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AARP holds ND workshops to connect entrepreneurs with business owners

Entrepreneurship is not just for the young and the hip, according to AARP. The organization is holding workshops across North Dakota this month geared at helping people who are thinking about starting their own businesses.

While AARP serves that age group, the workshops are open to any ages and attendees do not have to be AARP members, says Lyle Halvorson, communications representative with AARP North Dakota. “The subject matter would be appropriate for any age,” he says.

The two-hour workshops will match entrepreneurs with successful business owners, community leaders and SCORE (formerly Service Corps of Retired Executives) counselors to develop business plans and discuss their ideas. Attendees will be able to set up one-on-one sessions with counselors from the Small Business Association and SCORE. “Counselors help determine if their business idea is practical,” Halvorson says. “It makes it a lot less intimidating for people who are looking to start their own business.”

The workshops are in their fifth year and have featured people who started their businesses in their 80s, he says. AARP members had expressed interest in starting businesses after retirement but didn’t know where to start or what kind of business they should pursue, Halvorson explains, so the workshops began all over the country to assist people in those endeavors.

“It’s not just young people starting up businesses,” he says, citing a 2015 Kaufmann Foundation study that found 25 percent of new entrepreneurs are between the ages of 55 and 64.

The workshops are free and lunch with be provided at all locations except Grafton. Registration is required and can be completed by calling 877-926-8300 or by visiting www.aarp.org/nd. The workshop schedule is as follows:

Fargo: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 19, Fargo Public Library Community Room, 102 3rd St. N.

Grafton: 3 to 5 p.m., April 19, Red River Regional Council Chase Building, 516 Cooper Ave. Suite 101

Grand Forks: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 20, Job Service North Dakota, 1501 28th Ave. S.

Bismarck: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 26, Bank of North Dakota Room 201, 1200 Memorial Highway

Minot: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., April 28, Town and Country Credit Union Lower Level, 615 S. Broadway