WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) today named William (Bill) Bynum, an acclaimed pioneer in development and rural finance programs, the Conference Chair for its 25th annual conference here May 18-20. AEO's EconoCon25: Powered by Inclusion will engage public and private sector leaders in discussions on how the changing economic landscape provides challenges and opportunities for the nation's smallest businesses.
Connie Evans, AEO's President and CEO, is delighted to have Mr. Bynum serve as Conference Chair. "We have secured a Conference Chair who brings prestige and recognition that honors our 25 years of service," Evans said, noting that with more than 450 member/partner organizations, AEO is the voice of microbusiness in the United States.
Mr. Bynum, is CEO of HOPE, a credit union (Hope Credit Union), loan fund (Hope Enterprise Corporation) and policy center (Hope Policy Institute) that are dedicated to improving lives in the Mississippi Delta and other distressed regions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He is a former member of the AEO Board of Trustees, and a strong supporter of the nation's Main Street and community businesses.
"AEO and its members serve a vital role in assisting business owners on Main Street, in neighbourhoods and small communities who too often are overlooked," Mr. Bynum said, citing the jobs these businesses create in urban and rural communities. "AEO's EconoCon25 conference will be critical in shaping public policy and energizing lenders, entrepreneurs and business owners. As a charter member of AEO's board, I am honored to work with AEO to help make this milestone conference our best yet."
More than 700 industry executives and decision-makers, microfinance practitioners, government official, small business advocates, and fintech influentials will attend the conference at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. "Through highly-participatory programming and networking-rich opportunities," Ms. Evans said, "we will engage in substantive conversations about the changing economic landscape, and how it impacts microbusiness."
Ms. Evans said that attendees will have opportunities to interact with Mr. Bynum and other committed industry champions and advocates, as conversations are framed by three key themes: engagement, collaboration, and innovation.
"It really is time to examine the impact of microbusiness through a new lens," Ms. Evans said. "We know that microbusiness quietly, and without much appreciation, drives 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?"
She said Mr. Bynum's success exemplifies how innovative thinking can lead to successful enterprises. For more than three decades. Mr. Bynum has worked to advance economic opportunity for disenfranchised populations.
Mr. Bynum's Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union provide affordable financial services; leverage private, public and philanthropic resources; and engage in policy analysis to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid-South. Since 1994, HOPE has generated over $2 billion in financing and related services for the unbanked and underbanked, entrepreneurs, homeowners, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and other community development purposes. Collectively, these projects have benefitted more than 650,000 individuals throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Moreover, Mr. Bynum has advised Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama on financial service matters, including serving for ten years as Chairman of the Treasury Department's Community Development Advisory Board. He currently chairs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Advisory Board. Other board/trustee service includes the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Corporation for Enterprise Development and National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
"We are pleased to have Bill at our side as we embark with the industry on charting new strategies that will help microbusiness grow and revitalize Main Streets and communities," Ms. Evans said.
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
SOURCE Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)