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HP and AEO Announce Recipients of HP Technology Grants Supporting Microenterprise Development
HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program to provide access to information and communications technology and training for sustainable growthAEO CONFERENCE, PORTLAND, Ore., May 11, 2005
HP and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) today announced nine recipients of technology grants in the new HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program.
AEO is the leading industry association representing microenterprise development organizations in the United States. All nine recipients are members of AEO's nearly 450-member association.
The HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program provides microenterprises in underserved communities with access to technology and training to help them manage and grow their businesses. A microenterprise is a business with up to 10 employees that typically require minimal start-up costs.
The program is part of HP's e-inclusion initiative, which helps underserved communities bridge the digital divide and gain access to greater social and economic opportunities. E-inclusion underscores the significant role that technology can play in achieving sustainable economic growth in underserved communities, particularly when implemented in collaboration with local communities, the public and private sectors and non-government organizations.
The HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program will draw on the company's expertise as the leading technology provider to the small and medium market to understand the day-to-day operational challenges facing microenterprises. Since 2002, HP has committed $8 million in similar programs in the United States to organizations that have demonstrated how technology can help microenterprises grow and thrive.
"HP's e-inclusion initiative focuses on achieving sustainable solutions for all involved - for communities and for HP," said Bess Stephens, vice president, Philanthropy and Education, HP. "Through our multi-year programs to infuse technology into the work and lives of people in underserved communities around the world, we have found that the resources and energy directed toward small business development and the fostering of entrepreneurship has yielded significant positive results for both individuals and communities."
HP is also expanding the Microenterprise Acceleration Program beyond the United States with the expected opening this year of several training centers in underserved communities in Europe and Africa.
Nine U.S. nonprofits awarded grants
Supporting the growth of microenterprise development agencies is an important step to supporting the growth and success of microenterprises, whose long-term success is critical for job creation and income generation in underserved communities.
HP selected the following nonprofit microenterprise development agencies to receive a 2005 Microenterprise Acceleration Program grant to expand access to technology for their microenterprise clients:
Each recipient will receive technology equipment, cash, services and support valued at up to $200,000, depending on the specific equipment awarded. Equipment contributions will be based on a thorough technology assessment of the local agencies to select a technology solution designed to meet the specific needs of the local service provider. These solution packages may include desktop PCs and monitors, notebooks, printers, servers, scanners, digital projectors, digital cameras, HP iPAQ pocket PCs or media workstations.
In addition, HP will provide an innovative, experiential-based training curriculum that helps entrepreneurs learn valuable information and communications technology skills while applying technology to solve business problems.
"It has been tremendous to see the impact the HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program has had on previous grantees and their clients. To visit some of the grantees and witness, first hand, what they have been able to accomplish with the new technology has been inspiring," said Bill Edwards, executive director, Association for Enterprise Opportunity. "By example, the HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program is helping to change the way that many other microenterprise organizations across the nation are using technology."
Also at the conference, HP and AEO will highlight a new online store where AEO members can purchase HP products for their organizations at a discounted rate. AEO receives a commission on each HP product sold through the store, while member organizations receive an AEO rebate in addition to their discount.
The store was launched as a pilot project in November in response to requests from previous grant recipients whose clients wanted an easy way to purchase the same HP technology available for use at their microenterprise development organization. The online store is expected to launch to the broader industry this summer.
More information about the HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program and about HP e-inclusion is available online at http://www.hp.com/e-inclusion/MAP.
AEO's mission is to support the development of strong and effective U.S. microenterprise programs to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding businesses. To learn more about AEO or microenterprise, please visit http://www.microenterpriseworks.org.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2005, HP revenue totaled $81.8 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.