Two weeks ago, Encore Tampa Bay hosted an event in our community called Encore Connect: Your Roadmap to What’s Next with over 260 people in attendance. The event was created to help mid-life adults (and beyond) connect to resources, organizations and experts that could help them along their “encore journey”. What we heard LOUD and clear was that a key pillar for this new world of “retirement” turns out to be work and continued income. Recent research shows that over 57% of recent retirees have less than $25,000 in retirement savings. That same research shows that it’s taking over 40 weeks for older workers to find new jobs.
Our keynote speaker, Kerry Hannon, gave us valuable tips for finding a new job, learning to love the job you currently have, or starting your own business as an alternative path for continued income. The facts and trends show us, that not all businesses are interested in hiring older workers. (Yes, ageism is alive and well!)
So maybe this is a good time to take a second look at starting your own business. There are many boomers already taking this career path. The latest research from the Kaufman Index of Start Up Activity found that the 55-65 age group is the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. In fact, currently a whopping 52% of all new entrepreneurs are age 45-64!!
In a recent article, Bill Zinke, author of “The Evolution of Adulthood: A New Stage,” talks about six good reasons why boomers and beyond might consider starting their own business:
- They have double ESP (experience and expertise).
- They are living longer and are able to be productive for longer periods of time.
- They have a willingness to take risks because of their experience and sources of financial support.
- Boomers have more contacts and a better chance to succeed.
- Research shows that working and thinking leads to a longer healthier life.
- It is the chance to realize a dream.
- (I am adding a 7th reason!) There’s never been a better time to start your own business here in our Tampa Bay community! There is a surge of entrepreneur resources and programs to help you no matter what stage of business startup you are considering.
I would like to share with you just a few great resources, programs and opportunities for those of you who are ON the fence about starting your own business.
- Your first great resource is My StartUp Tampa Bay. We created this website (along with The Community Foundation of Tampa bay and the Tampa Bay Caregiver Accelerator team) to help anyone new or experienced to learn what is happening and available in our entrepreneur community. You will find numerous ways to connect to experts, mentors, meet ups and other resources in Tampa Bay .
- Secondly, there is BizStarters. I recently met with the CEO, Jeff Williams, who has dedicated the last 25 years to help those over 50 start their own business. Jeff has created a wide variety of online products and services, along with coaches to help you get started. Jeff has offered us the opportunity to participate in a free webinar – “Start A Great Business After 50”. In this webinar, Jeff answers the 10 most frequently asked questions from people who are considering becoming an entrepreneur.
- Third, we have “Who Owns the Ice House?“ Last month I had the privilege of meeting the author and founder of this great entrepreneur program and book. The The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is a simple but powerful 7 week program that teaches anyone at any age, how to turn an opportunity into a business. AND this program is being offered at the St. Petersburg Greenhouse (Saturdays only) from May 7 – June 18!
- And lastly there is SCORE. SCORE taps into the talent of experienced business leaders and entrepreneurs! This nonprofit association is dedicated to helping small businesses start, grow and succeed and provides highly relevant workshops and one-on-one mentoring at no-cost to clients. Here is a list of current local workshops and other resources.
For additional great entrepreneur resources like the St. Petersburg Greenhouse, Women’s Business Center, Tampa Bay WAVE and TEC Garage, check out the Encore Tampa Bay Resources Page.