The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), which serves as the bridge between people 55 and older and opportunities that enable them to continue in productive activities, is organizing three more meetings this fall in the “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers” series. The meetings are designed to contribute to a national momentum for new-business creation, which enables Baby Boomers to remain productively engaged and also facilitates national economic growth.
The events will be held for people 50 and older at Babson College in Wellesley, MA on September 14, Northwestern University/Kellogg School of Management in Chicago on October 11, and the University of Denver on November 15. To register and view preliminary agendas, visit http://www.ctrpl.org/entrepreneurship-meeting/overview. Sponsors of upcoming meetings include AARP, CPL, and a number of other organizations.
Each of the meetings will have presentations by three successful entrepreneurs. The meetings will also include two rounds of interactive breakout sessions on topics relating to new-business creation and how to become an entrepreneur, including: risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur, strategies for identifying and selecting potential business opportunities, developing a business plan or business concept statement, and exploring funding support.
The first meeting in the series was held March 27 in Kansas City, MO at the Kauffman Foundation, a focal point for entrepreneurship in America, and attracted 95 participants. The written evaluations indicated that the meeting was extremely successful: 87 percent of the participants reported that it increased their awareness and understanding of the benefits and opportunities provided by entrepreneurship, and 97 percent stated they were now more likely to create a new business.
This interest in entrepreneurship as a career after retirement is reflected in national research as well, with increasingly more people 55 and older creating their own businesses. In fact, according to Kauffman Foundation research, the relative percentage of entrepreneurs has increased by almost seven percent for people 55-64 from 1996-2011, the largest increase among all age groups; by contrast, the percentage dropped about five percent for people 20-44.
The minimum age level is 50, and qualified people can register now for one of the following meetings at http://www.ctrpl.org/entrepreneurship-meeting/overview:
Babson College has been selected for each of the last ten years as having the best post-secondary school program on entrepreneurship in the country. Leonard Schlesinger, the President of Babson College, and Ralph Sorenson, past President of Babson College and founder of its Center on Entrepreneurship, will be the opening speakers.
Dr. Paul Magelli, Senior Director, Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and James Shein, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School, will make the opening presentations.
The details for the Denver meeting are still being finalized, but will include Courtney Price, President of VentureQuest, and one other speaker. Go to http://www.ctrpl.org/november-15-2012 for the latest information.
The number of participants will be limited to 125 on a first-come basis. The cost of $35 per person covers inclusion of a spouse, if desired, and a post-meeting workshop on the “how-tos” of creating a new business. Payment to the Center for Productive Longevity must be received by the first of the month in which the meeting is held to confirm participation.
CPL has also initiated a national competition, the Later-Life Story Contest, for people 55 and older. The competition has two categories: Entrepreneur Success Stories and Inspirational Later-Life Stories. A panel of three independent judges will select one winner from each category who will receive $1,000 and a specially designed trophy. CPL will post the best stories on its website (ctrpl.org) under “Success Stories.” The contest deadline is August 31, and winners will be announced on October 1, 2012.
To submit a story, visit www.ctrpl.org/laterlifestorycontest and complete a submission form. Entrants must be 55 and older, have a compelling story to share, and be willing to have it posted on the CPL website for viewing and for possible publication. Stories may also be sent to James Hooks at firstname.lastname@example.org.