $12 million in annual revenue and 62 employees. Collectively, these companies have created 3,755 new jobs in the past five years alone.
Number one on this year’s list was Bithenergy, an energy engineering and technical services consulting firm based in Baltimore. The company, which was founded by Baltimore native Robert Wallace, has an impressive five-year growth rate of 2973 percent, which also won them this year’s Staples Business Growth Award. Enlightened Inc., an IT firm based in Washington, D.C., was awarded the Chevron Dorothy A. Terrell Community Impact Award for its commitment to the local economy, including extensive workforce development programs. Sal Lupoli, President and CEO of Lupoli Companies, was awarded the Marcia Lamb Innovation Award for his transformation of a vacant mill complex in Lawrence, Massachusetts. View the full list of companies on Fortune’s website and view the videos profiling Bithenergy, Enlightened and Lupoli.
Held at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the event boasted speakers including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, ICIC founder and chairman Michael Porter, University of Massachusetts, Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, and Boston Beer Company founder and chairman Jim Koch.
ICCC Connects Boston Businesses with Capital
On September 24, speaking to attendees at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for ICIC’s first Inner City Capital Connections executive education session held in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh called attendees “the backbone of what is happening in the City of Boston.” In its tenth year, the program’s reputation and proven track record speaks for itself: Although this was the first time the program took place in Boston, 105 businesses from New England’s inner cities and gateway cities attended the event. To learn more about Inner City Capital Connections or to nominate a business, visit our website.
Inner City Economic Summit Showcases New Research and Detroit’s Revitalization
On September 15 and 16, nearly 300 professionals from around the U.S. gathered in Detroit for ICIC’s 11th annual Inner City Economic Summit, Revisiting the Promise and Problems of Inner City Economic Development. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from the research and experiences of our expert speakers against the backdrop of Detroit, a city that has experienced both unprecedented decline and, in many cases, unprecedented revitalization. To view recap materials please visit ICIC’s website.
ICIC and UBS Host Workshop for South Florida Entrepreneurs
On September 25, ICIC partnered with UBS’s Elevating Entrepreneurs program to host a workshop, “How Small Businesses Can Attract Big Talent,” at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center. Led by award-winning professor Seema Pissaris of Florida International University, the workshop outlined ways that small business owners can attract and retain top employees. ICIC’s President, Matt Camp, provided remarks at the event.
ICIC Helps Minnesota Businesses Buy Local
As large purchasers, anchor institutions can support local economies by increasing their local purchasing – but this task can be difficult to implement. ICIC recently partnered with Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) to analyze procurement patterns for 10 anchors. Our analysis identified an additional $328.7 million of purchasing that could feasibly be shifted to local sources annually. If these anchors shifted just an additional five percent of their purchasing to local sources, it would result in a whopping $16.4 million for these local businesses. Learn more.
ICIC on the Move
· On October 8 at Boston College, ICIC’s CEO Steve Grossman spoke as part of a panel discussion, “The Innovation Economy and Entrepreneurship: Economic, Physical and Networking Assets,” on the ways mayors and city leadership can encourage small business growth. The panel was part of the “Economic Growth for All” conference, hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors Community Development and Housing Committee.
· On September 30 at the 2015 Water Venture Investment Conference in Chicago, ICIC’s Senior Vice President and Research Director Kim Zeuli led a discussion on the role of impact investors in funding water technology companies. The conference, hosted by The Water Council, The Water Environment Federation and JPMorgan Chase & Co., was part of the World Environmental Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).
- On September 20-22, Adetola Olatunji attended the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s National Convention to represent our partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. ICIC also represented Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses during their business matchmaking sessions.
- From September 8-11, Alexandra Edelstein attended the America’s Small Business Development Center Network’s Conference to represent our partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. ICIC participated in an interactive workshop titled “Teaching Entrepreneurship: The State of the Art”, which was led by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Academic Director Patricia Greene.
News & Announcements
- Through Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, entrepreneurs from all 50 states have the opportunity to step away from day-to-day operations and focus on growth. We are accepting applications for our upcoming Spring 2016 class at Babson College, and the application deadline is October 30. Visit the 10,000 Small Businesses website for more information.
- On October 22 at the Meeting of the Minds in Richmond, California, ICIC’s Senior Vice President and Research Director, Kim Zeuli, will discuss Resilient Food Systems, Resilient Cities, ICIC’s recent report on food resilience in Boston. Watch the event live at http://cityminded.org/webcast or follow the conversation on Twitter with #motm2015.
ICIC’s team is growing! We are hiring an Urban Business Initiatives Associate. This is a full-time position based in our Boston office. For more information please visit our Careers page.