Select Page

Eastern Kentucky University

College of Business

Business 5 CEDET



CEDET promotes economic and technological development by linking the resources of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) with the needs of communities, businesses, industries, and institutions in the region.

The Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET), located in Eastern Kentucky University’s Business and Technology Center, provides assistance to businesses, organizations, industries, and communities to aid in their development.

Learn more about our on-campus incubator.

CEDET’s Work Involves:

  • New Economy Business Assistance
  • Rural Business Development
  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Strategic Planning
  • Grant Opportunity Identification and Writing
  • Partnership and Collaboration

CEDET uses the resources of EKU to provide technical assistance, training, applied research, and collaborative relationship building to:

  • Create jobs
  • Promote the use of technology to enhance competitiveness
  • Promote community and economic development activities
  • Encourage partnerships that support community and economic development
  • Support the development of entrepreneurial ventures
  • Assist businesses and industries to become more competitive
  • Serve as a point of contact for information and assistance
  • Conduct applied research supportive of economic development initiatives


While Eastern Kentucky is CEDET’s primary service area, our services are not restricted to that area of Kentucky. However, priority is given to projects that benefit economically distressed areas of Kentucky. Priority is given to projects that will provide the maximum benefit to the neediest areas.

Regional Stewardship

Connecting to the Community

EKU’s Office of Regional Stewardship seeks to connect the resource of EKU to the needs of communities. CEDET works in partnership to offer Entrepreneur Academies in the service region, and has created the Financial Literacy Training Program to serve low to moderate income families in Eastern Kentucky. The Center for Finance will be a clearing house for trainers to connect with the community-based partners and to facilitate financial literacy training.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan, developed in collaboration with EKU’s Regional Stewardship Advisory Board following the conduct of community needs assessments throughout EKU’s 22-county service region, establishes the following goals for EKU’s Regional Stewardship Program:

  • Goal 1: improve student performance within K-12 schools through the delivery, or coordination of the delivery, of educational services, based upon each individual school’s distinct needs.
  • Goal 2: increase the value placed by community members on education, and community members’ involvement with each community’s K-12 schools.
  • Goal 3: deliver, or coordinate the delivery of, non-educational services (wherever possible) to school sites, based upon each individual community’s needs.
  • Goal 4: engage the youth of our service region’s communities in stewardship initiatives and their communities.
  • Goal 5: increase EKU faculty, staff and student engagement in regional stewardship initiatives.

CEDET Projects

  • Recently Announced the EKU Financial Literacy Certificate program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury. This program is the first university accredited train-the-trainer program in the country for financial literacy that targets low to moderate income communities. To receive a certificate, EKU students will have to partner with a community organization and deliver, three, one-hour training sessions in an area of financial literacy.
  • CEDET is currently offering an 8-week entrepreneur training academy in Powell, Estill, and Garrard Counties. This program will continue until late March. We are establishing two more programs in Boyle and Lincoln Counties that will last mid-April to June.
  • Established the Leadership Estill County Program that is currently taking 12 participants. This is a leadership development program.
  • March 4, 2010 research was completed at Marcum and Wallace Hospital by an EKU graduate class to determine training needs for 14 managers. Also a customized leadership and technology training course was developed for the managers at the hospital.
  • Conducted a feasibility study to renovate the Mack Theatre in downtown Irvine, Kentucky. This project will wrap up at the end of July 2010 with a comprehensive report being presented to leaders in Estill County.
  • CEDET serves on the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Board as a consultant to re-activate the chamber. Also, CEDET is establishing a newsletter, chamber programming, and updating the website. A grant was recently brought to attention that will enable the Chamber to establish a business mentoring program for high school seniors. CEDET will be writing this grant on behalf of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce.

Division for Regional Economic Assessment and Modeling (DREAM)

EKU’s Division for Regional Economic Assessment and Modeling (DREAM) is built on the premise that all communities, regardless of budgets or resources, deserve access to high-quality economic and social research. 

