Native-Owned Small Businesses Win Top Honors for Urban Economic Growth and Development

The US Small Business Administration has recognized two of its Emerging 200 (e200) initiative participants as being among the winners of the 2009 Inner City 100 competition, which is held by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by HarvardBusinessSchool Professor Michael E. Porter. The award spotlights and supports growing companies in urban areas and highlights the importance of a healthy economy in developing healthy urban communities. Chosen from a pool of nearly 6,500 applicants, the two small businesses recognized from the SBA’s Emerging 200 initiative program are Sacred Power corporation of Albuquerque, New Mexico and FutureNet Group of Detroit Michigan, both of them Native-American owned and operated.

Sacred Power Corporation (www.sacredpowercorp.com) is a 2008 graduate of the SBA’s Emerging 200 initiative with a charter to provide renewable and distributive energy, as well as telecommunications solutions. FutureNet Group is a current participant of the 2009 SBA Emerging 200 initiative that provides environmental and engineering services to protect the environment and support communities.

Winners of the Inner City 100 award were determined in part based on their revenue growth over a five-year period, and must have been headquartered in, or have 51% or more of its physical operations in, an economically distressed urban area.

The SBA launched the Emerging 200 initiative to identify and support inner-city small businesses that have substantial potential for growth and to provide them with executive level MBA-like training, networking, and other resources necessary for success. The intensive and comprehensive curriculum focuses on developing winning, local strategies and attracting capital to fuel growth. Participants work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with banks and the private equity community.

For its e200 initiative, SBA commissioned ICIC to identify the nation’s largest inner city areas (40,000+ inner city jobs) that have experienced flat or negative compound annual job growth rates in recent years. From these areas, SBA selected a representative cross-section to participate in the e200 initiative based on the cities’ interest, demonstrated support from the local community, and capacity to support the effort with SBA District office staff and in-kind support from resource partners. SBA collaborated with ICIC and its network of economic development researchers to establish criteria for the types of businesses that would benefit most from Emerging 200.

In 2009, the Emerging 200 initiative was expanded to include five new cities – Detroit, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, and Portland – in addition to the original 10 participating cities: Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, New Orleans, and Des Moines.