Starting a business of your own after age 50 can be very rewarding and give you a new lease on life! You’re also more likely to start a successful business at this age because you will channel the skills you’ve developed throughout your career. In fact, one leading study found that people over 50 are almost twice as likely to launch high-growth startups than their younger counterparts.
Here are 10 resources you can take advantage of when starting a new business after 50.
COBRA Health Coverage
Before leaving behind your desk job to start a new business, you got to have health coverage in place for yourself and your dependents. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier to purchase independent health coverage, but continuing your employer’s health insurance plan via COBRA may be the more affordable option. If your current employer has more than 20 employees, your HR department is required to inform you about your right to COBRA coverage within 30 days of a qualifying event such as quitting or losing your job. You have 60 days after being notified to elect COBRA coverage.
Think of this resource as a dating website but for finding that special co-founder or business advisor! This website will connect you with potential co-founders who have interests, experience, and skill sets to complement your own. 50 % of the members are engineers, and the remainder have business, product, design, or other backgrounds. You can also use FounderDating.com to find a business advisor in exchange for providing some equity in your business. You have to pay a one-time fee of $50 to join.
SBA Encore Entrepreneurs Training
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers free online courses for second-career entrepreneurs. There’s a general course and one specifically geared towards women over 50. These ½ hour online courses cover the rise in senior entrepreneurship, how to create a business plan, and how to choose a business model (e.g. sole proprietorship vs. corporation). They are designed to provide some general information to take your business from concept to reality.
In partnership with the SBA, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) hosts free webinars for its members on various business-related topics. Upcoming topics include Financing Your Business, Social Media 101 for Businesses, and Q&A sessions with experienced business owners.
SCORE, with its network of over 11,000 volunteers, is a great resource for free and low-cost business advice. You can get free, confidential business counseling from mentors, free business tools and financial and marketing templates, and invitations to local workshops and online webinars. Find your local SCORE chapter here.