ABOUT

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation (TCEDC) is to assist local entrepreneurs in taking their ideas from concept to reality, from garage office to Main Street and from relative unknown to a mainstream brand.

TCEDC, working closely with the Oconee Economic Alliance, SCORE and Tri-County Technical College, offers educational programs to entrepreneurs and small businesses. We provide low rent office space for start-ups as well as one-on-one counseling and mentoring services to both new and existing small businesses.

 
Our Team
David Eldridge
Chairman and CEO
Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation 

David graduated from Western Michigan University and performed his military service in the Army Special Forces. His business career began with BF Goodrich, where he served in diverse executive capacities including labor negotiations, regional plant management and relocating manufacturing facilities around the world. The latter began his interest in Economic Development. While having responsibility for corporate training, he received the highest award from the American Society of Training Directors. After a stint in South Carolina heading up Goodrich’s manufacturing facilities in the Carolinas, Dave decided to settle his young family in Columbia. He was involved in a number of small business ventures, as well as managing highly visible political campaigns. He was recruited by Governor West to work with the Department of Commerce, as the Director of the International Division. He was later named Director of Economic Development, a position responsible for all business recruiting efforts of the State. He retained responsibilities for the International offices as well. Dave served a number of administrations, both Republican and Democratic, during his 10-year tenure and organized all trade missions undertaken during those years. He enjoyed recruiting and working with many of the firms that are now major employers in South Carolina such as Michelin, BMW, Fuji Film and Beneteau. Throughout this time South Carolina’s Economic Development Program regularly ranked #1 in the U.S. 

 

Ultimately he was recruited by the State of North Carolina to serve as Assistant Secretary Of Commerce with responsibility for Economic Development. After a successful tenure, Dave returned to the private sector to lead Marketing and Economic Development for Entergy, a major electric utility serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. He most recently retired as CEO of a manufacturing company in Florida. 

 

Dave’s primary volunteer interest is job creation in the Upstate. He is Chairman and CEO of Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation. Aside from his administrative duties, his focus is developing and coordinating training programs through cooperation with Tri-County Technical College and Clemson University. He is also a counselor for the Senior Corp of Retired Executives. Both entities aid emerging entrepreneurs develop the business skills necessary to be successful. He currently serves on the Boards of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, the Ten At The Top Strategic Alliance and is a member of the Oconee Economic Alliance. Dave served as Vice Chairman of the Oconee County Economic Development Commission, a predecessor of the Oconee Alliance. He participated with the steering committee that drafted the latest Oconee County Strategic Plan. 

 

During his career, he received numerous honors for his work in Economic Development. In Arkansas, his program received the prestigious Fulbright Award for the highest level of success in International Business Development. In South Carolina he was honored by Governor Riley with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor accorded to a South Carolina citizen. Recently, the citizen’s of Oconee County chose him as the first recipient of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce Education First award. Dave and his wife Margaret, a retired bank executive, reside in Keowee Key near Clemson. 

Terry McKenney
Oconee Business Center 
Operations Manager

Terry McKenney is the director of the Oconee Business Center. Part of the Oconee Alliance and the Tri County Entrepreneurial Development Corp. He is also the Chair of the Piedmont Chapter of SCORE. Terry was an entrepreneur owning an automobile service business for 36 years. He was also a state legislator and radiohost. In his spare time he was a volunteer EMT and ice hockey coach and referee.

Our Partners

 

The Oconee Economic Alliance is a senior strategic partner of TCEDC and a vital part of our service to the community. The Oconee Economic Alliance is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location.

OEA works with existing primary employers to help them grow in Oconee County. They also attract new companies to locate here and work with community partners to build upon and improve the area’s desirability to businesses and residents.

Learn more about the Oconee Economic Alliance by clicking the icon to the left or by visiting their website at http://investoconeesc.com.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. 

Because SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to a network of 10,000 volunteers, SCORE is able to deliver services at no charge or at very low cost.

SCORE can provide:

  • Volunteer MENTORS who share their expertise across 62 industries

  • Free, confidential business MENTORING in person, via email or by video

  • Free business TOOLS, templates and online tips

  • Inexpensive or free business WORKSHOPS (locally) and webinars (online 24/7)

SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.

As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.

Our local Piedmont chapter has 40 volunteers committed to helping entrepreneurs start a new business or grow an existing business. 

Learn more at www.piedmont.score.org.

The TCEDC conducts free entrepreneur training programs on a regular basis at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, South Carolina.

The “Small Business Start-Up” workshop addresses the early steps involved in starting a small business and is offered to area individuals interested in beginning the process. The workshop is also available for those who are already in business but need to supplement their skills.

Learn more about the Oconee Economic Alliance by clicking the icon above or by visiting their website at https://www.tctc.edu.

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