AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration will team up again during National Small Business Week to honor the contributions of the nation’s small businesses, and to provide business startup advice for “encore entrepreneurs,” those over the age of 50.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills and AARP President Robert Romasco will have an armchair discussion at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas, to share the tips, advice and resources available to those over age 50 who want to start or grow a small business. It is one of four National Small Business Week events being held throughout the United States June 17-21, 2013.
Romasco serves as AARP’s principal volunteer spokesman, representing the association to its members and the public. His professional career includes tenure as senior vice president of customer, distribution and new business development for QVC, Inc., executive vice president and chief marketing officer for CIGNA, Inc., and president and chief executive officer, J.C. Penney Insurance.
SBA and AARP joined forces last year to reach out to baby boomers and provide training and mentoring services for older entrepreneurs to start or grow their small businesses and create jobs.
The two organizations expect to counsel 100,000 encore entrepreneurs, and recently held National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month in April to train men and women over 50 who are starting or running a small business. More than 100 events and webinars were held in April, reaching almost 16,000 people. To date, the SBA/AARP alliance has reached almost 50,000 current and aspiring 50+ entrepreneurs with counseling and training programs.
For more than 70 million Americans over 50, business ownership is a practical option. One in four individuals ages 44 to 70 is interested in becoming an entrepreneur and 63 percent of Americans plan to work during retirement.
SBA developed a 50+ toolkit, at www.sba.gov/encore, that includes an online self-assessment and other free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.
The training courses include profiles of successful entrepreneurs, recommended action steps, and information on licensing and financing. AARP resources can be found at www.aarp.org/startabusiness.