Mentoring available to help encore entrepreneurs

Stan Nakano
Stan Nakano

Entrepreneurs over 50 constitute one of the fastest growing groups of new business owners in the nation.  For these so-called encore entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship offers a chance to use knowledge and experience they’ve gained during their careers to create new businesses.

This is an exciting area, especially when you consider there are 76 million people over the age of 50 in the United States.

For the new Summer of Encore Mentoring initiative, U.S. Small Business Administration district offices and AARP state offices nationwide will offer events specifically designed to help encore entrepreneurs. The Summer of Encore Mentoring builds on Mentor Day in 2012, which grew into successful Mentor Months in 2013 and 2014.

In SBA Region VIII, a seven-state area that includes Colorado, a Summer of Encore Mentoring training webinar is scheduled for 10 a.m. August 17.

More encore events could be offered throughout the last five months of 2015. With a special focus on entrepreneurs over the age of 50, we’ll be matching up “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business mentors and business experts for advice and assistance.

We know this kind of coaching can be critical for the success of small businesses. It can help folks bring their experience, knowledge and skills to a new venture, which creates exciting new opportunities and job creation.

The number of Americans age 50 plus who are working or looking for work has grown significantly over the past decade and is expected to continue to increase. In fact, 35 percent of labor force participants will be age 50 plus in 2022. This compares to just 25 percent in 2002. Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. Small business owners who get long-term mentoring could see increased sales and hire more workers.

SBA offers free online courses to help encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Log on to wwwsba.gov/encore to access resources. We’ll also host a webinar series for potential and current encore entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.aarp.org/moneywebinars.

Why not make this summer a fresh start to the next chapter of your career?