FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2014
AARP Media Relations
An Encore for SBA and AARP Entrepreneur Mentor Month in April, with Events around the Country
Collaboration Promotes Entrepreneurship among Individuals Ages 50 and Older
WASHINGTON – Building on the success of last year’s Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month, AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration are teaming up again in April to host similar events targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50.
Last year, the two organizations matched “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. With Mentor Month and other collaborative programs during 2012 and 2013, AARP and SBA already have reached 120,000 people with counseling, mentoring and training resources for starting or growing a small business.
This month, SBA District Offices, state AARP Offices and SBA Resource Partners will host more events around the country. They will include speed mentoring, which allows mentors and entrepreneurs to share information during five-minute sessions, as well as brown bag lunches for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners.
“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.
“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 part of a larger effort by SBA and AARP to provide a range of resources this year to thousands of 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 of an entrepreneur’s business.
According to a recent AARP survey, “Staying Ahead of the Curve 2013: AARP Multicultural Work and Career Study,” 15 percent of workers 45-74 are self-employed. Additionally, 13 percent of those who are current wage and salary workers say they plan to start a business once they retire. Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. Small business owners who get long-term counseling may see bigger sales, hire more workers, and their businesses have more longevity.
AARP and SBA are also producing 10 webinars this year as part of an encore webinar series, with two of them being held in April. For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.