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The past month has been an exceptionally dynamic period for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). On May 2, we proudly launched our Regional Councils at the National Press Club. This initiative marks a significant milestone in our revitalized mission to bolster small business support nationwide by partnering with business service providers, financial institutions, and federal agencies. 

In conjunction with this launch, we released a comprehensive factsheet during Small Business Week, showcasing critical data and insights on the current state of small businesses. Additionally, we introduced a new series titled “Equity and Opportunity for All,” aimed at elevating minority-owned businesses. Our first celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month featured a webinar with distinguished experts and thought leaders, underscoring our unwavering commitment to these vital communities. To further support AANHPI businesses, we released a fact sheet detailing the impacts and challenges faced by this community. 

As we move into a new month, we are preparing for the upcoming observances of Pride Month and Juneteenth. These events provide an opportunity to reflect on their profound impact on small businesses and to further increase our support for these essential communities. Equity and opportunity remain at the heart of our mission. In alignment with this commitment, I will be speaking at the Brookings Institution on June 3, participating in a panel discussion that will explore how different racial groups perceive their progress in terms of well-being and economic security. I am thrilled to share the groundbreaking research AEO has conducted, which focuses on a holistic understanding of the challenges faced by minority and underserved businesses. 

At AEO, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs through advocacy, resource provision, and policy initiatives aimed at promoting equity and inclusion. Thank you for being a part of our journey as we strive to make a lasting impact on the small business landscape. 

Warm regards,

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Natalie Madeira Cofield

President & CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity


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Natalie Madeira Cofield is the President & CEO of AEO, the voice of innovation in micro-and-small business in the United States. AEO and its nearly 3,000 members have helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families, and their communities.