WASHINGTON, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) today announced that Capital One has invested $100,000 in its partnership with AEO and was named as a Silver Anniversary Sponsor of AEO's National Conference and 25th Anniversary Celebration on May 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill.
"We are delighted with the strong partnership that AEO has developed with Capital One," said Connie Evans, AEO's President and CEO. "Their contribution will help AEO continue its critical work of energizing and assisting the industry in efforts to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners. With record economic inequality and rising uncertainty for many families, Capital One is helping the microbusiness industry to leverage resources, practices and solutions to create collective impact and national momentum in support of solo, micro and Main Street business owners."
Moreover, Ms. Evans noted that Capital One is sponsoring a study researching methods that can be applied to improve technical assistance for small business owners, and is hosting the pre-conference Town Hall Meeting on Shifting the Support Landscape for Main Street. Ms. Evans said Capital One strongly supports innovative ideas and new technologies that are assisting the nation's smallest business owners and entrepreneurs all across the country.
"Capital One is committed to understanding the unique challenges that small businesses face -- particularly in an increasingly complex and competitive digital marketplace -- and to delivering solutions that make managing and growing a business easier," said Keri Gohman, Head of Small Business Banking at Capital One. "We're focused on engaging and empowering business owners, and are proud to continue our partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to provide support to programs that help entrepreneurs succeed."
Through its recently launched Future Edge initiative, Capital One will invest $150 million over five years to help more Americans build the technical skills they need to succeed in an ever-changing, digitally-driven economy. Capital One is collaborating with leading educational and community organizations in the Greater Washington region and across the country on three areas of critical need to grow and prosper in the digital age: skills for the 21st century, small business development, and financial well-being.
With the Silver sponsorship, Capital One will share the stage with Conference Chair, Bill Bynum, Chief Executive Officer of Hope and Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Advisory Board, and numerous private sector and non-profit sponsors.
In total, more than 700 industry executives and decision-makers, microfinance practitioners, government officials, small business advocates, and fintech influentials will attend the conference. Through highly-participatory programming and networking-rich opportunities, attendees will engage in substantive conversations about the changing economic landscape, and how it impacts microbusiness.
The event kicks off on May 18th with the pre-conference town hall meeting where business service providers, funders, lenders and other experts will discuss how to transform technical assistance into scalable, sustainable, and high-impact guidance for Main Street business owners. The keynote speech will be on Driving Financial Inclusion through Entrepreneurship. And the Keynote Conversation is entitled, "How Credit Technology is Driving Financial Inclusion?" Two financial executives will discuss the rapid advancement of innovations in financial technology, including the trend of mainstream banks joining non-banking institutions in small business lending.
Panellists and presenters at the conference include Rep. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio); Jane Campbell, National Development Council; Annie Donovan, CDFI Fund; Maya Rockeymoore, Global Policy Solutions; Steve Lafredo, East West Bank; Daniel Delehanty, Grameen America; Janie Barrera, Lift Fund; Jill Johnson, WIBO; Arturo Noriega, Centro Community Partners; Fred Mendez, Union Bank; Tammy Halevy, AEO; Donna Gambrell, AEO Board; Erin Archuleta, Square; Andrea Levere, CFED; Jeanne Wardford, W.K. Kellogg Foundation;Gary Lindner People Fund; Natalie Cofield, Walker's Legacy;Nancy Stark, Capital One; Jamil Poonja,Thumbtack; Tameka Montgomery, Small Business Administration; Claudia Viek, CAMEO; Lauren Williams, CFED; Johnny Price, Kiva Zip; Ray Ocanas, BBVA Bank; Alex Forrester, Rising Tide Capital; Usman Ahmed, Paypal; and Jessica Norwood, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow.
Ms. Evans said that attendees will have opportunities to interact with the participants and other committed industry champions and advocates, as conversations are framed by the conference's theme: EconoCon25: Powered by Inclusion.
"We will be examining the impact of microbusiness through a new lens," Ms. Evans said. "We know that microbusinesses quietly, and without much appreciation, drive America's economic and employment health. But now is the time to shift gears and explore how the economy affects microbusiness. Can we better serve Main Street with fresh ways to engage, collaborate and innovate?"
Ms. Evans said that it is exciting to know that Capital One will be a strategic partner as the industry moves forward.
About Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the voice of innovation in microbusiness and microfinance in the United States. For 25 years, AEO and its more than 450 member/partner organizations have helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO members and partners include a broad range of organizations that provide capital and services to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding their businesses. Together, we are working to change the way that capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can create jobs and opportunities for all. Learn more about The Association for Enterprise Opportunity at http://www.aeoworks.org/
Michael K. Frisby
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SOURCE Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)