IEDC Announces New Credential, Entrepreneurship Development Professional, and Corresponding Courses

New free webinar on supporting entrepreneurship and economic growth debuts Friday, May 14.
WASHINGTON - May 12, 2021 - PRLog -- The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest nonprofit association for professional economic developers, has launched its newest credential, the Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP).

The EDP credential is designed to build the foundational skills of those supporting entrepreneurship in their communities. Through real-world experience, training courses, and the passing of a rigorous exam, EDPs learn how to help their communities thrive in this unprecedented time and how to lead them through a post-pandemic recovery.

"We started to have the conversation about creating a specialized entrepreneurship-support training and certification in 2018, not knowing what the coming years would bring," said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo President & CEO Tom Kucharski, CEcD. "We know that entrepreneurs and small businesses are deeply challenged and strongly believe that through earning the EDP credential, economic developers and those who support entrepreneurs and small businesses will be able to offer their communities hope for the future."

Along with the EDP credential, IEDC has developed two new training courses that debuted in April: "Introduction to Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development" and "Accelerating Growth through Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development." These courses serve as the foundation for those who seek to build and support communities centered on entrepreneurship, small business creation, sustainability, and growth.

"The post Covid-19 economic recovery offers unique challenges to communities of all sizes," said Maria Meyers of SourceLink, a partner in IEDC's development of the new curriculum. "We are thrilled to have worked with IEDC to develop this dynamic and practical training to help entrepreneurship-support professionals meet the needs of the individuals they serve both now and in the future."

As part of this week's 2021 Economic Development Week celebrations, IEDC will host a free webinar, "The Importance of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems - Building a Supportive Entrepreneur Environment in Your Community," to provide additional information about the EDP designation and the impact of entrepreneurship on economic development.

To earn the EDP credential, candidates must first qualify with at least two years of experience in economic development or entrepreneurial support. Candidates must then fulfill a mix of core course requirements, including the aforementioned new EDP courses, and electives before applying for, and passing, the final exam.

The EDP credential and the two new EDP courses would not be possible without support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Economic Development Administration, and partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City SourceLink.

"The Economic Development Administration continually seeks out ways to build the capacity of economic development professionals," said Angela Martinez, Denver Regional Director of the Economic Development Administration. "This new curriculum and designation will be pivotal to the growth of entrepreneurship support around the country."

"Entrepreneur-focused economic development is one of the most powerful ways to spur economic growth. We are thrilled to support this important initiative, helping entrepreneurial support professionals hone their skills so they can, in turn, help their communities," said Phillip Gaskin, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

To learn more or to register for the EDP credential, visit iedconline.org.

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