Help aspiring entrepreneurs realize their potential

For the second year, AARP Foundation is launching the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program, to help older adults with low income launch and develop successful businesses. With your help, aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into successful businesses.

Help aspiring entrepreneurs realize their potential

For the second year, AARP Foundation is launching the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program, to help older adults with low income launch and develop successful businesses. With your help, aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into successful businesses.

What is the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubator Program 2022?

More than 37 million adults over 50 are at risk of not having enough income to meet their basic needs. For many older adults, self-employment offers a pathway to financial stability. This program’s mission is to support them to launch their businesses by empowering, educating and accompanying them throughout the process to ultimately increase their financial stability.

That’s why, in 2016, AARP Foundation launched Work for Yourself@50+ — a program that introduces self-employment to older adults who struggle with low income and connects them to local economic development organizations for support. 

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.

As a volunteer mentor, you’ll provide your entrepreneur with one-to-one support, and give them the confidence and support they need to start building their business.

Why participate?

Make an Impact

Harness your expertise to support older adults realize their entrepreneurship potential, building economic opportunities, and establishing successful ventures.

Develop your Skills

Learn about the latest entrepreneurship methodologies and develop your leadership and coaching skills while being part of a venture's growth and development.

Connect with your Passion

Together we can create a more inclusive and efficient society. Support and guide an entrepreneur working on a solution that really interests and moves you.

Learn-by-doing Approach

Bridge for Billions' methodology offers a learn-by-doing approach inspired by MIT. The platform's 8 business modules will support you throughout your mentorship so you always know what comes next.

Expand your Network

Connect with the rest of the program participants during the different program sessions. Moreover, you will also be invited to join a global network of +1,800 professionals who share your interests.

Anytime, Anywhere

Thanks to Bridge for Billions' online platform you will be able to review your mentee's work from wherever you want at any time. Feel free to adapt this program to your lifestyle and any other commitments you might have.

You’re invited to mentor if…

The methodology

Entrepreneurship is a chaotic process by nature. That’s why Bridge for Billions’ methodology is based on a structured and hands-on learning approach. Our incubation program helps entrepreneurs develop a business plan from scratch while being surrounded by an international community with other founders, fellow mentors, and an incubation team.


Our incubation platform and our eight online business modules will help you during your mentorship journey, making it easier for you to know what’s next. By the end of the program, the entrepreneurs will be confident that they are building a viable and validated business.

Last year's mentors impact and development

0 %
would like to mentor again
0 %
developed their leadership skills
0 %
would recommend this experience

The deadline to apply is in…

Days
Hours
Minutes

Sunday, October 16th, 2022

 

You can learn more about the program by attending one of our info sessions.

Next Info Sessions

Info session I: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

12:00 PM in Eastern Time
11:00 AM in Central Time
10:00 AM in Mountain Time
09:00 AM in Pacific Time
08:00 AM in Alaska Daylight Time

Registration here


Info session II:
Monday, October 10th, 2022

12:00 PM in Eastern Time
11:00 AM in Central Time
10:00 AM in Mountain Time
09:00 AM in Pacific Time
08:00 AM in Alaska Daylight Time

Registration here

 

And now… What?

Until October 16th 2022
Until October 16th 2022

Mentor Applications

Submit your application to be a mentor for the Work for Yourself@50+ 2022 Incubator Program.

Apply now >

If you have further questions regarding this program we'll hold info sessions for you to know any additional details and solve your questions. You can join one of these sessions here.

 
Week of October 31th 2022
Week of October 31th 2022

Mentors Selection

AARP Foundation and Bridge for Billions will review all the applications and select 50 mentors to participate.

November 11th 2022
November 11th 2022

Onboarding Session

Once selected, Bridge for Billions will host an onboarding session where, as a selected mentor, you will get all the details you need for a great mentorship: getting to know Bridge for Billions' online incubation platform, the methodology, tips for your mentoring sessions, and much more!

From November 11th to December 8th 2022
From November 11th to December 8th 2022

Mentor and Entrepreneur Match

You will take part in our matching process! You will have the opportunity to meet online with the participant entrepreneurs. Once you have met several of them, both you and them will submit your rankings in order to let us know who you want to work with.

Based on the rankings, we will make the best mentor-mentee pairs and, afterwards, the entrepreneur and mentor pairs will be formalized.

From December 8th 2022, to May 10th 2023
From December 8th 2022, to May 10th 2023

The Incubation Program begins!

  • You will work weekly with your mentee in one-on-one mentoring sessions to review their work on the 8 business modules on the platform.
  • You will guide them while they cover the most important parts of their business (from refining the value proposition to generating a clear growth plan).
  • You will meet the other mentors in our monthly sessions, so you can share learnings, challenges, and network.
First week of May 2023
First week of May 2023

Closing Session

As a mentor participant, you will attend a closing session where we will cover the whole program journey and reflect on the experience.

Ready to start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Mentor applicants should show a passion for helping aspiring entrepreneurs and should be ready to commit to ensuring quality mentorship and a productive business relationship. Once paired with an entrepreneur, you’ll commit to meeting 60-90 minutes per week for 3½ months.

For this program, we are looking for mentors who are familiar with or passionate about supporting senior entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurship journey.
As a mentor of this group, you will not only support your mentee from a business standpoint. You might also need to support them if they encounter any technical difficulties.

As their mentor, you should make sure they are comfortable using different online platforms that will be key for communicating and their advancement (such as email, Zoom, etc.), and covering any other specific needs they might have.

As a mentor, you will work with your entrepreneurs on the platform. You’ll be able to mark up their business plans using text-based comments and will have access to video chats within the platform so you can talk to them.

Start your application process by creating a Mentor Account HERE.

You will need to be able to use a laptop or desktop computer (not tablet or smartphone) and preferably one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox. We expect you to have a strong, reliable internet connection both for your online work on the platform and to participate in the mentors calls via video conference.

As a mentor, you’ll have a positive impact on someone’s life. You’ll meet and connect with entrepreneurs and develop your mentoring skills, exposing yourself to the latest innovation and entrepreneurship methodologies while helping a startup business grow.

You will  guide your entrepreneurs throughout the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program using the online modules as your guide. You’ll help your mentee validate their strategies throughout the program and support them through virtual collaboration once a week, on the platform and over video chat.

Read more about the methodology here.

Yes. Once selected, you’ll be invited to a virtual training session. You’ll also join an online community of mentors to spark conversations, share resources and learn from others.

Yes! However, we ask that you be realistic with your time commitment. We don’t want anyone to overcommit or set expectations that they won’t be able to meet.

All of the mentors for the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program are volunteers.

Yes, mentors who complete the incubation program may request a certificate.

Watch the recording of the latest Entrepreneur Information Session.

 

Submit a question or request an introductory call with Natalia, the program manager of 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.

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