The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) on May 23rd, 2012 to promote and assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 50-plus age group. Karen Mills, chief of the SBA, revealed the new supportive program at a small business conference hosted by The Washington Post.

The new program may be especially helpful in the next few years due to increased interest in the 50-plus age group for continuing work, or starting new businesses, past retirement age.

In June of 2011, a Gallup poll revealed that 8 in 10 American workers expected to continue working past retirement age – and 36% to 44% of those surveyed stated they expected to continue working because they wanted to, instead of for economic reasons alone. Only 15% of those polled stated that they would stop working because they wanted to.

Additionally, the new partnership between the SBA and the AARP may help to provide assistance to workers in the 50-plus age group who expect to be retiring at age 66 instead of age 60. A Gallop poll in April of 2011 revealed that almost 53% of Americans polled did not feel that they would have enough money to live comfortably during retirement – and only 28% percent of those polled stated they expected to retire before age 65.

For the 50-plus entrepreneur roll-out program, the SBA has created a new section on their website for AARP members interested in starting a new business or expanding their current small business. A few helpful resources available through SBA’s new program include small business financial resources, assistance to help fine-tune existing businesses, professional counseling and help with planning a new small business.

The SBA encourages small business growth for retired entrepreneurs too in a variety of sectors including franchises, creating a business from a lifelong hobby and even purchasing or investing in an existing small business. The SBA and the AARP also have future plans to combine resources and create online training and self-assessment educational programs which will address the unique needs and concerns for entrepreneurs in the 50-plus age group.


J.D. Harrison. “SBA, AARP Form New Alliance to Support ‘Encore’ Entrepreneurs.” The Washington Post (05/22/2012).

Jeffrey M. Jones. “Most Workers Expect to Keep Worker After Retirement Age.” Gallup Economy (06/1/2011).

Frank Newport. “In U.S., 53% Worry About Having Enough Money in Retirement.” Gallup Politics (04/25/2011).

SBA.Gov U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA Programs – 50+ Entrepreneurs:

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