Friday, June 19, 2009
Baby Boomers Growing the Entrepreneurial Ranks by Patty DeDominic
Economic downturn prompts
more boomers to start businesses
The number of individuals who are starting businesses later in life is increasing, economists say.
A recent AARP poll found 21% of people who are self-employed in the U.S. are between 55 and 64. Meanwhile, 10% of self-employed individuals are older than 65.
Some experts believe the stock market's sharp decline has left many seniors with less retirement income. This has prompted them to start their own businesses to generate
income to make up for the shortfall. BusinessWeek (6/8)
Here's an example of a great new business that will be both an income generator and a for the public benefit: A Social Enterprise. http://www.upfromthedust.com/ is the brainchild of Mary Schnack a philanthropic business woman of Sedona Arizona and co creator of the International Women's Festivals. Also a professional media expert, Mary says: "You don't have to be a nonprofit in order to do good for the world. You can create a Social Enterprise which has a "greater than for profit" motive. As a trainer and leader for the National Association of Women Business Owners http://www.nawbo.org/ Mary became involved in the International Women Business Owners Association. http://www.fcem.org/ and met women who operated micro enterprises all over the world, but became especially connected to women in Africa and China who wanted expanded markets to sell their handmade items. Mary conceived of specialized trunk shows of their products and Up From the Dust was born two years ago. She has positively impacted the lives and businesses of over 25 micro-business women and hundreds of others who have purchased the colorful and beautiful gift items. Mary has frequently partnered with non profits who work toward the benefit of women and used her products from Africa, China and elsewhere as fundraisers for USA based nonprofits. Everybody wins.....as long as Mary is still willing to be the conduit between the micro enterprises who have no access to these markets without Mary's willingness to support and share her good fortune.
Maria Contreras Sweet, Chairwoman of Promerica Banks in California calls it "The Triple Bottom Line". She spoke at a conference in California earlier this year on that very subject saying that at her bank they make decisions looking for payoff not just for shareholders but for the community as well as the other internal stakeholders such as the employees and their families and communities too.
Janeen Swing, Gene Sinser and I are also creating a new Social Enterprise called Prima Recycla http://www.primarecycla.com/ which will serve as one of those "more than for profit" social enterprises disseminating information and educational opportunities on Recycling and supporting education programs for people with special needs. Created as not only a sheltered workshop the "warehouse-boutique" offers Treasures for sale on line and in it's Santa Barbara location.
Janeen Swing, Creative Director and Partner said she wants the business to be a special place, a destination shopping and learning experience. "I want to do good for the community and I would love to use my talents in ways that benefit people who shop with us and who donate or consign their furniture and other treasures for "Recycling-ReUse" by a new loving owner who is thrilled to be part of the less-waste world." Gene Sinser will work with families who want to purchase or sell art and his extensive contacts and knowledge after having owned the Gene Sinser Gallery in Los Angeles for over a decade will come in handy. Anyone wishing more information about PrimaRecycla as a sheltered work opportunity or a place to make donations can visit the website and watch this work in progress grow. http://www.primarecycla.com/
Special thanks to Dianne Gubin http://www.diannegubin.com/ and GuruStu.com for the cartoon. Stuart Rubin has also created many socially impactful humous cartoons, please do visit his website. If you would like more info on classes and Dianne's employment tip of the week, please search for her on this blog. Dianne has shared a great deal of her expertise and offers tips of the week at her site