November 2, 2020

Small Business Development Center director receives designation of Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council

Andy Donahue, Small Business Development Center director at the University of Wisconsin-Superior earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.  

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) administered the first ever virtual CEcD exam October 3 and notified candidates of their results October 9. With over five years of economic development experience, Donahue has been instrumental into the entrepreneurial success of Northwest Wisconsin.

“Partnerships and collaborations are at the forefront of the work that we do,” said Donahue. “During these times of COVID, it is instrumental to work together as a community ecosystem in order to help our local entrepreneurs survive and then thrive. Attaining this designation shows the value that the Small Business Development Center has in cultivating a thriving entrepreneurial culture in Northwest Wisconsin.”

The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession. Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination, which has three parts and spans two days. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in key areas of economic development such as business retention and expansion; finance & credit analysis; marketing and attraction; strategic planning; entrepreneurial & small business development; managing economic development organizations; neighborhood development strategies; real estate development & reuse; technology-led economic development; workforce development strategies; and foreign direct investment & exporting.

As highly competent economic development professionals, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.  Excellence in the economic development profession improves the wellbeing, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. There are currently over 1,100 active CEcDs in the United States.

In September, Donahue received the Small Business Association’s 2020 Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award.

UW-Superior Faculty/Staff



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