Friday, June 10, 2016

SBA and AARP Renew “Summer of Encore Mentoring” for Older Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are renewing their “Summer of Encore Mentoring” educational events targeting entrepreneurs over the age of 50 who want to start or grow their small business.  Building on the success of last year’s “Summer of Encore Mentoring,” the SBA and AARP will match encore entrepreneurs with successful business owners, community leaders and advisers for advice, counseling and training assistance during the months of June, July and August 2016.
 “The face of entrepreneurship is changing in America and more of those faces today belong to entrepreneurs over the age of 50.  Here at SBA, we are focused on building ladders of opportunity that are open, accessible and available to all entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “We are fortunate to have a great partner in AARP, which has been dedicated to helping those over 50 take control of their future.”
The “Summer of Encore Mentoring” will consist of nationwide events that pair encore entrepreneurs with experienced small business mentors.  The events will also help connect encore entrepreneurs with mentors from the SBA’s resource partner network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE chapters who can help with every stage of a business’ life cycle.
Local area events can be found at www.sba.gov/encore
The “Summer of Encore Mentoring” is a collaboration between the SBA and AARP to promote entrepreneurship among individuals ages 50 and older.  The joint partnership, which began in 2012, has educated and trained over 475,000 existing and promising encore entrepreneurs. 
“AARP is delighted with our ongoing relationship with the Small Business Administration. This collaboration enables us to offer resources and education to help the 50-plus create businesses and jobs in their communities,” said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President of AARP Community, State, and National Affairs.
Senior entrepreneurs are an enormous force in the economy and surveys have shown that over 60 percent of Americans plan to work during retirement.  For many, small business ownership is a good option.  More than half of all U.S. small business owners were age 50 and older in 2012, up from 46 percent in 2007, and business owners who receive long-term counseling see bigger sales, hire more workers and have more longevity.
The SBA and AARP have also dedicated online resources developed to help encore entrepreneurs start or grow a small business.  To learn more about these encore entrepreneurship resources, visit www.sba.gov/encore or www.aarp.org/StartaBusiness .

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