Center for Women & Enterprise receives AARP Foundation grant

NASHUA – AARP Foundation has awarded a generous grant to the Center for Women & Enterprise to conduct Work for Yourself@50+ workshops in New Hampshire, Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This national grant initiative is designed to help vulnerable older adults assess opportunities for self-employment, build skills and connect with resources that will enable them to generate income by working for themselves.

The Center for Women and Enterprise is a nationally known nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses. CWE has worked with more than 37,300 Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont entrepreneurs since 1995. CWE also operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England, that focuses on assisting veterans, active duty service members and their families with starting and growing their business.

“For many low-income older adults, self-employment and business ownership is an opportunity to change their future,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president of AARP Foundation programs. “AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations like CWE who are committed to helping older adults successfully run their own business. Our Work for Yourself@50+ program is designed to enable older adults to pursue self-

employment by connecting them with trustworthy resources in their own communities.”

“CWE is honored to receive this award and the opportunity it provides us to serve older adults as they transition into new careers and their future as entrepreneurs,” said Susan Rittscher, president and CEO, of the Center for Women & Enterprise.

“Because of AARP we will be able to assist more older adults and provide them with the workshops and tools they need to start and own their own business.”

Through a nationwide open request for proposals, AARP Foundation, with support from The Hartford, identified and then selected promising organizations in high-need communities to receive grant awards and implement the Work for Yourself@50+ workshop model. The workshops help low-

income adults 50 and older understand the pros and cons of self-employment and support them through the early steps that can lead to success.

“The Hartford is excited to work together with AARP Foundation on the Work for Yourself@50+ program, empowering mature adults to build on their potential and to prevail as independent entrepreneurs,” said Diane Cantello, head of Corporate Sustainability for The Hartford. “Self-

employment creates small businesses that contribute to the stability and vitality of their local communities.”

Working with AARP Foundation, each grantee will put together a plan in its community to:

– Publicize Work for Yourself@50+ resources and workshops to potential entrepreneurs.

– Host and facilitate a 90-minute introductory workshop, designed by AARP Foundation, to walk participants through the Work for Yourself@50+ materials.

-Connect program participants with local, accessible resources to help them take action on their income-generation plans.

In addition to receiving grant funds, grantees will also participate in a community of practice and regular assessment to help build a body of knowledge about effective older-adult services and programs.

Creating and owning a business has long been heralded as a path to financial success and economic mobility; low-income older adults, however, face unique hurdles when re-entering the workforce in a nontraditional capacity. AARP Foundation’s and The Hartford’s investment in these grantees seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by supporting and advancing effective solutions.

To learn more about the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative, please visit or call 1-888-339-5617 to receive a free toolkit and sign up for a local workshop.