AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ program helps low-income older adults navigate self-employment opportunities. For many, entrepreneurship after age 50 is a necessity — a way to generate income when traditional job opportunities are scarce and the value of retirement savings has declined. Older adults with limited income can benefit from the new “gig economy,” but it’s not easy to find trustworthy information.
In 2014, AARP Foundation and The Hartford addressed this critical gap in the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The result was Work for Yourself@50+, a comprehensive initiative that offers older adults the resources and expertise to determine whether entrepreneurship is right for them, find step-by-step information on how to start a business, and generate additional income.
Since the program launched in 2016, over 35 Work for Yourself@50+ partners across 40 urban and rural communities have provided practical guidance, coaching, and peer support to more than 26,000 older entrepreneurs. Program participants have reported an average increase of almost $11,000 in annual business revenue. This increase has not only boosted their own income but also contributed to their community’s prosperity.
Check out AARP Foundation’s latest report, Cultivating Entrepreneurship, to read stories of entrepreneurs who came to Work for Yourself@50+ to grow their existing businesses and individuals who were forced to explore entrepreneurship out of financial necessity.Public Report
“In keeping doors open, I continue to learn and grow – about the job market and about myself. This program is truly wonderful and very unique. I understand it's the only one of its kind in the country for self-employment and women 50+.”Program Participant in Bay Area, CA
“It was helpful to hear stories of people my own age. My view of self-employment has been enhanced.”Program Participant in Harlem, NY
“I’m entrepreneurial and I’ve always been that way. I did not know where to look for something like Work for Yourself@50+ and now I’m starting my own business!”Program Participant in Hartford, CT