100 fastest growing inner city businesses

12. Prairie Quest
12. Prairie Quest
Stacey Smith, CEO
2009 Revenues: $2.6 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 72%

CEO:
Stacey Smith
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Year Founded: 2004

About the business:
Prior to founding consulting firm Prairie Quest, president and CEO Stacey Smith worked in the space shuttle program in Florida.

With her space program days behind her, Smith spent a few years working at a financial services firm before making the leap into the entrepreneurial world and launching Prairie Quest. The company is located in a "historically underutilized business zone," also known as a HUBZone, in Fort Wayne and tries to hire inner city residents. Smith takes pride in her staff and plans to make Prairie Quest an employee-owned operation in the future.

--By Eno Alfred and Mack Davidson


The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. For the 2011 list, ICIC received more than 2,000 solicited nominations using its database of small businesses and through the support of its nominating partners, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Staples, and the Small Business Administration. Companies were ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) based on their revenue over the five-year period between 2005 and 2009 (the last year for which complete data was available).
Last updated May 18 2011: 5:14 PM ET
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