SBDC gets AARP grant to teach adults over 50

Kailey Love | Photo Editor  The Small Business Development Center is housed in Duquesne’s Rockwell Hall.

Kailey Love | Photo Editor

The Small Business Development Center is housed in Duquesne’s Rockwell Hall.

Liza Zulick | Staff Writer

Those in Pittsburgh nearing retirement age will now have an opportunity to learn how to start a second career working for themselves, thanks to Duquesne’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

The AARP Foundation, a charitable affiliate of the AARP, awarded the SBDC almost $19,000 to host three Work for Yourself@50+ workshops for those over the age of 50 between November and March.

The workshops, which are hosted across the country through the AARP Foundation, will teach those over 50 how to start and run their own businesses. The workshop will focus on key resources, characteristics and money advice needed to be a successful business owner.

“AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations committed to helping older adults successfully run their own business,” AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson said in a press release. “Our Work for Yourself@50+ program is designed to enable older adults to pursue self-employment by connecting them with trustworthy resources in their own communities.”

According to Tara Dunion, an AARP spokesperson, the aim of the program is to teach older citizens how to be their own bosses in contracting, freelancing, micro businesses and social enterprise.

Each workshop is designed to teach 15 participants how to first start their own businesses later in their lives. Although it may not seem important for older people to start their own businesses, the SBDC believes people over the age of 50 have the perfect opportunities to begin new careers for themselves.

“Many people over 50 have changed their job situations for whatever reason,” said SBDC director Mary McKinney. “Also, people are healthier now oftentimes when they retire, and they really want to go to the next step in their careers.”

The Work for Yourself@50+ workshops allow people over the age of 50 to “continue to contribute positively to society,” McKinney added.

The first workshop was held on Nov. 30 at the Homewood Carnegie Library. The last two upcoming workshops will be held on Jan. 23 at the Riverside Center for Innovation on the North Side and March 22 at the Energy Innovation Center.

Dunion said the program can help poorer adults.

“The program helps low- and moderate-income older adults explore opportunities to work for themselves and take the right steps toward successful self-employment,” Dunion said.

Another focus of the workshop is its financial advice, which work for participants of all income ranges, McKinney said.

McKinney said she hopes participants will leave the workshops with the knowledge of how to start their business with little money, and how to grow their future income.

“The most important part about running a business is to be committed and to love what you’re doing because it’s a lot of hard work,” McKinney said.

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