About AEO

About Us

 

 

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the leading voice of innovation in microfinance and microbusiness in the United States. Since 1991, AEO and its member and partner organizations have helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO's more than 1,000 members and partners include a broad range of organizations that provide capital and services to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding their businesses. Together, we are working to change the way capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs and opportunities for all.

AEO's work focuses on three main areas:

  1. Research and insights on underserved entrepreneurs to create actionable impact.

  2. Innovations that support access to capital for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.

  3. Advocacy efforts to ensure the availability of capital and technical assistance to entrepreneurs nationwide.

Mission & Vision

 

AEO’s mission is to create economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs by supporting the development of strong and effective initiatives to assist them in starting, stabilizing and expanding businesses.

AEO’s vision is for every individual in the U.S. to have access to resources and services for creating wealth, assets and healthy communities through business ownership.

Strategy & Impact

 

AEO and its members and partners are helping to build a vibrant microbusiness sector served by a broad range of institutions and sustainable providers of business development and support services.

AEO’s strategy includes three pillars:

  1. Strengthen and restructure the microbusiness field to serve as a robust source of sustainable products and services to an increasing number of underserved entrepreneurs.

  2. Link the needs of a growing microbusiness sector to an ecosystem of market partners for greater economic impact.

  3. Catalyze new solutions and the rapid adoption of standards and innovation by microbusiness development organizations to drive transformation in the field.

AEO has had a significant impact on the microbusiness sector, including:

  • AEO members have helped more than two million entrepreneurs create jobs for themselves and their communities.

  • AEO has secured more than $1B+ federal dollars for microbusiness industry participants since 2001 through policy advocacy efforts.

  • Through AEO-managed programs, member organizations have received $20 million in private funding to improve/expand vital programs and services to underserved entrepreneurs and distressed communities.

  • AEO research and initiatives have shaped policy and practice toward opportunity, industry transformation and financial inclusion. 

Recent News

February 20, 2018
Today in Washington
President’s Day Recess – Congress is out of session for the week, and will to Washington on Monday, February 26.

February 15, 2018
Today in Washington
SBA Nominations Hearing – Yesterday, the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing on the nominations of David C. Tryon as Chief Counsel of the SBA Office of Advocacy, and Hannibal M. Ware as SBA Inspector General.

February 14, 2018
Today in Washington

February 13, 2018
Today in Washington
White House FY19 Budget Released – Yesterday, President Trump released his FY19 Budget Request. As a reminder, the President proposes, Congress appropriates.

February 12, 2018
Today in Washington
White House FY2019 Budget Request – Today, the White House is expected to send its FY2019 Budget Request to Congress. We will provide a breakdown once it is publicly released.

February 9, 2018
Today in Washington
Budget Watch: After missing the midnight deadline and a brief partial government shutdown, Congress passed a two-year budget agreement in the early hours of the morning.

February 8, 2018
Today in Washington
The Budget – Wait and See: The Senate is set to take up a bipartisan spending agreement this morning that would raises existing budget caps on defense and non-defense spending and suspend the debt ceiling until March 2019.

February 7, 2018
Today in Washington
All Eyes on the Senate – Yesterday, the House passed a continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 23. Today, the Senate hopes to reach a similar budget deal.

February 5, 2018
Today in Washington
Short Week for Congress – Congress is scheduled to adjourn on Wednesday for the Democratic legislative retreat.