27. Emma
27. Emma
2010 Revenues: $13.6 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 47%

Clint Smith
Location: Nashville, TN

About the business:
Emma's founders, Clint Smith and Will Weaver, set out in 2001 to solve a problem for small businesses: staying in touch with customers via emails and surveys that have easy-to-use, if complicated-to-code, technology. Emma's founders also wanted those emails to look nice and be customizable so they wouldn't feel like spam.

Over a decade later, Emma has grown to accommodate over 100 staffers in its Nashville location. The company helps employees give back to the community in several ways. For one, it has a program called Emma250, where each employee is given $250 to invest in a charity of their choosing. But Emma also encourages small gifts through charity websites such as kiva.org and donorschoose.org.

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 2012 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. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Staples, New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Companies were ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) based on their revenue over the five-year period between 2006 and 2010, the last year for which complete data was available. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm of Rucci Bardaro and Barrett, PC.
@FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 11 2012: 10:59 AM ET
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