About AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ Program

AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ program helps low-income older adults navigate self-employment opportunities. For many, entrepreneurship after age 50 is a necessity — a way to generate income when traditional job opportunities are scarce and the value of retirement savings has declined. Older adults with limited income can benefit from the new “gig economy,” but it’s not easy to find trustworthy information.

In 2014, AARP Foundation and The Hartford addressed this critical gap in the small business and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The result was Work for Yourself@50+, a comprehensive initiative that offers older adults the resources and expertise to determine whether entrepreneurship is right for them, find step-by-step information on how to start a business, and generate additional income.

Since the program launched in 2016, over 35 Work for Yourself@50+ partners across 40 urban and rural communities have provided practical guidance, coaching, and peer support to more than 26,000 older entrepreneurs. Program participants have reported an average increase of almost $11,000 in annual business revenue. This increase has not only boosted their own income but also contributed to their community’s prosperity.

Adult Education’s Role

During this 18-month grant, COABE will work with up to 10 local and/or state partners to implement the Work For Yourself at 50+ initiative with the goal of helping over 100 learners start sustainable businesses within the 18 participating states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MI, MS, NC, NM, NY, TX, OH, PA, SC, TN, WV, and Puerto Rico.

What can participating programs expect?

Participating programs will receive $10,000 and will have access to workshops, state of the art curriculum, and an online learning community. Adult learners will have access to support and guidance from mentors and coaches. 


If you are interested in participating as a pilot program, click the button below to apply. The application process will close on February 15, 2023.

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