Connie Evans



President and CEO

Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)


Connie E. Evans is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the national trade association for microbusiness representing over 1700 practitioners and advocates in the U.S.

Evans is a visionary leader, strategist, and social entrepreneur. In 1986, she founded the Women’s Self-Employment Project, the first and largest urban microbusiness development organization in the U.S. Evans also pioneered the creation of Individual Development Accounts—one of the first matched-savings programs in the country. An international development consultant with over 25 years of experience, Evans has worked with the World Bank, several Presidential administrations, and a host of local government, private, and independent sector organizations. Evans has made historic achievements, including becoming the first African-American Woman to be elected to the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She has also served on the CDFI Advisory Board, and as a member of several delegations to the United Nations

With international experience spanning 43 countries, Evans has lectured in numerous universities and frequently speaks at conferences around the globe. She has earned many distinguished awards, including: the inaugural Twink Frey Social Activist Award (1999), and the Gloria Steinem Woman of Vision Award.

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