AEO Report Library

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The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success

The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success This groundbreaking report explores the diversity among Black business owners in the U.S. and illuminates several key findings about the important role that Black owned businesses have played in the U.S. economy, and the expanded role they could play given the right support.





A Larger View of the Small Business Market: Tapping the Power of Big Data Analytics

Tapping the power of Big Data analytics to examine—for the first time—the size and structure of a critical but underserved market: small businesses in low-income communities.






Reimagining Technical Assistance: Shifting the Report Landscape for Main Street

This report provides insight on what the support landscape should look like in order for microbusinesses in low-wealth communities to grow and hire. We assessed the needs of business owners, compared those needs to the current landscape of available support, and proposed a new approach to fill the support gap.





Linking Young Adults to Microbusiness: Providing New Pathways to Economic Opportunity

With headlines nationwide raising concern about disaffected youth, particularly in minority communities, AEO has released a timely report that outlines the critical need for the microbusiness industry to mobilize NOW to assist young adults in getting on track to economic livelihood. The report, funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, reveals that almost one in two youth, aged 18 to 24, currently not in school and unemployed or underemployed, are highly interested in starting their own business, but don't know how. We can help them do that and more.


Linking Young Adults to Microbusiness: A Supplement Guide 2017

Linking Young Adults to Microbusiness: A Supplement Guide 2017In this follow up report to "Linking Young Adults to Microbusiness," AEO identifies the highest potential opportunities to significantly increase the odds of success for youth ages 15-24, through an entrepreneurial training strategy.





Micro Capital Task Force: Moving Money to Main Street

The American dream is out of reach for millions of Main Street business owners who are not able to access capital or support on the path to capital for their businesses. Hard work alone will not solve the problem given the current path of financial institutions and other market players, even with strong support from a range of community-based institutions. Solving this problem requires the emergence of a new financial system for Main Street.


Recognizing this massive market failure, AEO, the national trade association for U.S. microfinance and Main Street businesses, formed a private multi-stakeholder task force to present fact-based and practical recommendations to the White House, the Department of Treasury and the Congress regarding access to capital in amounts of up to $250,000 for the smallest businesses. In parallel, AEO commissioned Ira Lieberman, one of the pioneers in scaling microfinance internationally, to draft a strategic plan to scale Main Street microfinance in the United States.



Bigger Than You Think: The Economic Impact of Microbusiness in the United States

AEO embarked on a two-year study to build the data and the evidence base that documents the economic impact of microbusiness in the United States. This report, Bigger than You Think: The Economic Impact of Microbusiness in the United States, is one of a series from that research.

The evidence gathered through AEO’s efforts goes far in filling the gap in the paucity of data on microbusinesses and paints a compelling portrait of a remarkably vigorous microbusiness community that plays an essential role in American economic productivity. Furthermore, in the current economic slump, microbusinesses have demonstrated a surprising resilience that contains lessons for accelerating the national economic recovery. And not least, microbusinesses demonstrate great success in spreading business participation and productivity across the economic spectrum, nurturing opportunity across gender and race barriers.



Microbusinesses in the United States: Characteristics and Sector Participation

Microbusinesses in the United States: Characteristics and Sector Participation provides analyses by business size, business sector, gender, race, ethnicity, and veteran status along with detailed insights about microbusinesses. It allows for a close examination of three key observations that, if pursued with further research, could lead to programs and outreach activities that might greatly enhance the competitiveness of microbusinesses. These key observations are as follows. First, microbusinesses are well represented in business sectors that have a below-par performance. Second, microbusinesses are not well represented in business sectors that have a high performance. Third, whenever microbusinesses perform well and are well represented within a business sector they do not perform at par relative to their non-microbusiness counterparts.

This report opens the door to further investigation of the findings within key sectors by occupation and position in the value chain of the industry to better understand how microbusinesses might position themselves to obtain greater business success.




Microbusinesses in Georgia: Characteristics and Economic Impact

Interestingly, not much seems to be known about the characteristics and the economic impacts of microbusinesses, the topic of this study. The authors of this report were tasked to analyze these aspects for the state of Georgia. Below we will analyze microbusinesses in Georgia in terms of their number and proportion, their sales and receipts, and their annual payroll by business sector, based on the Survey of Business Owners (SBO) 2007, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

We will discuss general differences between microbusinesses and non-microbusinesses regarding their numbers, sales and receipts ratios, and annual payroll ratios, differentiating among business sectors. More specifically, we will also discuss differences between female- and male-owned microbusinesses and non-microbusinesses, and White and non-Hispanic microbusinesses versus non-microbusinesses. We conclude with a summary and suggestions for future research efforts.



One in Three

If one in three microbusinesses in the United States hired an additional employee, the US would be at full employment. Read the seminal report that serves as the basis for the One in Three Alliance and  AEO's commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. Read the report and join the Alliance!

One in Three Report

Visit the One in Three website and join the Alliance



One in Three: The Power of One Business

Microbusinesses make up almost 90 percent of the nation’s businesses. In spite of their numbers, these businesses rarely make headlines. Yet their potential for impact is undeniable: today they create jobs for more than 32 million people. With access to the right mix of capital and resources, these businesses could be the engine of job creation and economic recovery. In fact, if one in three microbusinesses hired an additional employee, the US would be at full employment.

That’s a powerful notion. Just one person with an entrepreneurial spirit can create a job by starting a business. And that business, when supported, can grow and create additional jobs.

AEO spent one year engaging with underserved entrepreneurs around the country to better understand who they are, what motivates them to start and grow businesses and what they need to succeed.




The Big Green Opportunity for Small Business in the U.S.

AEO, Green America, and EcoVentures International (EVI), with support from eBay and the UPS Foundation, completed a national survey of business owners and produced a groundbreaking report. The purpose of the survey was to identify and quantify “green” opportunities for the smallest of businesses and to identify barriers to action.

Results from the survey are invaluable to refine existing programs and to uncover demand for new financing mechanisms, programs and tools to help the smallest of businesses fully capture their green opportunity.

The results are published in the report "The Big Green Opportunity for Small Business in the U.S."