Press Release
November 22, 2011
2 minute read


TRENTON, N.J. (Nov. 22, 2011) –Enhancing Governor Chris Christie’s commitment to economic growth and entrepreneurial development, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently entered into a new contract with UCEDC to further expand the array of training, technical and financial assistance services available to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout New Jersey.

The EDA formed a strategic partnership with the not-for-profit economic development corporation in 2008 to deepen its reach into underserved communities and provide greater access to resources for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 “The Christie Administration understands that small businesses play a vital role in New Jersey’s economy and they have made supporting these important job creators a top priority,” said Caren S. Franzini, EDA Chief Executive Officer. “Through our partnership with UCEDC, the state is able to help fill a gap in the marketplace for very small companies and potential business owners and offer a continuum of support that really can make the difference between business success and failure.”

Over the three-year life of the previous contract, UCEDC trained or mentored over 3,000 entrepreneurs across the state. In 2010, UCEDC marked one of its highest levels of annual lending when it closed on over $1 million in loans.  Of the 45 clients assisted, ten were minority-owned, 19 were women-owned and fourteen were start-up companies.  Through the third quarter of 2011, UCEDC has counseled over 1,500 clients and held more than 50 business training and informational workshops.

“For over 30 years, UCEDC has helped entrepreneurs open their doors, assisted established businesses expand into new markets, and provided technical support to the local business community,” said UCEDC President Maureen Tinen.  “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work with the state to provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow their business in New Jersey.”

UCEDC offers various training workshops that are available in English and Spanish, including a series of courses that help develop financial and business literacy for business owners at all stages of maturation; a comprehensive program that walks entrepreneurs through all aspects of starting a business, culminating in the development of a business plan; and, a year-long quality management systems training program that makes businesses more competitive globally.  All UCEDC clients receive one-on-one business mentoring customized to meet the specific needs of their businesses.  Through its microloans, SBA 7(a) loans and business growth fund, UCEDC also offers a range of financing vehicles to address business needs at every stage of growth.

The EDA serves as New Jersey’s “bank for business” as part of the Christie Administration’s New Jersey Partnership for Action, a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts to grow the state’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. Through the New Jersey Partnership for Action, EDA works in conjunction with the Business Action Center, which reports directly to Lieutenant Governor Guadagno and provides the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with state government, and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout the state.

For more information on UCEDC, visit or call (908) 527-1166. To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.