100 fastest growing inner city businesses

25. Stroll
25. Stroll
Dan Roitman, CEO
2009 Revenues: $16.7 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 52%

Dan Roitman
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Year Founded: 2000

About the business:
Dan Roitman started his company while he was a senior at the University of Maryland. After stumbling upon a digital highlighter made by a company based in Sweden, Roitman and his professor-turned-business-partner pitched a marketing plan to the company, and they received a small amount of funding to run market tests at different universities.

The company in Sweden eventually decided to pull out of the market, but Roitman bounced back and found new business ventures to delve into. In fact, Roitman soon realized that the market for foreign language audio courses had growth potential and decided to launch a business in late 2002. The product was a hit. The company now sells a variety of self-improvement information products, including personal development and language learning audio books.

--By Eno Alfred and Louisa McCarthy

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
Join the Conversation

The companies on this year's Inner City 100 have managed to build fast-growing businesses in economically depressed cities. Here's how they are doing it. More

Terracycle got its start selling worm poop as fertilizer to the likes of Home Depot and Wal-Mart and has since turned itself into a burgeoning trash-to-treasure emporium. More