100 fastest growing inner city businesses

8. FutureNet Group
8. FutureNet Group
Perry Mehta, CEO
2009 Revenues: $16.3 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 78%

Perry Mehta
Location: Detroit, MI
Year Founded: 1994

About the business:
In 1994, founder and CEO Perry Mehta noticed that in India, even CEOs of large companies didn't have access to computers. He knew it would take an innovative idea to increase computer access abroad at a large scale. Mehta decided to use $40,000-50,000 of his own money to launch his business in Detroit. Keeping all of FutureNet Group's business overseas, the company began to offer computer education to disadvantaged children in Southeast Asia. Currently, FutureNet Group serves around 20,000 children each day.

After acquiring licenses to do business with local, state and federal governments, FutureNet's operations expanded to the Detroit area. They also began to offer, of all things, environmental and construction services. Air monitoring, road resurfacing, network support, asbestos and lead inspections are just a few of the diverse services FutureNet Group currently provides.

--By Eno Alfred

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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