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A new career at 50? Go for it

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Are you over 50 and looking for your next career? New research shows that one in four people age 44 to 70 are interested in starting their own business or nonprofit in the next five to 10 years.

Did you know that you are not alone? There are 76 million people over the age of 50 in the United States.

Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. Fifteen percent of workers 45-74 are self-employed. Additionally, 13 percent of those who are current wage and salary workers say they plan to start a business once they retire.

Throughout April, SBA district offices, state AARP offices and SBA resource partners hosted events around the country. Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors with small business experience and entrepreneurs to share information during one-on-one counseling sessions, and workshops for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners. To find a local event near you go to www.sba.gov/mentormonth.

And, SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Go online to www.sba.gov/encore to access the online training and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

There’s no better time to start a business than today. For Americans, especially those over 50, why not make this the start of the next chapter of your career?

Calvin Goings is the regional administrator for the Small Business Association.

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