AEO and Partners Launch “One in Three” Alliance to Unleash the Job Creation Potential of One Million Microbusinesses in the U.S.
Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders® program provides technical assistance to U.S. microenterprises through an exclusive partnership with AEO.
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2012 - The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) announced today that it will launch a national campaign and alliance to bring capital and much-needed business development support services to one million microbusiness owners in the United States.
In conjunction with its One in Three campaign, AEO, its campaign partners, and members are piloting a new technology platform to bring working capital loans and much needed services to underserved entrepreneurs and communities.
Microbusinesses (companies with five or fewer employees) make up nearly 90 percent of the nation’s businesses. In fact, if one in three microbusinesses hired an additional employee, the United States would be at full employment.
“For too long, microbusiness owners – the backbone of our communities – have been overlooked,” said Connie E. Evans, AEO’s President and CEO. “This campaign and the work being done by organizations around the country will change the way that capital and services flow to underserved entrepreneurs so that they can grow and hire.”
The new technology platform, is powered by a venture-backed technology company that has created an innovative online platform to provide working capital loans to businesses. In addition to accessing capital through the platform, microbusinesses and the organizations that serve them can also request technical assistance and capacity building from campaign partner Bankers without Borders® and its reserve corps of more than 8,500 skilled volunteers.
“What people in the world want most is a good job. Bankers without Borders® is proud to be part of this initiative dedicated to growing microbusiness and job creation in the United States,” said Shannon Maynard, Director of Bankers without Borders®. “Our pro bono consultants understand the capacity challenges facing the microenterprise sector, ranging from strategic planning and fundraising to market research and product development.”
The launch of the campaign and alliance will take place at AEO’s national conference, “The Power of Microbusiness” to be held from 30 April – 2 May 2012 in Washington, DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
About the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity is the voice of microbusiness in the United States. For two decades, AEO and its more than 400 member 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. To learn more about AEO or the One in Three Alliance, please visit www.aeoworks.org.
About Grameen Foundation and Bankers without Borders ®
Grameen Foundation helps the world's poorest – especially women – improve their lives and escape poverty by providing them with access to appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique income-generating opportunities. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; Kenya; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
Since its inception in 2008, Bankers without Borders has pioneered the use of skilled volunteers in the social sector and has cultivated a volunteer corps of more than 8,500 highly-skilled professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Bankers without Borders® strategically connects volunteers to various microfinance, technology-for-development, and social enterprises to eradicate global poverty. For more information, visit www.bankerswithoutborders.com or follow on Twitter @GrameenBwB.