The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) are launching a strategic alliance to provide counseling and training to entrepreneurs over the age of 50 who want to start or grow a small business. Through SBA’s online training courses and nationwide network of business mentors and counselors, the two organizations expect to train 100,000 “encore entrepreneurs,” men and women over 50 who are starting or running a small business.
SBA has set up a dedicated web page featuring an online self-assessment tool that will help potential small business owners understand their readiness for starting a business as well as information to help with business planning, shaping a winning business idea, professional counseling, financial services and information to find local resources.
SBA and AARP also will jointly develop and host a customized online course, self-assessment and webinar series for older entrepreneurs. SBA already offers a suite of online courses at www.sba.gov/training with topics that include start-up basics, finance strategies, marketing tactics, overseas trade and more.
For more than 70 million Americans over 50, business ownership is a practical option. It can be a second career or a chance to leverage life experiences into an interesting and financially practical “encore” career. “Many baby boomers are working beyond retirement age and choosing to stay active and engaged in the workforce,” Mills said. “For many older entrepreneurs, starting a small business can be an opportunity to transform a lifetime hobby or interest or years of professional experience into a lucrative line of work.”