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Why now is a good time to start a small business

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Lauren Aleshire, senior communications manager at the Kauffman Foundation, said: “A lot of it is volatility that is likely due to the pandemic and the changes it has brought to the workplace. There are opportunities for people to pursue something different that they may have always had on their minds. ”

Seniors are also increasingly concerned about their financial security, especially as costs rise. We want the money to come in,” says Teitzel.

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But older entrepreneurs may also have financial advantages that younger entrepreneurs don’t, says Suzanne Bergmeister, executive director of the Gilliam Entrepreneurship Center at James Madison University. increase. Social Security retirement benefits and pension payments provide seniors who start small businesses with financial resources to rely on while they wait for their business to take off.

“Having a retirement income makes it less risky to make the leap as an entrepreneur,” says Bergmeister.

It’s not without risks. 74% of new business owners are investing their personal savings, a SCORE survey reveals. About a quarter invest in retirement. More than a third have credit card debt. Nearly a fifth of these startups fail in their first year, according to the Kaufman Foundation.

“What we’ve seen is that a lot of people say, ‘Let’s do this,’ without thinking about what the business plan should be or how long it will take to succeed. That’s it,” says Sherman. “I need to start [a business] you have some knowledge or experience And you need the energy, motivation, and financial ability to sustain that business for at least a year. ”

Organizations can provide resources and support

SCORE is one helpful resource for free mentoring and advice. Other nonprofits, government agencies, and even banks also provide guidance, usually free of charge. The U.S. Small Business Administration, which has small business development centers in every state, offers online step-by-step instructions and free online courses and podcasts. Start and manage your business. Additional support for entrepreneurs over 55 is available from the Over 50 Small Business Resource Center and her AARP Foundation.

Teitzel turned to GetSetUp, a social learning platform for seniors, for help. GetSetUp covers many topics thanks to subsidies from states, healthcare companies, Medicare Advantage Plans, and other backers, and is mostly free to users.

Co-founder Lawrence Kosick says GetSetUp has found a surprising demand for entrepreneurship information in its two years of operation. About 400 people over the age of 55 participated in the first virtual startup accelerator program in June. This program is a Shark Tank-style contest for proposing new business ideas. Five winners each received $2,500 in seed funding.

“Given what older people care most about, we have noticed that financial security has become a more important consideration, in addition to their health and wellbeing,” says Kosick. . “There is a big trend in everything from how to write a business plan, to how to use Excel, to enhancing your current skills. can.”