SBA & AARP: The Summer of the Encore Entrepreneur

It’s the season for empowering Encore Entrepreneurs: Those at least 50 years of age, an entrepreneur or business person who wants to start a small business or expand an existing business.

Encore Entrepreneur Blog Photo

According to a study by Met Life Foundation, approximately 25 million people, one in four Americans ages 44-70, are interested in starting their own business or nonprofit within the next 5 to 10 years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have teamed up to promote one-on-one business services and on-line trainings to Encore Entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a small business. This alliance has a goal to train 100,000 Encore Entrepreneurs. They are calling it the “Summer of Encore Mentoring.”

“AARP has been a great partner in helping Encore Entrepreneurs, not just to retire, but also to rewire,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

“These entrepreneurs more often have the experience and wisdom to reach for their dreams of running a small business, and we want to help them reach that dream and change the world.”

A survey of 1,400 business owners who incorporated their business in 2012 found that two-thirds of respondents were over the age of 60. Ten percent of these entrepreneurs had started five prior companies.

The reasons for baby boomers starting a second career are obvious. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60 percent of the country’s workforce is currently made up of senior employees, soon to be aging out of their current workplace.

Further, baby boomers suffered financially during the last recession, losing 25 to 28 percent of their median net worth, according to a 2013 study by Pew Charitable Trusts. With longer life expectancies and better health in later life, the Encore Entrepreneurs are starting businesses that can deliver a paycheck.

To learn more about the SBA’s Encore Entrepreneur program, visit

To take the Encore Entrepreneurship for Women online course, visit:

Whether or not you’re over 50, Pathway Women’s Business Center is an excellent place for business training and mentoring. Check us out at or call (615) 425-7171.