DE&I Employer Toolkit

Inner City Insights | Anchor Institutions and Urban Economic Development: From Community Benefit to Shared Value


Anchor institutions, such as hospitals, universities, arts and cultural institutions and sports venues, occupy a unique and influential place in America’s inner cities.1 In 66 of the 100 largest inner cities, an anchor is the largest employer. They hold significant investments in real estate and social capital, making it extremely difficult for them to pull up stakes and leave. Anchors can create shared value by embracing their inter-dependencies with their neighborhoods and strategically including community impact in their business strategy.

There are seven capacities in which anchors typically interact with their communities: as a provider of products or services; real estate developer; purchaser; employer; workforce developer; cluster anchor; and community infrastructure builder. In each capacity, the anchor drives value for itself and its community. When the anchor deploys all of these capacities strategically, using the lens of shared value to make all of its decisions, it achieves the greatest economic and social impact on its community.


Company Level:

Large employer (over 1000 total employees)


Informational and Implementation


Related Reading

Supplier diversity is evolving from a check-the-box, corporate social-responsibility requirement to a strategic enabler for the procurement function. Top-performing organizations studied by The Hackett Group…
This reading list contains bestselling books and other highly recommended publications categorized by the topics of inclusion, workplace, cultural intelligence & cultural competency, and bias…
Corewell shares their “why” as improving the health of the communities they serve. They identified people as their #1 strategic enabler for innovation, attracting the…