December 2


Inner City 100The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that Showcase Realty, owned by Broker in Charge Nancy Braun, was selected for the 2014 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S.

Showcase Realty ranked 9th in the professional services industry category and 57th overall on the list of 100. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities. Showcase Realty, an innovative boutique real estate firm in Charlotte’s Historic South End district located, reported 2013 revenues of $1.5 million and a gross growth rate of 219.5 percent from 2009-2013.

“We congratulate Nancy Braun on her accomplishments and impact in Charlotte while growing Showcase Realty,” said Mayor Dan Clodfelter. “Showcase has been recognized several times as a thriving business with a dynamic owner. Her success demonstrates the countless opportunities available to entrepreneurs in our city.”

Charlotte Mayor Clodfelter
Charlotte Mayor Clodfelter

“It’s an honor to represent Charlotte and the state of North Carolina with this prestigious award, says Braun, whose firm is among a very elite group of companies with the announcement of its ranking of 46th in HousingWire’s Fast50TM. We definitely want to be an example of how a HUB Zone located company can succeed and hopefully inspire other entrepreneurs to start or relocate their businesses in transitioning neighborhoods.”

Nancy Braun Showcase Realty
Nancy Braun Showcase Realty

Braun started Showcase Realty, LLC, in 2008 after working with a large Charlotte real estate office for 12 years. She opened Showcase Realty with one full-time assistant and a part-time bookkeeper with the goal of designing a new model for buying and selling real estate. Braun’s innovative structure maximizes Internet marketing, computer technology, and training to create an ultimate service experience.

Today, Showcase Realty sells more than one home every 16 hours, for a total of 527 properties in 2013. This is nearly a 16% increase from 2012 when 455 homes were sold. Braun is on a mission to help people become home owners & neighborhood revitalization. What’s more impressive than the increase in volume is Showcase Realty’s increase in workforce. 12 months ago, Showcase Realty employed only 19 people, and today, it employs (employees and independent contractors combined) 42. This is a staggering 221% increase in workforce that shows no signs of stopping. Now with offices in Charlotte and Gastonia, Showcase Realty has expanded to more than 40 employees and independent contractors and hundreds of properties.

“Nancy Braun and Showcase Realty have done a remarkable job in the South End area proving that Charlotte and North Carolina are great for starting a business,” says North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. We commend Nancy and her team for the local and national recognition they have earned.”

This year, for the first time in the ICIC list’s 16-year history, the Inner City 100 consists of 10 fast-growing businesses from 10 industry categories. The 10 industry categories are: Construction; Manufacturing; Professional Services; Food and Beverage; Retail; Media and Communications; Software and Information Technology; Transportation and Logistics; Healthcare and Biotechnology; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Applicants ranked according to revenue growth against their industry peers, as well as overall.

The full list of winners can be viewed at

NC Governor Pat McCrory
NC Governor Pat McCrory

The rankings for each company were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Preceding the Awards celebration, winners attended a two-day small business Symposium designed exclusively for urban firms featuring business management case studies presented by Harvard Business School professors and peer-to-peer learning sessions led by CEOs of fast-growing firms. Keynote speakers included Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC Founder and Chairman, Michael E. Porter; Honest Tea Founder and CEO, Seth Goldman; Rapid7 President and CEO, Corey Thomas; Communispace Chairman, Diane Hessan; and Launch Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Fischman.

The Inner City 100 list provides unmatched original data on the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S. In the last 16 years, 805 unique companies have earned positions on the Inner City 100 list, representing 183 cities and 41 states. Chevron Corporation and Staples, Inc. are long-time sponsors of ICIC and the program.

The 2014 Inner City 100 winners represent a wide span of geography, hailing from 53 cities and 23 states. The winners grew at an average compound annual growth rate of 39 percent and an average gross growth rate of 336 percent between 2009 and 2013. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 8,276 people and have created 5,119 new jobs between 2009 and 2013. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, they also help develop their employees – 73% provide business skills training and 69% provide professional development training to all full-time employees.

Highlights of the 2014 Inner City 100 include:

  • Employ 8,276 workers (approximately 35% are inner city residents).
  • Created 5,119 new jobs in the last five years.
  • 25% have woman CEOs. Nationally, only 10% of companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are woman-owned.
  • 35% have a minority CEO. Nationally, only 21% of all companies are headed by minorities.
  • Average company age is 17 years.
  • 39% average compound annual growth rate.
  • Companies generated $42.2 million in 2013 revenues on average and $4.2 billion in the aggregate.

Showcase Realty

To qualify for the Inner City 100 list, companies are required to be an independent, for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship that is not a public company, bank, or a holding company; headquartered in an economically distressed urban area; have at least 10 full-time employees; and a five-year operating sales history that includes at least $200,000 in revenues in the first year of consideration, an increase in year five sales over year four sales, and fifth-year sales of at least $1 million. For the 2014 list, ICIC looked at total revenue growth from 2009 to 2013 and the specific rankings were based on these growth rates. ICIC defines an inner city as an economically distressed urban area that has a poverty rate of 20% or higher, excluding currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students; or a poverty rate of 1.5 times or more than that of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and a median household income of 50% or less than that of the MSA an or an unemployment rate of 1.5 times or more than that of the MSA.

Showcase Realty has grown in many tangible aspects such as revenue, work force, and number of transactions. However it has grown in the community as well. Nancy Braun has always had a special place in her heart for kids. She is a mother of two and knew early on that her drive and passion for business needed to also be balanced with a significant presence in the community.

In 2010, Showcase partnered with REO4Kids and through Nancy’s intense collective effort REO4kids has raised more than $1,000,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs and other children organizations. Braun is dedicated to children in the community and was inspired in 2011 to take on the active role as the Chairperson of the Resource Development/Executive committee and the Advisory Board for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte. Showcase Realty’s continued support of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte is exemplified by its role as the 2013 Corporate Title Sponsor of the Fun Fest at Blakeney Annual Golf Tournament which help raised funds for the nonprofit. Braun is more than a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Charlotte she is committed to its mission: “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national nonprofit founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. Through its research on inner city economies, ICIC provides businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. The organization supports urban businesses through the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programs. Learn more at or @icicorg.

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