Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing market forces and stimulating the private sector to foster inner city economies to create jobs, income, and economic opportunities for residents.
An influx of economic opportunities that allow the inner city to compete in the wider economy will help to relieve social distress. This model establishes sustainable economic bases through business development and investment, thus making an ideological shift from reducing poverty to creating income and employment.
Since its formation in 1994, ICIC has provided marketing support to spark business growth and investment, and leveraged private sector resources through a new concept of corporate philanthropy that emphasizes business to business relationships.
With American Securities Capital Partners, ICIC has formed Inner City Ventures, a private equity fund focused on high potential inner city growth companies. The for-profit seeks market rates of return. ICIC has also established the National Business School Network to engage urban graduate business schools in fostering inner city business development and serve inner city companies.
Example: Waterford Caseworks Inc. is a manufacturer of institutional cabinetry in an older section of Baltimore, MD. The company has been operating for four years, is minority-owned and employs 45 people. Baltimore Advisors, an ICIC affiliate, worked with Waterford to obtain single-source work directly from large health care companies.
ICIC has a staff of 33 employees and is headquartered in Boston, MA. In addition to Baltimore, ICIC has affiliates in Oakland, CA. and Kansas City, MO. ICIC is funded by program revenues and grants from corporations, foundations, and individuals. The annual operating budget for 1999 is about $2.7 million.