AARP real possibilities logo                                                       AARP and the U.S. Small     Business Administration will team up again this year to improve the chances for success of “encore entrepreneurs” – people 50 and older who are starting a business – at free workshops in Jackson, Traverse City, Grand Rapids and Lansing during April.

 The joint venture will match older entrepreneurs with successful business owners and community leaders for assistance and advice about such things as creating a business plan, securing financing and effective marketing.

The Michigan workshops will be in:

Jackson from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on April 3 and the Jackson District Library, 244 W. Michigan Ave.

Traverse City from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on April 18 at Northwestern Michigan College, Scholars Hall, at 1701 E. Front St.

Grand Rapids from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on April 23 at Fifth Third Bank Building, Gillette Auditorium, 111 Lyon NW.

Lansing from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 29 at Lansing Community College, 309 N. Washington Square.

This is a national effort and throughout April, which is National Encore Entrepreneur Month, the SBA and AARP state offices will host more than 100 events around the country, providing a range of resources to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50. 

 There is no cost to attend but registration is required and seating is limited.  Register by calling 1-877-926-8300 or online at:  http://aarp.cvent.com/jacksonsba in Jackson; http://aarp.cvent.com/tcsba in Traverse City; http://aarp.cvent.com/grandrapidssba in Grand Rapids; or http://aarp.cvent.com/lansingsba in Lansing.

 “AARP is pleased to be working with SBA on this important initiative to help older Americans get practical information and guidance on starting and growing small businesses,” said Jacqueline Morrison, State Director of AARP Michigan.

“Many new entrepreneurs are saving their best acts for their encore performance. They’re using their decades of expertise and their connections to start new businesses and to finally pursue that venture that has been stirring in their dreams for all these years.”

 Studies have shown that one in four individuals ages 44 to 70 is interested in becoming an entrepreneur and 63 percent of Americans plan to work during retirement.  Small business ownership is a good option for these baby boomers.  Small business owners with long-term counselors see bigger sales, hire more workers and have more longevity. 

 Resources are available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50 at www.aarp.org/startabusiness