Association for Enterprise Opportunity (Washington, DC)


  • Name:Ms. Connie Evans
  • Title:President and CEO

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Association for Enterprise Opportunity
  • Address:1111 16th Street, NW
    Suite 410
    Washington, DC 20036
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:202.650.5580
  • Main fax:202.650.5599

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Direct phone:202.650.5580- 51

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • AEO creates economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs. AEO's mission is to support the development of strong and effective US microbusiness initiatives to assist underserved, low-income entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding businesses.

  • History:
  • For more than two decades, AEO and its more than 400 member organizations have helped millions of individuals enter the workforce through self-employment contributing to economic growth through entrepreneurship, while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO members and partners include a broad range of organizations that provide entrepreneurial education, capital and services to assist aspiring underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding their businesses. Our work is focused in three areas: 1) advocacy; 2) member services; 3) industry-wide initiatives.

    Long before microenterprise, what we now call microbusiness, captured the imagination of the general public, AEO was working with its members to improve the policy environment and channel resources to meet the needs of underserved entrepreneurs left out of the mainstream.

    AEO has become an anchor for the field providing training, support, advocacy and resources for new and established microbusiness development organizations across the country. Historically, AEO has been a source of funding; for example, $1.4 million dollars in technology and equity awards to over 600 low-income, disadvantaged entrepreneurs; grants to microbusiness development organizations totaling $19 million dollars to improve and expand vital programs and services to distressed communities and entrepreneurs. Further, AEO provided grants and national project management to 15 AEO member organizations in rural communities that provided entrepreneurship education and other development services in 41 counties and 243 towns, and assisted 1,058 businesses.

    Under new leadership since 2009, AEO has broadened its focus from engaging primarily with non-profit microbusiness development organizations to working on behalf of underserved entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs by actively engaging with the full range of relevant stakeholders. No single actor or group can solve the complex challenges of availability and access that they face. These businesses (or actually, the people behind them) hold the power to get America working again. Their potential for impact is undeniable: today they create jobs for more than 32 million people and with access to the right mix of capital and resources, these businesses could be the engine of job creation and economic recovery.

    For the last year, AEO has sought to understand the system in which underserved business owners operate. We started from the perspective of the business owners. Who are they? What do they need? We pored over data—much that others have seen and some that we collected for the first time. We talked to owners and experts. We then turned to the organizations that we know best: hundreds of non-profit organizations around the country that provide services and capital to business owners and aspiring business owners. We talked to the leaders who seek to improve their communities and the lives of the people in them. We talked to their partners, investors, and funders. We also joined forces with the Nonprofit Finance Fund to analyze the financial health of their organizations. And when we thought we saw a path forward, we began to engage other partners who are equally committed to uncovering opportunities to better reach underserved businesses and business owners. Together, we launched the Catalyst Initiative, a suite of programs and partnerships to better reach underserved entrepreneurs and help the leadership of domestic microbusiness development organizations prepare for inevitable change.

  • Year established:1991
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:20
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:8

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • Julie Abrams, CEO, Women's Initiative;
    Leslie Benoliel, Executive Director, Entrepreneur Works;
    Shari Berenbach, Diector, Office of Microenterprise Development, USAID;
    Daniel Delehanty, SVP, Community Development Banking, Capital One;
    Connie Evans, CEO & President, AEO;
    James Gutierrez, Founder, Progreso Financiero;
    Patricia Harris, Vice Chair, CEO, The Edge Connection;
    Jennifer Henderson, CEO/Manager, Strategic Decisions, LLC;
    Steve LaFredo, Vice Chair, Director of Commercial Banking, Citibank;
    Gary Lindner, Chair, President & CEO, People Fund;
    Rohan Matthew, Executive Director, The Intersect Fund;
    Nell Merlino, President & CEO, Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence;
    Luis Mora, Executive Director & Founder, Finanta; Andy Posner, Co-founder and Director, The Capital Good Fund;
    Mark Quinn, Assistant Professor, Conrad Hilton Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, Xavier Univ.;
    Melanie Stern, Secretary, Senior Program Officer, National Federation of Comm Development Credit Unions;
    Jim Thomas, Founder and CEO, Community Capital Development; Claudia Viek, CEO, CAMEO;
    Patricia Williams, Treasurer, President, Callouch/Williams & Associates; Samira Cook Gaines, Director, Washington, DC Women's Business Center

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Connie E. Evans, President and CEO

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Garvester (Gar) Kelley, SVP for Sustainable Practices,
    Tammy Halevy, SVP, Membership and New Initiatives
    Matt Crandall,
    Marketing Manager


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:363834357

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:363834357
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:1310 L ST NW STE 830
  • Organization City:WASHINGTON
  • Organization State:DC
  • Organization Zip:20005-4543
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:July, 1997
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):559
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Advocacy Attempt to influence public opinion concerning Other matters
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:T70Z
  • Asset Amount:$4,382,602
  • Asset Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$3,608,487
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$3,608,487
  • Last Updated:2/18/2018 10:05:09 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.