News Column

Encore Entrepreneurs

February 13, 2013

Eric Mortenson

No question, the "young creatives" are energizing America's entrepreneurial spirit. All those artists, writers, software designers and solo practitioners who were shut out of traditional jobs by the recession are finding their own way as the economy reshuffles.

But many experts believe baby boomers -- yes, them again -- will be a major part of the next wave of start-up business owners, franchise purchasers and consultants.

Boomers are hitting age 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day, according to the Pew Research Center, and many of them are leaving the workplace financially stable, healthy and loaded with experience.

It's a big issue: a workforce "brain drain" involving an estimated 73 million people, says Jackie Babicky Peterson of Portland Community College's Small Business Development Center.

A good number of them, Peterson says, will choose to "monetize their expertise" by going into business themselves. For many, retirement or having been pushed out the door by the recession has become an opportunity to "do what you always wanted," Peterson says. Others find their pensions don't provide enough money, and so need to continue working.

The situation is illustrated locally by record registration for an "Encore Entrepreneur" workshop that takes place Tuesday at PCC's Rock Creek campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. The sponsors -- PCC, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP -- anticipated 100 people might attend.

Try twice that. Two-hundred people are registered and 20 more are on a waiting list to get in, said Kellie Randall, public affairs specialist with the Small Business Administration. Registration is closed, but another workshop will be held in April, she said.


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Source: (c) 2013 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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