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Published on June 29th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Jumpstart Your Entrepreneurial Dream Today with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and AARP

By Cassius F. Butts, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Entrepreneurs over the age of 50 are one of the fastest growing groups of new business owners.  For age 50+ individuals, entrepreneurship offers an opportunity to use your knowledge and experience that you’ve gained during your life experiences toward creating a new business that can be rewarding in many ways.

This is an exciting entrepreneurial time for people age 50+, especially when you consider that there are 76 million people over the age of 50 in the United States.  For the new Summer of Encore Mentoring initiative, SBA district offices and AARP state offices nationwide will offer events specifically designed to help encore entrepreneurs—those age 50 and older who want to start or grow a small business. The Summer of Encore Mentoring builds on the successful Mentor Day, which occurred in 2012, and grew into successful Mentor Months in 2013 and 2014. Summer of Encore Mentoring events are scheduled for June, July and August, 2015. Additional encore events are offered throughout the year. With a special focus on entrepreneurs over the age of 50, we’ll be matching up “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business mentors and business experts for advice and assistance.

We know this kind of coaching can be critical for the success of a small business.  It can help folks bring their experience, knowledge and skills to a new venture, which creates exciting new opportunities and job creation.

The number of Americans age 50+ who are working or looking for work has grown significantly over the past decade, and is expected to continue to increase. In fact, 35% of U.S. labor force participants will be age 50+ in 2022. This compares to just 25% in 2002.  Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers.  Small business owners who get long-term mentoring may see increased sales and hire more workers.

Throughout June, July, and August, SBA district offices, state AARP offices and SBA resource partners will host events around the country.  Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors with small business experience and entrepreneurs to share information during one-on-one counseling sessions, small business webinars, and workshops for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners.  To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/encore.

SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.  Go online to www.sba.gov/encore to access online training and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

The SBA also be hosting a national webinar series to help current and potential encore entrepreneurs.  For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/moneywebinars.

There’s no better time to start a business than today.  For Americans, especially those over 50, why not make this Summer your time to start to the next chapter of your career.

 

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