Initiative for a Competitive Inner City Unveils Annual List of the Nation's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in Under-Resourced Communities

Inner City 100 (IC100) recognizes and celebrates firms across the U.S. that are engines of job growth and a healthy, inclusive economy
Dec 9, 2021 5:15 PM ET
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BOSTON, December 9, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) today unveiled its 2021 Inner City 100 (IC100) list, representing the 100 fastest-growing businesses in under-resourced communities in the U.S.

The 2021 IC100 winners, which represent a vast range of industries including construction, advertising and retail, were evaluated and ranked based on overall revenue growth during the four-year period from 2016 to 2020.

“Achieving multi-year financial growth is a significant accomplishment,” said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman. “The Inner City 100 class of 2021 sustained their momentum amid the unprecedented challenges faced during the pandemic to greatly expand their respective businesses’ revenue – a tremendous milestone we’re proud to celebrate.”

Grossman added, “These firms have been engines of job growth and helped build a healthy, inclusive economy during these incredibly challenging times. They have also been actively engaged in strengthening their communities by donating their time and resources to local organizations and charities. We are truly inspired by our IC100 winners.”

Since 1999, ICIC has identified and celebrated the nation’s fastest-growing businesses in under-resourced communities through the IC100 award. These companies have demonstrated that it is possible to have fast-growing companies in under-resourced communities and there are competitive business advantages to locating and operating there - the premise that led to ICIC’s founding in 1994 by renowned Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter.

To be eligible for the IC100, companies had to be independently operated, privately held, for-profit businesses with revenues of at least $50,000 in 2016 and $500,000 in 2020, and headquartered in urban, under-resourced communities. ICIC defines an urban, under-resourced community as an area of concentrated poverty within cities with populations greater than 75,000.

From 2016 to 2020, the 2021 Inner City 100 companies averaged 216% revenue growth and created 3,899 total jobs. Of these 100 winners, 32 are woman-owned/led, and 60 are BIPOC-owned/led, the latter of which is a record high-number in the program’s 23-year history.

2021 Inner City 100 Winners by the Numbers
Average Company Age 20 Years
Cities Represented 51
States Represented 24
Industries Represented 24
Woman-Owned/Led 32
BIPOC-Owned/Led 60
Veteran-Owned/Led 5
First-Time Winners 39
Hall of Famers (won IC100 at least 5 times) 21
Average Four-Year Revenue Growth Rate 216%
Average 2020 Revenue $14.13MM
Total Jobs Created 3,899
Total Employed by IC100 Winners in 2020 8,063

The IC100 winners were announced on December 9 during the culminating ceremony of ICIC’s 2021 Annual Conference. The two-day virtual conference which was attended by more than 1,000 small business owners, investors, and economic development leaders, was sponsored by Chevron, Edward Jones, FedEx, Regions Bank, Bank of America, PNC, Appleton Partners, Arctaris Impact Investors, Bain Capital, Salesforce, Santander, Giroux Glass and Gude Management Group.

In addition to unveiling the ranking of each business on the IC100, ICIC recognized the following three companies with special awards:

Business Growth Award: TISSINI, a Miami, Florida-based single-level direct sales company that strives to empower underserved Hispanic women in the U.S. by training and providing the tools to develop them to become their own microbusinesses, received the Business Growth Award for being ranked the #1 fastest-growing company on the IC100 in 2021. This marks the second-consecutive year that TISSINI earned this distinct honor.

Chevron Dorothy A. Terrell Community Impact Award: Journey Steel Inc., a Cincinnati, Ohio-based steel fabrication and erection company, was honored with the 2021 Chevron Dorothy A. Terrell Community Impact Award named in honor of ICIC’s first President and CEO, Dorothy Terrell. The award quantifies tangible ways that thriving businesses from under-served areas invest in and enhance their communities.

FexEx Champion of Entrepreneurship Award: Supply Logistics and Procurement Services, a Chicago, Illinois-based procurement services and distribution business, was awarded the 2021 FedEx Champion of Global Entrepreneurship Award. This award recognizes one IC100 winner for its embodiment of FedEx’s values and commitments to diversity, global trade, empowering entrepreneurs, and creating employment opportunities.

To view the full list of 2021 IC100 award winners by ranking and learn more about each company, visit:

Media: For more information about Inner City 100, please contact Beth Bresnahan at or (781)-789-6281.

About ICIC: Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) was founded by renowned Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1994 as a research and strategy organization that today is widely recognized as the preeminent authority on urban economic growth. ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @icicorg.