“Building an Inner City Business Database”
Along with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and with initial funding from the Boston Foundation, the Dukakis staff has begun to assemble a comprehensive database of small and medium-sized business operating in lower income neighborhoods throughout the City of Boston.
The purpose of the database is to provide sufficient information on the operations of these enterprises in order to permit venture capital firms, private equity partners, and commercial banks to assess the potential of these firms to grow their businesses with the help of capital infusions and technical assistance. When complete, the database will also serve as a marketing tool which will help connect these inner city businesses to larger institutions in the region which can serve as customers for their products and services.
The project began by culling from InfoUSA data on firms operating in designated areas within the City that might ultimately become listed in the Inner City Business Database. During the summer, a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the Dukakis Center will be contacting these firms through their websites and personal phone calls with owner/managers in order to obtain data on products and services, size of operations, capital needs, technology in place, customer base, and other business information.
All of these data will be carefully collected and reviewed for accuracy, and approved for inclusion in the electronic database that will be made available to possible investors and customers.
By providing this information, it is hoped that these inner city firms will be able to obtain the infusions of capital and technical expertise, along with new customers, to increase their scale of operations and employment.