By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your business located in the inner city—or do you know a small business that is? Then you need to know about the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program.

The ICCC is a free program providing Web-based training workshops, a daylong educational program on equity and growth financing, and a one-day event connecting participants with investors including private equity firms, VCs, mezzanine investors and angel investors. The program is hosted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a nonprofit research and strategy organization.

Since the launch of the ICCC program in 2005, nearly 200 inner city companies and 150 equity providers have been selected to participate. Participating companies have raised more than $335 million in capital and grown by an average of 23 percent.

Would you like to be part of the ICCC program next year—or do you know someone whose business could benefit? The deadline for ICCC nominations is September 30, 2010.

Eligible companies must be:

·        Headquartered in or have 51 percent or more of a physical operations presence in an economically distressed urban area.

·       Be a for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship with revenues of more than $2 million in 2009.

More than 250 companies were nominated for last year’s ICCC program. This year, ICCC hopes to select 100 companies for participation from across the country.

For more information about nominating a company for the ICCC, visit