ENCORE ENTREPRENEURS: New SBA resources for boomer startups


The U.S. Small Business Administration has a new package of resources for older entrepreneurs looking to start both for-profit and nonprofit businesses.

“This populace has the wisdom, the know-how, the capital and the ability to work much longer,” said Ellen Thrasher, director of SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Education.

The site, 50-Plus Entrepreneur is targeted to those seeking to start a small business, but offers lots of practical advice for social entrepreneurs as well. For example, people can get help in analyzing their competition, counseling problematic employees, improving cybersecurity, developing a business plan and determining how much insurance is needed. Faith-based organizations are also eligible for assistance.

A self-assessment tool helps people figure out if they’re ready to start something new. In addition, the site offers online training and a resource library that “covers every kind of business topic you can imagine,” said Thrasher. At the bottom of the home page are links to four SBA partners who can provide personalized assistance at no charge:

  • SCORE – This nonprofit association matches business professionals with those who wish advice, either in person or via email. You can schedule appointments online.
  • Small Business Development Centers – Located at colleges and universities, these centers provide business and technical assistance that helps strengthen performance and improves chances of success.
  • Women’s Business Centers – The special needs of women are the focus of these centers, especially those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
  • Veterans Business Outreach Program – Veterans who own or wish to start businesses receive personalized training, counseling and mentoring through this service.