Regional Councils Summit - All SpeakersThe Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s (AEO) “Leveraging Regionalism to Empower Small Businesses Summit is taking place on May 2 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. This groundbreaking event will convene experts, thought leaders, and stakeholders to delve into strategies aimed at fostering small business growth within diverse regional landscapes. Summit sessions will take attendees on a journey that addresses the needs of small businesses from national, state, and local perspectives.

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As we kick off this transformative event, we invite you to join us for a Fireside Chat featuring Natalie Madeira Cofield, President and CEO of AEO, and Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Together, they will delve into the crucial role of small businesses in regional economies and discuss the importance of regionalism in today’s context. This thought-provoking discussion promises to illuminate the essential connection between national objectives and regional initiatives, setting the stage for a day of insightful exploration and actionable strategies.

Transitioning from our keynote session, we move into our first panel discussion, “State Economic Development Panel.” Here, industry experts will share their insights on navigating the complex terrain of the small business ecosystem at the State level. From regulatory challenges to financial accessibility, this panel will offer a comprehensive examination of the hurdles and prospects defining small businesses within different States. Join us as we uncover innovative methodologies and optimal practices for fostering a conducive environment for small enterprises, providing attendees with practical insights to drive sustainable growth and prosperity.

Continuing our journey, we shift our focus to local economic development with our next panel discussion. “Local Economic Development Panel” will explore the profound impact of adopting a local-centric strategy in empowering small businesses. Through real-world case studies and actionable strategies, our expert panelists will highlight the critical importance of understanding and addressing the unique challenges and opportunities facing small businesses within their specific community contexts. Whether you’re a service provider, funder, or policymaker, this session offers invaluable insights into fostering more inclusive economic growth and vibrant local economies.

Wrapping up our summit, we turn our attention to a conversation on Sustainability and Inclusion for Small Businesses. In an era of transformation, the focus on environmental sustainability and social inclusion has never been more pressing. Join us as we explore why small businesses must lead the charge in driving meaningful change and adapting to evolving societal expectations. Gain exclusive access to forthcoming insights from AEO, and together, let’s provoke thoughtful discourse and inspire concrete actions towards fostering a resilient, equitable business landscape.

As we embark on this journey together, let’s seize this opportunity to engage with industry leaders, foster collaborative dialogue, and drive impactful change. Join us at the Small Business Empowerment Summit and be a part of shaping a brighter future for small businesses and communities alike.

RSVP today to add your voice to the conversation.