The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), Bank of America, FORTUNE and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are proud to announce that they have selected three Phoenix-area companies for their annual Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. This year the program received a record-setting 5,200 company nominations from across the country and selected 178 companies for participation. Especially critical in today’s economic climate, ICCC identifies inner city businesses in need of growth capital, educates them on the sources of capital, and matches them with capital providers in order to grow their businesses and create jobs.
The three Phoenix-area companies selected include:
- 360 Vantage, 360vantage.com
- Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc, cplc.org
- Welch Companies Inc, welchcompanies.com
Each of these companies was selected for the program because of its strong growth potential and commitment to the inner city.
ICCC, co-founded with Bank of America, educates inner city entrepreneurs on how to access capital and matches them with capital providers. To do this, the program offers selected companies web-based training workshops, coaches to help perfect company pitches, a day-long information session on equity and other forms of growth financing, and an innovative one-day event that directly connects them with investors to make pitches and discuss potential opportunities.
“There is a lack of capital availability in America’s inner cities,” stated Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC President and CEO. “In fact, 71 percent of inner city businesses have, on average, only a quarter of the capital needed to compete on average in their industries. For many urban entrepreneurs, ICCC helps open the door to a network of financial options that they had limited or no access to previously.”
The program is free to the inner city businesses, and 178 companies from across the country have been selected to participate in this year’s program. To qualify, a business must be located in the inner city (defined as an area of concentrated economic distress) or have a disproportionate percent of its employees residing in such an area. In addition, a company must have $2 million in revenue. The companies selected for the program represent numerous industries including technology, food and beverage, consumer goods, business and professional services, and manufacturing.
Since its inception in 2005, 375 inner city companies and 150 capital providers have participated in ICCC. Participating companies have raised more than $703 million in capital and created more than 5,694 jobs in their communities.
“ICCC demonstrates that growing inner companies, if given the access to capital, can generate the jobs and wealth that are crucial to the transformation of our urban communities,” explained Edward Powers, Managing Director of Bank of America BAML Capital Access Fund. “We are proud to help these growing businesses connect with a vast network of capital providers.”
The meetings with potential investors will be held on November 9, 2012 at the headquarters of FORTUNE.