Learning to launch a business later in life - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Learning to launch a business later in life


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Anyone can try their hand at becoming an entrepreneur and a meeting in Eau Claire Wednesday proved age definitely isn't a factor.

State and national agencies are encouraging older generations to open a new business.

Many people reach retirement and wonder what to do next with life, so why not start a business?

"1 in 4 individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 are currently considering starting their own business in the next 5-10 years," says state director of the AARP Sam Wilson.

Which is exactly what Carla Ingram did and now she shares her story with other perspective entrepreneurs.

"That's where these came from is that I always did the designing, the selling, the fabricating and was on the installation," says Ingram.

"It's contributing to the economy by hiring people, by spending money, by selling products," says Shirah Apple of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The government also wants to help new owners and anyone with ideas of a business by supporting them with access to loans and programs.

"We're really interested in seeing further growth and development in this part of Wisconsin," says Apple.

Because opening a business can be a challenge for anyone at any age.

"I've always said that problems were actually just wonderful because then you have solutions," says Ingram.

"There really is a building spirit for folks at this stage in their life.  To do something on their own and to use their own expertise to start that business," says Wilson.

And once they get the help they need in the initial business plans business owners can start making the executive decisions.

"I had made up my mind that it was going to be of the highest quality.  That it was going to be trouble free.  That it was going to be an American product," says Ingram.

Showing that age can't slow down a business plan.

The AARP says 7.4 million Americans over age 50 aren't ready to retire and are self employed.

In Wisconsin the small business administration oversaw more than 1,700 loans to help entrepreneurs turn an idea into a business.

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