Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development is honored for success in nurturing small businesses

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rutgers Business School received a prestigious award from the International Economic Development Council for its Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative, a program that helps small businesses in New Jersey to grow, create jobs and have economic impact.

Lyneir Richardson, executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers, accepted the council's Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award during the annual conference of the IEDC in Anchorage, Alaska. The award honors organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities.

"This is a prestigious honor, and we are proud to be acknowledged for having social and business impact,” Richardson said.

Lyneir Richardson, director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development receiving the Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award.

 

Since its launch in 2009 over 180 entrepreneurs have participated in the EPI program. The aggregate impact of these companies exceeds $35 Million in annual revenue. "We are working now to deliver more small business capacity building programs to create and grow more entrepreneurs in urban areas,”  Richardson said.

EPI was selected to receive this award for its innovative and outstanding achievements, impact on the community and as a model and best practice. The program, Richardson said, has realized a scale that is truly transformative. CUEED’s entrepreneurs run the gamut of industry from professional services, apparel, food, even distribution and manufacturing. The participants are first-generation entrepreneurs and most share a commitment to urban revitalization. These entrepreneurs often are located and doing business in neighborhoods that others overlook.

CUEED is currently working to scale up the program to advance investment in more markets.

The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development is the first center of its kind in the nation to integrate scholarly works with private industry, government and non-profit sectors to stimulate entrepreneurial and economic growth in urban environments. It supports a new generation of entrepreneurs who actively seek to start and grow socially conscious ventures fostering urban renaissance. CUEED offers aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners’ access to a broad set of consulting services and resources.  

The Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative provides participants with intensive training, business, financial and peer counseling, networking opportunities and mentoring over nine months to help them advance their businesses. When they complete the program, participants have a three-year plan to grow their businesses that they can immediately implement. This initiative is a collaboration with partners from non-profit, corporate and community-based organizations.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With over 4,500 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.  The IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs, partnerships and influential leaders.  These prestigious awards honor organizations and individuals for their effort in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.    

TAGS: Awards Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative Lyneir Richardson The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development