AARP Foundation is launching the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program, powered by Bridge for Billions, to help older adults with low income launch and develop successful businesses. With your help, aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into successful businesses.
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.
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.
Collaborating with Bridge for Billions, AARP Foundation is thrilled to provide underserved entrepreneurial populations with more hands-on support so they can successfully launch businesses. The Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program, which unfolds over 3½-months, is an intensive online incubation program designed specifically for entrepreneurs with a business concept who looking for mentorship and coaching to develop, launch and grow their business.
The Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program, powered by Bridge for Billions, offers a gamified, step-by-step platform experience that allows entrepreneurs to validate their business model and develop their visual business plan.
The platform will help entrepreneurs network, research and test their business plans. Throughout the program, you’ll provide your entrepreneur with one-to-one support, challenging assumptions and offering a fresh perspective.
Thursday, June 10
AARP Foundation and Bridge for Billions will review all the applications and select 50 mentors to participate.
Selected mentors will attend an onboarding session that will cover using the incubation platform, its methodology, best practices and much more.
During the matching process, you’ll meet and select the entrepreneurs you'd like to mentor.
Meet weekly with your entrepreneurs for the duration of the program to go over their business plans. The incubation platform will guide your mentoring step-by-step through eight business modules, from helping your entrepreneurs polish their value propositions to developing their growth plans.
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.
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.
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.
Your task as a mentor will be to guide your entrepreneurs throughout the Work for Yourself@50+ Incubation Program. Using the online modules as your guide, you’ll help your entrepreneurs validate their strategies throughout the program and support them through virtual collaboration once a week, either on the platform or over video chat. The modules will cover:
These tools will guide you as well as the entrepreneur in effectively covering and validating each critical aspect of the business planning process.
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.
Can’t find your question here?
Watch the recording of the latest Mentor 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.
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.