CertUp - EPF Banner

For more information about the foundation, please contact:

Michelle Bauer
Chief Operating Officer

(813) 518-2644


The Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation (TBEPF) was formed in 2018. Its mission is to conduct research and educate our community about issues that affect job creation and economic opportunity in Tampa Bay.

On September 20, 2022, TBEPF launched CertUp Tampa, a multimedia campaign created to promote awareness among residents of East Tampa, Central Park and Ybor City about short-term career training programs for high-demand jobs that offer good pay and great opportunities for advancement with local employers.

About the Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation

The TBEPF is a 501 c 3 affiliate organization of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council (Tampa Bay EDC).  In its current Strategic Action Plan, Opportunity Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay EDC identified Placemaking as one of its top three goals for driving economic growth in the region, along with Business Development and Talent. The Tampa Bay EDC defines Placemaking as an activity centered on driving catalytic projects that will enhance Hillsborough County’s competitiveness as a destination for business and talent, and one that will foster and strengthen vibrant neighborhoods and districts where people will want to live and work.

Since the Tampa Bay EDC’s primary focus is on attracting high-wage, high-skill jobs and capital investment, the organization’s leadership determined that another initiative was needed to address inequities that existed in low income, economically distressed communities in Tampa and Hillsborough County. And it created the TBEPF for that purpose.


The Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation is guided by these leaders serving on its Board of Directors:

Inclusive Economic Growth Strategy

In 2020, the TBEPF and the Tampa Bay EDC began meeting with partners in the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County to understand how best to address income inequality and foster greater investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) and Community Redevelopment Areas (CRAs). Working closely with City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and her economic development team, the Tampa Bay EDC and TBEPF determined that a campaign was needed to capitalize the initiatives required to bring living wage jobs and investment to priority QOZs and CRAs in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

The Inclusive Economic Growth Initiative (IEGI) has a two-pronged strategy for generating greater economic prosperity: creating jobs in economically distressed areas of Tampa and Hillsborough County through awareness of investment and career opportunities.

The Initiative was developed in collaboration with the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Career Source Tampa Bay, and Hillsborough Community College. Its general purposes are to:

  1. Conduct outreach to identify community partners and projects.
  2. Build and market an Opportunity Zones Program by identifying catalytic projects that will generate job growth in QOZs and CRAs including:
    1. East Tampa
    2. Central Park/Ybor City
    3. University Area/Uptown
  3. Develop and promote site-ready initiatives and evaluate projects for catalytic placemaking potential (feasibility & due diligence).
    1. Leverage partner TBEDC’s economic development capacity to drive projects and initiatives in each target area
    2. Utilize network of real estate, development, and finance experts to secure investment.
  4. Develop awareness campaigns to:
    1. Promote the skills development of the local workforce in QOZs and CRAs
    2. Generate living-wage employment opportunities for residents in those areas in partnership with CareerSource Tampa Bay, HCC and local employers.

Prosper Tampa Bay Campaign

In February 2021, the TBEPF established its first capital campaign, Prosper Tampa Bay.

The goal of the Prosper Tampa Bay campaign is to raise $2 million by September 30, 2022 to support the Inclusive Economic Growth Initiative over three years, 2021 – 2023. The Tampa Bay EDC is donating $600,000 in kind over that three-year period to provide staff for the initiative.

Campaign Team


To learn more about the Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation, contact Michelle Bauer at mbauer@tampabayedc.com or call 813-518-2644.

The Tampa Bay Economic Prosperity Foundation is grateful for the support of these generous donors to the Prosper Tampa Bay Campaign:

Ranked among the top 5 large cities to start a business

WalletHub, 2019

EDC Services

Whether you’re relocating your company or expanding your business, our experts can provide the tools and resources you need to thrive.

Latest Tampa Business News

Check out the latest news about Tampa’s talented workforce, growing businesses and recently relocated companies.

What does the Tampa Market Offer?

Find out all you need to know about Tampa’s growing industries, exceptional talent pool and latest cost of living data.

Contact Us

Contact Us