For the second year, AARP Foundation is launching the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program, powered by Bridge for Billions to help older adults with low income launch and develop successful businesses.
For the second year running, AARP Foundation is launching the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program, powered by Bridge for Billions, to help older adults with low income launch and develop successful businesses.
AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program will support aspiring entrepreneurs for the second year running! This program has a clear focus on supporting entrepreneurs over the age of 50, in a country where nearly 51% of small businesses are run by entrepreneurs older than 55 (according to SCORE).
By collaborating with Bridge for Billions for the second year running, AARP Foundation is thrilled to provide underserved entrepreneurial populations with more hands-on support so they can successfully launch businesses. Through an online platform and virtual mentorship and coaching sessions, this 5-month incubation program will help the selected entrepreneurs to develop a business plan and executive summary, learn about how to get investment ready, practice their pitch, and potentially access funding for launching and growing their business.
*According to Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends
First, we’ll ask you a few questions to determine whether you’re eligible to apply. If so, you will be redirected to Bridge for Billions' platform where you will be asked to create an account. This is a necessary step to apply to the program.
If you have further questions regarding this program we will hold several info sessions where we will give you any additional information you may need and answer your questions. You can join one of these sessions here.
AARP Foundation and Bridge for Billions will review the applications and select 50 start-ups to participate. During this process, we might contact you to hear more details about your application and determine whether this program is right for you and your venture.
On the other hand, if you don’t meet the qualification requirements, we’ll provide you with other resources and support so you can continue with your entrepreneurship journey.
Bridge for Billions will host an onboarding session to welcome the selected participants. In this space, we will cover the role of the participants, the role of your mentor, how to use the incubation platform that will help you work on your business, and much more!
You will also get tech-related training so you are able to make the most out of the online platform and other online tools you will use daily such as email, online calls using the Zoom app, etc.
You will take part in our matching process! You will have the opportunity to meet online with different mentors.
Once you have met several of them, both you and the mentors will submit your rankings in order to let us know who you think will be the best fit for your project's needs. Based on the rankings, we will make the best mentor-mentee pairs and, afterwards, the pairs will be formalized.
After having completed the incubation phase you will be invited to join our Demo Day. In this session, you will be able to practice and present your pitch in front of the rest of the program participants, other mentors and, the AARP Foundation members. It will also be a day to celebrate your achievements and advancements throughout the program.
Upon completing the program, 15 selected entrepreneurs will receive $2,000 in seed funding. If as a participant you are interested in receiving the seed capital you will need to fill out an application and have to meet specific criteria. Bridge for Billions' jury will decide which projects receive the capital based on the stablished requirements.
The Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program 2022, powered by Bridge for Billions, offers a step-by-step platform experience that will allow you to validate your business model. The platform has 8 different modules where you will refine your value proposition and finish the program with an executive summary of your venture.
Thanks to Bridge for Billions’ methodology and platform you will test your business idea, while your mentor provides personalized support during the mentoring sessions, challenging your assumptions and offering a fresh perspective.
Not a cent! This is a free program provided by AARP Foundation.
This program’s mission is to support+50 entrepreneurs to launch their businesses by empowering, educating and accompanying them throughout the process to ultimately increase their financial stability.
The more time you’re able to put in, the better the results. We’ve structured the program so that you should be able to complete all activities within 6-8 hours per week (this includes an hour-long video call with your mentor and the work you will need to do in the platform). Take into consideration the different sessions and workshops planned specifically for this program, as this will require more time depending on the week.
In general, if you can’t commit to at least 6 hours per week for 4 months, this may not be the program for you.
For those applicants that have a business partner, you can divide the work. If you have doubts about this topic go to the question: Can my teammate work with me on the project?
Once accepted into the program, you’ll enter the Matching Phase, this is the moment where you will be able to meet with your future mentor.
During that time, basic information about your project will be accessible to our community of mentors, who will invite you to initial meetings so you can get to know each other. You can attend as many meetings as you want, but eventually you’ll have to choose your preferred mentor.
If you have specific doubts about our your intellectual property go to the question: I’m concerned about my intellectual property if I apply. Should I be worried about this?
We advise you to have a laptop or desktop computer and preferably one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox. Even though we recommend connecting from a desktop or laptop, our platform is also suitable for cell phones.
Also, we expect you to have a stable and reliable internet connection for your work on the platform and to participate in the calls with your mentor and the rest of the program sessions.
Your mentor is your guide throughout the program — someone who understands the intricacies of your business. Week after week, your mentor will help you validate your strategy and design your growth plan. Mentors support you within the platform and meet with you once a week outside the platform (typically using video calls).
Yes! If you are working with business partners, you can all participate in the program. Only one representative from your team should apply, but if selected you can easily invite your teammates to join your project later on.
If you are still exploring business ideas and do not have a business concept, please reach out to the Work for Yourself@50+ program team. They can direct you to alternative resources.
Can’t find your question here?
Watch the recording of the latest Entrepreneur Information Session.
Submit a question or request an introductory call with Natalia, the program manager for AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program.
Can’t find your question here?
Submit a question or request an introductory call with Natalia, the program manager of AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program.
Do you need technical
help with your application?
If you are experiencing tech-related issues with your application, let us know and we will help you.
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable people over 50 build economic opportunity. Our approach emphasizes equitable outcomes for populations that have faced systemic discrimination. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Through vigorous legal advocacy and evidence-based solutions, and by building supportive community connections, we foster resilience, advance equity, and restore hope. To learn more, visit aarpfoundation.org or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.