WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rutgers Business School won a prestigious international award for helping small businesses in New Jersey to grow, create jobs and have economic impact. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) gave Rutgers Business School the Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award for the Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI). Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers Business School accepted the award at the 2015 IEDC Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. This 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,” said Lyneir Richardson. 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. “Now we are working on delivering more small business capacity building programs and partnering with other universities to create more entrepreneurs in urban areas.”
EPI was selected to receive this award for its innovative and outstanding achievements, impact on the community and as a model and best practice. According to Richardson, this program has realized a truly transformative scale. CUEED’s entrepreneurs vary from professional services, apparel, food, even distribution and manufacturing. All 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 the first center of its kind in the nation to integrate scholarly works, private industry, government and non-profit sectors to stimulate entrepreneurial and economic growth in urban environments. We support a new generation of entrepreneurs who 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 9 months to help them advance their businesses. At the completion, participants have a 3-year plan to grow their businesses that they can implement. EPI is a collaboration with partners from non-profit, corporate, and community-based organizations.
IEDC is the largest economic development association in the world serving over 4,500 members globally.