Editor's Memo

We're headed to the inner city to find the hottest urban companies

Any entrepreneur knows the value of a great partnership. Now, BusinessWeek SmallBiz is proud to announce one of our own. For more than a decade, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national nonprofit organization, has produced the Inner City 100, a ranking of the nation's fastest-growing inner-city businesses. Beginning with the 2009 rankings, BusinessWeek SmallBiz will partner with the icic to identify and celebrate these outstanding companies. Already, our staff is getting a crash course in inner-city urban economic development, and, of course, the entrepreneurs who make it all happen. We hope our colleagues at ICIC find it equally stimulating to work with us.

The third member of this partnership is the most important: you. If you lead a fast-growing inner-city company, you can apply to be included in the rankings by visiting icic.org. If you know of other companies that should apply, please steer them that way as well.

As with any collaboration, the proof will be in the pudding: Next summer, we'll be announcing the winners of the 2009 Inner City 100 in SmallBiz, examining the issues these unique entrepreneurs face, and toasting their success at events throughout the country. I hope to see you there.

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