DREAM was founded by Dr. James Maples and Dr. Michael Bradley in 2020 and funded by EKU’s Board of Regents Innovation Fund to provide affordable economic impact studies, feasibility studies, needs assessments, program assessments, marketing/customer surveys and more to all communities throughout Eastern Kentucky, Central Appalachia, and beyond the Commonwealth. 

DREAM’s Founding Director, Dr. James Maples, has conducted nearly seventy economic impact studies across the nation and is an expert in the economic impact of outdoor recreation. His previous research in places like Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and West Virginia’s New River Gorge supported positive and exciting economic policy and growth through accessible data and affordable research. Likewise, DREAM’s affiliated faculty are each experts in their field ready to help your community today. 

If you are interested in discussing a potential study, DREAM would like to help you! Contact Dr. Maples with questions and ideas at


DREAM directly collaborates with community members and stakeholders, providing a variety of services crucial to spark and sustain development. DREAM’s research is founded on the principle of accessibility. Rising to the task and promise of EKU Sociology to improve communities through social science, our research is both personal and affordable.

At the heart of intellectual innovation, we offer specialty services and expertise in working with both rural and urban economies, wherein high-quality research design, analysis, and reporting are offered and customizable to any community or business needs. Services we offer include, but are not limited to:

Economic impact studies        Feasibility studies
Visitor experience studies      Social return on investment (SROI)

Needs assessments         Recreation studies
Tourism studies           Cost-benefit analyses

Likewise, we can design studies that cater to your unique needs.

Our work is Personal.

Here at DREAM, individuals, communities, and businesses have the opportunity to take an active role in the research process. Studies are completed with special consideration of people and place. Understanding your community’s unique history, situation, and needs will always be at the core of what we do so that our data is united with a greater purpose. From the idea to the finished product, researchers at DREAM are here to ensure that your visions are never clouded by miscommunication or using a one size fits all approach.

Our work is Affordable.

We believe that society’s most pressing challenges must be solved with spirit and ingenuity, not exclusivities. DREAM is here for any and all people, communities, or businesses with a need for scientific research– without hindering client progress to achieving their projects’ goals. Contact us today to set up a consultation and secure a quote on your idea!


DREAM is actively engaged in research studies across our region and nation. Our public-facing studies will be listed here as they are completed.

Economic Impact of Rock Climbing in Wyoming’s Lander Region

Copy of Report
Video of presentation

Wyoming’s Lander Region, home to the annual International Climber’s Festival for 20 years, contains an exciting climbing area experiencing rapid growth. This study examines visitation and expenditure patterns for climbers visiting this area while also examining the economic impact of the annual festival.

Economic Impact of Rock Climbers in Bishop, California

Copy of Report
Video presentation
Bishop, California’s thriving bouldering and climbing community represent an important part of how recreation users engage this high desert terrain. This study quantifies rock climber expenditures before, during, and after COVID-19 and explores how closures impacted visitation and expenditure patterns in 2020.

Sheltowee Trace Trail Town Use and Expenditure Patterns

Copy of Report
Video presentation
The Sheltowee Trace is a 300+ mile National Recreation Trail travelling from Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee to northern Rowan County, KY. The Trace goes through the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls State Resort, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, and numerous other natural areas in our state. This study examines Sheltowee Trace recreation user expenditure patterns in six trail towns in Kentucky.

Economic Impact of Rock Climbing in the Red River Gorge

Copy of Report
Video of presentation
Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is a globally-famous rock climbing destination. This study updates the findings of a 2015 study examining the economic impact of climbers in this region.

Leave No Trace Knowledge among Rock Climbers

Copy of Report
Video of presentation

Understanding how outdoor recreation users impact the areas where they recreate is an important part of land management. Leave No Trace ethics, a set of seven common-sense principles, have helped minimize user impacts for decades. In this study, our team utilizes a new measure of rock climber’s Leave No Trace knowledge to understand how climber education programs may help minimize climber impacts.

Contact Us Today!

Justina Naomi Keathley

Ms. Justina Keathley
Operations Coordinator

Office BTC 147

College of Business

521 Lancaster Avenue
BTC 214, Business and Technology Center
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-1409 (For general inquiries)
Fax: 859-622-1413

Connect with Business @ EKU