The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), which serves as the bridge between people 55 and older and the opportunities that enable them to continue in productive activities, recently announced the results of the first in a series of four meetings, “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers.”
Their first event was held at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO, a focal point for entrepreneurship in America, and attracted almost 100 participants to engage in interactive discussion and dialogue about entrepreneurship. Sponsors of the event included the Kauffman Foundation, AARP, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and CPL.
Written evaluations from the event indicated that almost all participants have a strong desire to start a new business; 97 percent stated they are more likely to create a new business as a result of attending the daylong meeting.
According to the Kauffman Foundation, from 1996 to 2011 the number of Baby Boomers starting a business increased by nearly seven percent, the largest increase among all age groups. For people 20-44, the number of people starting a new business actually fell about five percent during that same time period.
“There is a wide range of individual, economic and societal benefits for the Baby Boomers to start new businesses,” says William Zinke, 85, founder and president of CPL. “People are living longer, yet often retiring earlier, and recent AARP studies confirm that 80 percent of Baby Boomers indicate their intent to continue working after leaving regular career jobs.”
The next “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers” meetings are scheduled to be held at Babson College in Wellesley, MA on September 14, Northwestern University/Kellogg School of Business in Chicago on October 11, and the University of Denver on November 15.
To register, visit: http://www.ctrpl.org/entrepreneurship-meeting/overview. Follow the Center for Productive Longevity on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTRPL.
In 2011, the oldest of the 77 million Baby Boomers began turning age 65---the traditional retirement age. Now 10,000 boomers reach the age of 65 everyday.
For years, the surge of nearly 80 million Baby Boomers into the second half of life has been described as a great gray wave, moving inexorably forward, building in size and momentum with every passing day.
The necessity today is to encourage people to continue to work in ways that truly use their talents to support the economy as well as themselves. It is essential that those who have a strong need and desire to work in this new way have every chance to realize that objective and every opportunity to use their accumulated human and social capital in areas where it matters most....demonstrating the potential of an encore career.
"People aren't ready for retirement at fifty-two or fifty-three years old (IBM's average retirement age)," says Stan Litow, president of the IBM International Foundation and a former deputy superintendent of New York City schools. "People want to use the opportunity of a second career to do something that is meaningful."
To be sure, there are still not enough encore career opportunities for all the people who will want them. But thousands of aging boomers are not waiting for a job posting to tackle tough social challenges. By identifying and implementing an innovative solution to a problem, they are also creating their own career opportunities.