AARP's Kent Sovern, Attorney Russ Nigut, entrepreneur Rand Richardson and SBA's Joe Folsom and SCORE mentors David Ogburn and Jack Maples at April 8 Des Moines event.

AARP’s Kent Sovern, Attorney Rush Nigut, entrepreneur Rand Richardson, SBA’s Joe Folsom and SCORE mentors David Ogburn & Jack Maples at April 8 Des Moines event.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are again teaming up in Iowa to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month targeted at entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Building on the success of a joint SBA and AARP Mentor Month in April 2013, the two organizations will match “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance.

In Eastern Iowa, the SBA branch office in Cedar Rapids, its resource partner the East Central Iowa Chapter of SCORE and AARP Iowa will conducts a workshop on “How to Research and Buy a Franchise.” This free workshop will be held from noon-1 p.m. April 10 at the Marion Public Library, 1095 Sixth Ave., Marion, and includes a complimentary box lunch. Register here.

Throughout April, SBA district offices, state AARP offices and SBA resource partners are hosting entrepreneur programs around the country.  Events range from speed mentoring and workshops for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners to tips on franchising at programs in Iowa in Marion and Des Moines.

“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.”

“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.

“Encore entrepreneurs” are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States.  A 2010 survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that Americans age 55 to 64 start new business ventures at a higher rate than any other age group, including 20-somethings.

SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.  Go online to www.sba.gov/encore to access the online training and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

For more information, and to register for the Marion event, visit http://aarp.cvent.com/SBAMarion

The central Iowa program was on April 8th at the AARP Iowa State Office and featured information from franchise attorney Rush Nigut (RushOnBusiness.com) about the pros & cons of the Franchise Business Model.