Help for NH "Boomer" Entrepreneurs: Accidental and Otherwise
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Retirement is not in the picture for the vast majority of the Boomer generation in New Hampshire, and today there is free expert help available to those who want to start or grow their own businesses. The Encore Entrepreneur Business Forum takes place at Hesser College in Portsmouth.
According to Greta Johansson, New Hampshire district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, young entrepreneurs usually have less to lose, but they also often have less to offer.
"Folks who have been in the work world for a little bit longer may have more resources and more experience to bring to the table, but at the same time they may have more at risk," she said.
Johansson advises older New Hampshire residents to make sure they assess the risk and know how they plan to structure financing before they make the jump.
Jamie Bulen, communications director for AARP New Hampshire, reported that only 13 percent of 50-year-plus residents plan to stop working, according to their 2011 survey. She said experts from AARP, SCORE and The Center for Women's Business Development will be at today's forum to help locals who want to start or expand a business.
"And they can tell them exactly what they need to know," Bulen said. "They may partner them with a mentor, so they really get one-on-one counseling - and it is all free."
Greta Johansson said that sometimes limited options end up pushing one-time employees to dream up new ways to make a living by starting their own businesses.
"As companies downsize and there are more and more people of any age out in the unemployed world, we do see a lot of folks who are willing to say, 'Well, I don't have a job, so I might as well do that thing I always wanted to do.'"
If you can't make the forum, there are online resources available at the AARP website.
Potential entrepreneurs can take a self-assessment at SBA.gov.