Best Practices

Celebrating Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development this Economic Development Week

Published May 10, 2021 by Maria Meyers

EDW 2021


Jeff FinkleAccording to my friend Jeff Finkle (pictured right), president of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), “Supporting entrepreneurs and small-business owners with creating and growing their local companies is a crucial part of economic development.”

We couldn’t agree more. The future of community and economic development is based on the success of local entrepreneurs and their ability to transform their local economies.




That’s why we’re joining the International Economic Development Council in celebrating National Economic Development Week, May 9-15.

IEDC 2021 EDW Logo

Now in its sixth year, National Economic Development Week was created to recognize the unique role community and economic developers play in creating vibrant and strong economies. As part of this week, we want to highlight just a few important activities for development practitioners to become engaged with entrepreneurship-led economic development.

This spring we partnered with IEDC on the creation and launch of a new Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP) Certification, funded by the Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. This new certification is the best way to learn how to engage in entrepreneurship-led development.

I invite you to join me, PennyWebinar Participants Lewandowski, Angela Martinez and Philip Gaskin on Friday, May 14 for a free webinar to hear about the new certification and why entrepreneurship-led development is such an exciting and important part of an economic developer’s work right now. Details and signup are available here: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems - Building a Supportive Entrepreneur Environment in Your Community.

This week, we’ll be celebrating economic development thought leaders nationwide who have paved the way for this new certification and who personally inspire us with their entrepreneurship development efforts. Be sure to watch our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to catch Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Ed Javier, director of Entrepreneurship for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, to name just a few.

Most importantly, however, this week is a celebration of your hard work supporting and growing your companies through an unprecedented pandemic. Thank you to the many unsung economic developer heroes and heroines who have provided resiliency within their communities this last year—and who are now moving our communities forward during the COVID-19 recovery.


Maria Meyers, founder of SourceLink
Maria Meyers is the founder of SourceLink and executive director of the University Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center. Maria’s approach has always been to first identify gaps, then inspire networks to create new programs, improve existing offerings and recruit outside support to meet the changing needs of the ecosystem.