INNOVATIONS IN MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

In the United States, the microenterprise development field and its trade association, The Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), have defined a microenterprise as a business with five or fewer employees. Many of these businesses have no employees other than the self-employed owners. Additionally, such microenterprises generally need less than $35,000 in loan capital and do not have access to the conventional commercial banking sector. Most organizations in the field also focus their services on those microentrepreneurs who, as defined by federal government standards, are low-to-moderate income. By definition, most of these entrepreneurs are minorities, recent immigrants, women, disabled or for other reasons have special challenges that reduce their ability to access traditional credit and other services.

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