Exterior photo of Northeastern's College of Business and Management during the day

AARP Foundation grant funds College of Business and Management entrepreneurship workshops

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Northeastern Illinois University’s College of Business and Management has hosted five Work for Yourself@50+℠ workshops at three of its Chicago locations and plans to host three more in the coming months as part of a national grant from the AARP Foundation.

The workshops take place on Northeastern’s Main Campus in the North Park neighborhood, at the El Centro location in Avondale, and at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies location in Bronzeville. In total, more than 80 community members have attended these events.

The national grant initiative is designed to help vulnerable older adults, age 50 and older, understand the pros and cons of self-employment and entrepreneurship, and to support them through the early steps that can lead to success.

“For many older adults, self-employment and business ownership is an opportunity to change their future,” Senior Vice President for AARP Foundation Programs Emily Allen said. “AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations like Northeastern Illinois University who are committed to helping older adults successfully run their own businesses. 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.”

“This partnership has been a win-win for our students, the community and Northeastern’s College of Business and Management,” Dean Michael Bedell said.

“The grant gives Northeastern the opportunity to help entrepreneurs and even established family businesses in the communities we serve,” Carruthers Center Director Andrea Evans said.

Creating and owning a business has long been heralded as a path to financial success and economic mobility. However, older adults face unique hurdles when re-entering the workforce in a nontraditional capacity. AARP Foundation’s investment in Northeastern and the other national grantees seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by supporting and advancing effective solutions to support senior entrepreneurship.

“Older adults pursuing encore careers in entrepreneurship often seek education to improve their odds of launching a successful business—right from the start,” said Marge Johnsson, director of Northeastern’s Business Innovation and Growth Center. “Attending one of the AARP Foundation’s Work for Yourself @50+ workshops is a great way to begin obtaining an education about the basic steps required to launch a new business venture.”

Northeastern will host three upcoming workshops:

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 6-8 p.m., Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 1-3 p.m., Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., Chicago
  • Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6- 8 p.m., Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago

To learn more about the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative, receive a free toolkit or sign up for a workshop, contact Johnsson at m-johnsson@neiu.edu or (773) 442-6078, visit aarpfoundation.org/workforyourself or call (800) 339-5617.

AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income older adults have nutritious food, affordable housing, a steady income, and strong and sustaining social bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP.