The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) was established in 1980 as the Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation. This joint venture between Bermuda’s banks and the Government was formed to actively assist the development of a strong, well managed and prosperous small business sector in Bermuda. In 2011, the BSBDC Act was amended to expand its remit. As a result the BSBDC changed its name to BEDC to encompass its expanded legislation. Under the new legislation the Corporation performs the following functions: the granting of loans or other forms of financial assistance, to assist persons in establishing, carrying on or expanding small businesses, medium-sized businesses and entities within economic empowerment zones; the provision of technical advice or assistance to persons who are seeking or who are granted financial assistance; to operate and manage markets; to oversee and manage the development and implementation of the economic empowerment zones; and the maintenance of a Register of Small Businesses, Medium-Sized Businesses and Economic Empowerment Zone Business Entities, Statement of Purpose The maintenance of a strong and vibrant small business sector is critical for a successful economy in any country. This sector is a significant employer of Bermuda's population and a primary driver of innovation and creativity in the provision of goods and services. Thus, for Bermuda to maintain its position as an innovative and successful business jurisdiction, it is vital for the island's economy to be supported and cultivated.