The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are again teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Building on the success of a joint SBA and AARP Mentor Month in April 2013, the two organizations will match “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/mentormonth.
Throughout April, 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, and workshops for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners.
“The SBA is working hard to increase opportunities for small businesses of the baby boomer generation and we believe 50-plus entrepreneurs will drive significant new business growth in
the coming years,” said Tameka Montgomery, SBA Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development. “SBA is pleased to continue our partnership with AARP, uniting our efforts on Encore Entrepreneurship Mentor Month to help entrepreneurs transform their dreams into a successful reality.”
Mentor Month is an effort by SBA and AARP to provide a range of resources and online tools to entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50. The events will help connect encore entrepreneurs with mentors such as those from SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE chapters who can help throughout the life cycle of an entrepreneur’s business.
“AARP knows that many older Americans pursue entrepreneurship as a way to generate income and strengthen financial security,” said Debbie Banda, AARP interim Vice President, Financial Security. “And for many of these workers, it is also a way to turn a hobby or passion into a paycheck. AARP creates real possibilities by connecting experienced workers with the resources and guidance they need to help start or grow a small business,” Banda added.
“Encore entrepreneurs” are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. A 2010 survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that Americans age 55 to 64 start new business ventures at a higher rate than any other age group, including 20-somethings.
SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Go online to www.sba.gov/encore to access the online training and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.
SBA and AARP are also hosting two webinars in April to help current and potential entrepreneurs. For more information, and to register, visitwww.aarp.org/startabusiness.