2023 AEO National Conference

May 1 - May 3
Detroit, Michigan


AEO’s 2023 National Conference, (Re)route: Reconnecting the Ecosystem, is a rally point for small business advocates, microlenders, and small business owners to propose practical and policy solutions that can catalyze tangible progress toward economic inclusion for all. Including small business owners for the first time in AEO’s history, this year’s conference will feature working groups on critical topics, tailored tracks for business owners and practitioners, and insightful plenary sessions.

In the spirit of re-routing, AEO is headed back to Detroit, a city known for its resilience and transformative innovation. As we immerse in this hub of ingenuity, AEO will chart a new course toward actionable strategies that unify key actors to bring about deep and lasting impact for Main Street.


The following items are included with in-person conference registration:

  • Admission to all in-person general sessions and workshops
  • Admission to plenary sessions
  • Access to luncheons and networking breaks
  • Admission to Awards Gala and Awards Cocktail Hour
  • Admission to Small Business Expo
  • Daily coffee breaks and light refreshments in the Expo Hall
  • 2023 AEO Conference Program Guide
  • 2023 AEO Conference Bag
  • Complimentary shuttle service between hotel and special events

Early bird registration ends on April 1st.
Register now to secure the lowest rate available.


The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center will serve as the official hotel for (Re)route: Reconnecting the Ecosystem. Located in Downtown Detroit, the Renaissance Center is right along the waterfront in the heart of the entertainment district.

You can join AEO’s room block for a rate of $215 through April 17. Accommodations fill up quickly, so be sure to secure your room while space is still available.


This year’s AEO Conference will take place in Detroit, Michigan at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

Detroit is the country’s largest Black-majority city, boasting 50,000 Black businesses along with thriving Arab American and Latino communities. A city that embraces risk-taking entrepreneurs and creative incubators, Detroit is the ideal place to host this year’s conference as we share innovation across the ecosystem.


Post pandemic, small business owners and business support services face a myriad of growing challenges including cashflow shortfalls, supply chain disruption, inflation, higher interest rates, a looming recession, and staffing challenges for small businesses and practitioners alike. The ecosystem has become fractured and siloed since the pandemic and as a result, there is no holistic approach to solving these challenges that harnesses resources and ideas across the ecosystem. The time is now for us to reconnect through shared vision and synergized innovation around these vast and complex problems. For the first time ever, AEO’s Annual Conference is bringing together the entire ecosystem—including small business owners—to remedy the side effects of the pandemic and the instability left in its wake. For travel preparation considerations, conference regional meetings and events will commence on 5/1. Additional details will post weekly.