Switch to Full View

Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development


Developed with support from the Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and in partnership with SourceLink, two new courses are being added to IEDC’s professional development line-up. They are designed for professionals who work with entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as those that support them via programs, networks and approaches that foster small business and entrepreneurial growth. 

Professionals can also pursue a new professional certification to demonstrate to their peers and community leaders that they have the skills and expertise to make a difference in the community through entrepreneurship-led economic development (ELED). The new credential connects entrepreneurship support, economic development and community development approaches in order to create and nurture thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Who is this for?

For professionals who work at:

  • Economic Development Organizations (EDO)
  • Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESO)
  • City, county, state, or federal government
  • Institution of higher education
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Bank, venture capital, or investment firms

Benefits of new training courses and credential:

  • Learn from experienced entrepreneurship professionals on how to design and implement ELED strategies and learn the tools needed to connect entrepreneurship focused resources in your community.
  • Hands-on and interactive training courses that provide an opportunity to evaluate and develop or build upon ELED strategies for your community.
  • Continued professional development beyond the initial certification to contribute to the development of this new field.

Who would benefit from this new credential?

  • Anyone working with entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, or working to support entrepreneurship in their region.
  • Professionals looking to create or strengthen the entrepreneurial infrastructure in their region
  • Economic developers who want to practice entrepreneurship-led economic development
  • Entrepreneurship support professionals wanting to better understand ELED strategies


University of Missouri-Kansas City SourceLink

Founded in 2003, SourceLink works across the country with economic developers to turn fragmented small business resources into cohesive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems that attract startups, accelerate business growth, create jobs, and develop sustainable partnerships. By connecting entrepreneurs to resources, coaches, funding, education and coordinating events for entrepreneurs, SourceLink helps communities create entrepreneurial ecosystems and jobs in their region.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Focused on entrepreneurship and education, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is among the largest private foundations in the United States. The Kauffman Foundation strives to have a national impact and global reach by working together with communities around the country to create opportunities and connect people to the tools they need to shape their futures and be successful.

Economic Development Administration

The Economic Development Administration's (EDA) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. The EDA has provided funding to develop these courses on entrepreneurship-led economic development.