AEO’s Reaction to the President’s State of the Union Speech

February 12, 2013

Washington, D.C. – In his State of the Union Address, President Obama articulated a key theme that likely resonated with Main Street entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them: a commitment to invest in our nation’s job creators —the smallest of America’s small businesses.

For more than twenty years, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) has advocated for policy solutions that help underserved entrepreneurs and microbusinesses access the tools they need to grow their businesses and contribute to their communities, add jobs, and impact the nation’s economic and employment health. 

We wholeheartedly agree with the President when he said, “A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs — that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves…How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs?”   

AEO's groundbreaking report, The Power of One in Three: Creating Opportunities for All Americans to Bounce Back, shows that entrepreneurship is a powerful wealth generator.  The median net worth of business owners is almost two and half times greater than for non-business owners.  For an African-American woman, the difference is more than tenfold and for a Latino male, the difference is fivefold.  Clearly, investing in job training, providing access to capital, and expanding business assistance to microbusinesses will give them the tools they need to move our economy forward. 

The President spoke to several themes that AEO supports – investing in our future, taking a balanced approach to deficit reduction, avoiding automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, undertaking broad tax reform, and making America an attractive place for investment. 

AEO will continue to work with the Congress and the President to promote the interests of our nation’s smallest businesses and advocate for policies that encourage entrepreneurship; and we echo President Obama— We can get this done.