The voice of urban opportunity
Who We Are
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC strengthens inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities.
- We identify economic drivers for urban environments, and inform public and private sector leaders how to best utilize them.
- We support high potential urban businesses by providing them with access to year-round executive education, networking and national visibility.
- We teach inner city businesses how to compete for capital and gain access to capital providers.
- We guide financial institutions to new investment opportunities and some of the world’s fastest-growing companies.
- We advise corporations and anchor institutions on how they can use their business drivers to create value for themselves and the community.
ICIC’s unique knowledge of inner city success factors and growing companies is developed from specialized urban networks and path-breaking research.
ICIC's mission is to drive economic prosperity in America's inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents.
ICIC in Action
- ICIC research awakened major retailers to a billion dollar market opportunity in America
- ICIC research in St. Paul found that the city saves 31 cents for every dollar invested in industrial land and associated jobs.
- ICIC advised on the economic growth plan for Detroit Future City. The action-oriented roadmap for decision-making proposes five strategies to grow Detroit
- Inner City 100 companies created over 76,000 new jobs
- Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) companies have generated 5,694 jobs and raised $703 million in capital
What Are Inner Cities?
Urban cores with high poverty and unemployment rates and low median income levels
They have a poverty rate of 20% or higher
Or, have 2 of the following 3 criteria:
(1) Poverty rate 1.5x times or more than their MSA
(2) Median household income
(3) Unemployment rate 1.5x or more than their MSA
Inner city residents need jobs near their homes that offer good pay and the prospect of long-term employment. These can be created only by businesses.
Professor Michael E. Porter,
Founder and Chairman
ICIC brings the magic of the market to inner city economic development. This approach is what we need to create jobs for our fellow Americans and strengthen the tax base of our cities.
El Dorado Capital