Over the past three decades, AEO has been a driving force for policy and innovations that directly impact Main Street businesses. Now let’s celebrate and envision the future!

July 20, 2022

National African American Smithsonian Museum

Washington, D.C.

This one-day symposium will pay tribute to the progress made by AEO and other ecosystem actors in equitable entrepreneurship, while supporting existing entrepreneurs and shaping the path forward.

Gala + Symposium Free to Members

AEO considers the safety of all those onsite at the 30th Anniversary Symposium & Gala as our top priority including our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and event staff. In an effort to host a safe and productive event, we pledge to follow all guidelines and requirements set by state and local authorities as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Please note, these guidelines and requirements may change from time-to-time, so be sure to check back often.

Premium and Core AEO members will enjoy an exclusive experience, with the option to attend in person or via our VIP virtual platform.

In-person attendees will also receive a beautiful swag bag of sponsored items, opportunities to network with other AEO members, participate in interactive activities, and get to be up close to some of the top leaders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Best of all, it’s 100% free to Premium and Core members. Space is limited so don’t wait, register today!

For non-members who would like to view the symposium, we will provide a live stream of the event in partnership with Roland Martin.

*Please note that all in-person attendees must be vaccinated and boosted for Covid-19. The events will be mask optional.


Impact 30 is a dynamic experience, and you’ll want to be where the action is.

Join AEO’s room block at the JW Marriott Hotel today for $289.

Accommodations fill up quickly, so be sure to secure your room while space is still available.


The Anniversary Symposium

We are building an exciting agenda to maximize your symposium experience with incredible speakers to ignite your mind and spirit. In the meantime take a peek at the distinct topics that will shape the entire symposium: 

The symposium will feature a robust content lineup of fireside chats, panels, innovation sessions, product launches, and more. Attendees in the VIP virtual platform will also have access to amenities such as networking features and  daily giveaways. Be sure to check back soon for more details. 


AEO Takes Over the National African American Smithsonian Museum

This exclusive celebration combines the charm of DC’s small business community with the grandeur of the Smithsonian.

We’ve prepared an dazzling night of:

  • Epicurean culinary experiences
  • Immersive activations
  • Niche small business vendors
  • Live band performances
  • Plus more

To top things off, we will host private tours for our VIP attendees. You don’t want to miss this night!




Livestream Views

Every organization that is doing the work of championing equitable financing and microbusiness growth should be connected to AEO and aligned with AEO’s voice as we continue to expand the microbusiness ecosystem and drive innovation within it. Why? We are doing the work and embodying the ideals we champion, from the diversity of our staff to the broad perspectives of our symposium speakers.

This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your company’s commitment to a fair and inclusive landscape for our country’s smallest yet mightiest businesses. Thousands of lenders, nonprofit and for-profit service providers, advocates, policymakers, funders, investors, and fintech influencers are convening to network and collaborate on ways to create a sustainable future for Main Streets across the country. 


Please request our sponsorship prospectus.

2020 Conference Highlights

Want to find out if AEO’s symposium is right for you? Take a look at some of the rich conversations and diverse voices from our 2020 event.

Thank you Connie Evans and AEO Team for a wonderful event.

Luz Urrutia

CEO, Accion Opportunity Fund

Phenomenal work on the conference! I am immensely proud to be part of this industry and to have AEO represent small businesses.

Theresa Bedeau

Director, Community Impact & Investment Small Business, Capital One

Great job AEO team! I was inspired by all of the panelists.

Jenny Flores

Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy, Wells Fargo