Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) was established in 1980 as a joint venture between the Bermuda Government and three banks: Butterfield Bank, Bank of Bermuda and Bermuda Commercial Bank. Its key objective is to assist the development of a strong, well-managed and successful small business sector in Bermuda by providing existing and potential small business owners with a broad range of business advice and financial assistance.

During its first decade of operation, the BEDC provided general start-up guidance, bookkeeping advice and loan guarantees that served as collateral for bank loans for persons who may have otherwise been declined by a Bank. In the early nineties, as the small business landscape changed and grew from “mom and pop operations” to employing more persons, competition grew and market demands became more complex. BEDC began to offer low cost quarterly seminars and workshops to enable entrepreneurs to educate themselves on relevant topics such as managing cashflow; controlling expenses and overhead; and developing marketing plans and communication strategies.

Over the years BEDC has counseled thousands of Bermudians on starting, expanding, winding up, restructuring, buying, and/or selling a business. An average of 350 private business advisory sessions on an annual basis are offered covering numerous types of businesses.

BEDC's free confidential counseling is offered one-on-one and has, in many cases, ended in the production of a business plan and a BEDC Loan Guarantee used to start a new business. To date, BEDC has supported in excess of $20,000,000 (twenty million dollars) in bank loans through the Loan Guarantee Program, directly assisting close to four hundred business persons.

In 2005, and within the framework of the Social Agenda, the BEDC added three initiatives to its original set of programmes. It was mandated by the Throne Speech to establish economic empowerment zones, a free market vendors initiative, and a small business construction incubator programme.

  • The Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) aim to encourage and protect often overlooked entrepreneurs. The first of these zones has been established in North East Hamilton. Going beyond small business owners, the EEZ focuses on the social, economic, physical, and spiritual development of the North East Hamilton area, its constituents and its visitors. 

  • The Market Vendors, which will be established in a centrally located site. It will allow current Pedlar’s License possessors who sell on the side of the road to meet in one unified location and sell their wares on established market days - where parking and traffic issues are solved.

  • The Small Business Construction Incubator provides support, information, and strength to the country’s small contractors. This free service provides skilled tradesmen the possibility to enhance their business management skills, their power within the industry, and their ability to bid for government jobs.