Meschke earns Entrepreneurship Development Professional Credential

Meschke EDP Badge

Melissa Meschke, the Economic Development Outreach Manager for the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, has earned the designation of Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The EDP designation requires candidates to have two years of full-time experience in economic development, complete the necessary education requirements and pass the certification examination. It is 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. The 2022 program courses and examination were presented in an entirely virtual format. 

“IEDC’s EDP credential has prepared this next class of professionals to serve and advance their communities. They have demonstrated great dedication and hard work though the completion of the program. This sets the foundation for great success in the future,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle.

Melissa has been in her economic development role with the Institute for almost a year and a half. Prior to that, she led the Small Business Development Center at UW-Stevens Point. Even earlier in her career she worked at a variety of small businesses after college. “My small business roots were planted when I was a kid”, said Melissa, speaking of her time growing up on a dairy farm owned by her parents. “Over the years, I continuously was drawn back to entrepreneurship and economic development and I’m so happy my career has led me to my current position and achieving this designation”, says Meschke.

“Entrepreneurs create innovative solutions to our problems and open business that add joy to local communities. Melissa has acquired the expertise the Institute can use to support economic developers serve their aspiring and growing enterprises. These skills are so important as the economy evolves post pandemic. We are proud to have Melissa as part of our team”, says Bon Wikenheiser, Associate Director of the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship.

The EDP credential is the second certification offered by IEDC, after the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification. The CEcD credential is a comprehensive designation that tests applicants’ general proficiency regarding economic development. IEDC has certified more than 1,100 CEcD and over 30 EDP practitioners.

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest membership organization for economic development professionals. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life in their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, our members represent the entire range of economic development. Learn more at