Urban Business Initiatives Support Gateway City Entrepreneurs

The Gateway Cities Journal

ICIC’s Urban Business Initiatives Support Gateway City Entrepreneurs 

In Lawrence, creative public-private partnerships have driven the CEO of a children’s discovery museum, Imajine That, to contemplate growth not only in terms of revenue but also opportunity for local workers and families. Imajine That was named to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)’s 2015 Inner City 100 list in recognition of an impressive five-year growth rate exceeding 300 percent. And yet, as the company joined Inner City 100 alumni including Massachusetts powerhouses Dancing Deer Bakery and JP Licks, the Imajine That team remains focused on the needs of the Lawrence community.

The momentum of Gateway City businesses was even more evident at the inaugural Boston training day for the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program last fall, where highly-motivated CEOs honed their pitches and connected with capital providers. Twelve of the 26 Massachusetts Gateway Cities were represented at the event, Lawrence leading the pack with eight participants. In 2016, ICIC aims to provide opportunities to CEOs from all 26 cities, with an ICCC training day in Boston on June 8 and another in Worcester in late September.

Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC offers growing urban businesses access to executive education, training, capital providers and networks of supportive peers via the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections and our partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. These programs support business leaders in Gateway Cities and beyond as they strengthen communities by creating good-paying jobs.

Each of these no-cost programs is now accepting applicants, and we invite all urban entrepreneurs to join a group of fellow business leaders who are shaping a better future for Massachusetts cities.

  • Through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, entrepreneurs from all 50 states have the opportunity to step away from day-to-day operations and focus on growth. We are now accepting applications for the upcoming Fall 2016 Class at Babson College, and the application deadline is April 20.

Visit the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses website for more information at www.10KSBapply.com, or register for one of our upcoming informational webinars here.

  • Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) supports businesses that are ready to take growth to the next level, providing them with training and support in connecting with capital providers. ICCC alumni have created over 11,000 jobs and secured more than $1.3 billion in capital. In 2016, the program will be held in 10 cities across the U.S., including Boston on June 8 and Worcester in late September.

Learn more here, nominate a business here, apply here.

  • The Inner City 100 recognizes the fastest-growing urban businesses in the country, providing them with access to national visibility through our partnership with Fortune magazine, networking and top business school faculty at the Inner City 100 Conference & Awards, scheduled for September 14, 2016 in Boston. Since the program’s inception, alumni have created over 115,000 jobs in their communities. Applications are now open for the 2016 list, with a deadline of April 1.

Learn more here, nominate a business here, apply here

ICIC’s nominating partner network is key to identifying exceptional urban businesses. Nominators are members of the community who know their local business leaders best. Please follow the links above to nominate a promising Gateway City company and help foster urban entrepreneurship in your community.

 – Steve Grossman
CEO, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and former Massachusetts Treasurer

Copy of Copy of In Search of

Housing & Economic Development 

Fall River finalizes deal to bring a large Amazon distribution center, which city officials hope will attract other large businesses and developers to the city.

Pioneer Institute releases a new report calling for the creation of an Infrastructure Investment Fund to jumpstart economic activity in the Middle Cities of Massachusetts.

The Veterans Northeast Outreach Center is buying properties in Haverhill and transforming them into veterans housing.

Enterprise Bank purchases the empty lot of the former Columbia Hotel in Leominster.

Speaking to the Springfield Regional Chamber, Governor Baker  pushes for an expansion of the MassWorks program, citing the projects in Gateway Cities it has supported that have spurred further development.

Banker & Tradesman interviews Lynn TDI Fellow Joe Mulligan.

Living Cities launches a new $31 million Blended Catalyst Fund focused on efforts to build equitable urban economies.

A new Brookings report shows growth in concentrated poverty accelerating in US metro areas. 


Gateway City leaders assemble with MassINC and Clark University for an address by Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Every Child Succeeds Act.

The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus lobbies for more school aid for urban school districts in the House budget.

The Springfield City Council approves the $7 million purchase of a food warehouse and production facility for the city’s schools.

The New Bedford School Committee and City Council will hold an unusual joint session to seek ways to curb the increasing disciplinary problems among students including incidents of violence and bullying in the middle schools.

A new study in Urban Affairs suggests moving to a more affluent neighborhood in adolescence can be harmful for African-American youth. 


Property owners in Barnstable County owe more than $35 million in back taxes. 

Taunton City Council and Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. review four options for a new City Hall. 

State Rep. Brian Mannal of Barnstable announces he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Dan Wolf.

Governing reports on a new study urging cities to focus on reducing OPEB costs rather than unfunded pension liabilities.  

Creative Placemaking 

Salem is getting two new waterfront walkways by this summer, the boardwalk on Salem Wharf and a new pier/walkway at the soon to be dedicated Sarah Remond Park. 

Worcester puts out the welcome mat for food trucks.

Check out the MassCreative forum on funding for the arts, April 5th. 


The state awards $1.25 million to Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke to reduce sewer overflows into the Connecticut River.

Methuen considers steps to rein in how much trash residents can throw away each week, limiting  garbage output to a single 64-gallon container. 


Fall River’s Route 79 reconstruction project expansion, which would open up 10 acres of land to development, makes MassDOT’s new five-year capital investment program plan.

Quincy undertakes a massive overhaul of the Quincy Center MBTA station as part of the downtown redevelopment.

Globe editorial encourages the state to consider privatizing the Worcester airport.  

Public Safety

One month after Brockton introduced a police-assisted addiction recovery program called the Champion Plan, 22 people have been placed in treatment. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno plans to hire 59 new police officers.

Communities & People

Lisa Strattan is named executive editor of the Patriot Ledger of Quincy and the Enterprise of Brockton.

Meet The Author

Our sponsors