Woman drawing a business planHave you ever had a great idea for a business but lacked the knowledge of how to write the business plan, the mentorship to get you going, or the money to actually LAUNCH a business? Or, do have a business currently which would really benefit from a small additional financial commitment and a strategy to give you a springboard to that next level of success? If you have faced either of these situations you deserve congratulations on two fronts! First, you are a budding entrepreneur, and second, there is an organization that might be able to fulfill your burgeoning dreams, the Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute.  The Denver-based Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, RMMFI, offers a Business Launch Boot Camps for prospective business owners on a sliding fee scale. In 12 weeks you’ll receive the information, the support, and the access to resources you need to propel your business to greater success. Entrepreneurs in the Boot Camp may be eligible for a loan up to $2,500 to start or enhance their businesses. RMMFI has graduated 7 classes of the Boot Camp, helped to launch 55 businesses, and disbursed over $65,000 in loans to individuals who otherwise would go without access to the necessary business capital.

The AARP Colorado Office with AARP Foundation partners became interested in this program as way to help 50+ potential entrepreneurs realize their goals. This ties into AARP’s program, Life Reimagined, which encourages individuals to look at employment as filling a goal rather than just doing what they have always done employment-wise. Life Reimagined is aspirational, but it is also practical. The hope is that participants can identify their dream with the help of Life Reimagined, and help realize the dream with the help of the RMMFI program. There are wonderful stories, one successful business owner went from unemployment to owning her own burrito cart. Another story involves a church member who started a faith-based travel agency. In 2014, AARP hopes to strengthen ties with RMMFI and provide quarterly scholarships to motivated individuals 50+. Keep watching the e-newsletters moving forward for additional information. Also, if you are outside of the Denver-metro region and know of a similar Colorado-based program, please let us know.

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Photo Courtesy of IStockPhoto.com/Andresr