LANSING, MI – Responding to the growing number of older Michiganders seeking to start their own businesses, AARP Michigan, teaming up with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), will host “encore entrepreneur” events in four cities during April.
The encore entrepreneur workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in:
-- Grand Rapids on Friday, April 5 in the Gillette Auditorium at the Fifth Third Bank Building, 111 Lyon NW.
-- Jackson on Friday, April 12 in the Carnegie Auditorium at the Jackson District Library, 244 W. Michigan Ave.
-- Traverse City on Friday, April 19 in Scholars Hall at Northwestern Michigan College, 1701 E. Front St.
-- Lansing on Friday, April 26 at the Lansing Community College, Small Business & Technology Development Center.
“AARP supports developing opportunities for older Americans to pursue entrepreneurship as a means to generate income, boost financial security and assist others in meeting needs,” said Jacqueline Morrison, State Director of AARP Michigan. “AARP creates real possibilities by connecting experienced workers with the practical information and guidance they need to start or grow a small business.”
AARP and SBA are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month in April targeted at individuals over the age of 50 who want to start or grow their own business. Building on the success of a joint AARP and SBA Mentor Day in Detroit and other cities last October, the two organizations will match these “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance.
Throughout this month, AARP Michigan and other AARP state offices, SBA District Offices and SBA Resource Partners will host more than 150 events around the country. Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors and entrepreneurs to share information for five-minute sessions, and mentor lunches for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners. For an interactive map of events nationwide, go to www.aarp.org/startabusiness.
“Many new entrepreneurs are saving their best acts for their encore performance,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “They’re using their decades of expertise and their rolodexes to start new businesses and to finally pursue that venture that has been stirring their dreams for all these years. The SBA and AARP are once again focusing our efforts during Encore Entrepreneurship Mentor Month to help transform those dreams into a reality.”
Mentor Month is part of a larger effort by AARP and SBA to provide a range of resources to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50 this year. The events will help connect encore entrepreneurs, and individuals interested in becoming one, 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.
Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. One in four individuals ages 44 to 70 is interested in becoming an entrepreneur and 63 percent of Americans plan to work during retirement, according to the website http://www.encore.org/.
AARP and SBA are also producing two webinars this month to help current and potential entrepreneurs. For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness. You may also go online to www.sba.gov/encore for other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.