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Association for Enterprise Opportunity Announces Groundbreaking “Blueprint for Innovations” Event Series

Washington, D.C., July 8, 2024 — The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is proud to unveil its new “Blueprint for Innovations” event series, dedicated to advancing the field of community economic development and fostering the growth and sustainability of small businesses nationwide. This series epitomizes AEO’s dedication to creating blueprints that uncover new opportunities, address significant challenges, and unite key stakeholders to explore and implement pioneering approaches within the ecosystem. 

“Our ‘Blueprint for Innovations’ series represents a pivotal step in our mission to empower small businesses and drive community economic development,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, President and CEO of AEO. “By leveraging the collective wisdom of industry leaders and stakeholders, we aim to uncover and implement strategies that ensure the sustainability and growth of small businesses across the nation.”  

The “Blueprint for Innovations” series offers a wealth of resources and opportunities, including:

Discover Best Practices: Gain insights into the latest discoveries and effective strategies emerging from AEO’s extensive body of work. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge practices that are shaping the future of small business support. This segment will delve into recent studies, pilot programs, and innovative solutions that AEO has identified and cultivated. By understanding these best practices, participants can adopt and adapt these strategies within their own organizations to enhance their support for small businesses. 

Proven Models and Industry Expertise: Explore successful frameworks and benefit from the knowledge and experience of industry leaders. The series will feature sessions that delve into the experiences and innovation impacting communities, providing invaluable knowledge transfer. Attendees will hear from seasoned professionals who have implemented successful business models and community initiatives. These events will cover a range of topics from financial sustainability, operational efficiency, to community engagement, offering a comprehensive view of what works and why. The focus will be on replicable models that participants can tailor to their unique contexts. 

Opportunities to Innovate: Discover ways for you and your organization to actively contribute to AEO initiatives. Engage with ongoing projects, provide input, and collaborate with other stakeholders to help shape the future landscape of the small business support ecosystem. This component of the series encourages interactive participation, inviting attendees to brainstorm, contribute ideas, and work on real-time projects that AEO is spearheading. It’s an opportunity to be part of a collaborative effort, fostering a community of innovation where new ideas are not only welcomed but actively developed and tested. 

This series integrates and amplifies the work taking place across AEO’s various divisions. Utilizing AEO’s recent studies on small business trends and innovative solutions from the research division provides a foundational knowledge base for the series, ensuring participants have access to the latest insights and effective strategies. AEO’s Strategic Engagement division focuses on policy initiatives that work to influence and shape policies at the national level and are crucial in creating a conducive environment for the strategies discussed in the series to flourish. Together, these divisions contribute to a holistic and robust approach, making the “Blueprint for Innovations” series a comprehensive resource for driving sustainable growth and development in small business ecosystems nationwide.  

The “Blueprint for Innovations” event series is set to become a cornerstone of AEO’s ongoing efforts to support small business development and community growth. Join us as we embark on this exciting journey to foster innovation and sustainable development in communities across the country. 

For more information on the “Blueprint for Innovations” series and how to participate, please visit or contact Brendan Landry, Innovations at AEO.

About the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO): 

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the leading voice of innovation for small and minority-owned businesses in the United States. With a mission to create economic opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs, AEO works tirelessly to enhance the capabilities of its members and expand the reach and impact of their work. For more information, visit