National Association for the Self-Employed and AARP Announce Collaboration to Support America’s Growing Older Small Business Community

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National Association for the Self-Employed and AARP Announce Collaboration to Support America’s Growing Older Small Business Community

NASE MEDIA CONTACT: Kristofer Eisenla, LUNA+EISENLA media | 202-670-5747 (mobile)
AARP MEDIA CONTACT:  Emily Pickren | 202-431-7752     

As entrepreneurship grows among older Americans, two leading national associations team up to expand capital and business expertise available to older small businesses owners.                                                      

 – Today, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) and AARP are announcing a strategic collaboration to support the growth and expansion of older entrepreneurs in the American small business community, particularly businesses owned and operated by people of color. NASE and AARP are joining forces through the Growth Grants Program to support the expansion of available capital and business expertise to support the long-term success of these business owners.

“AARP is excited to work with NASE to help further the success of older entrepreneurs of color,” said Felicia Brown, Senior Advisor, Financial Resilience, AARP. “We are committed to helping older adults gain the skills needed to start, grow, and manage a business, and achieve financial security through entrepreneurship.”

As part of this new collaboration, AARP will sponsor twelve small business financial grants targeting NASE members age 45 and older in the next year as part of NASE’s Growth Grants program. Beginning in October 2022, NASE will award a total of seven Growth Grants of $4,000 to active members each quarter, including three sponsored by AARP and one by DELL Small Business. Each AARP-sponsored Growth Grant of $4,000 will help address the specific business needs for business owners ages 45 and older. Grants can be used for office equipment, marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities and other business needs.

“As more Americans step out on their own into self-employment, including older Americans starting a second career or managing an existing business, it is crucial we support their ability to achieve long-term success,” said Keith Hall, president and CEO of NASE. “We believe this collaboration between NASE and AARP will provide the crucial financial support and business expertise to those entrepreneurs age 45 and older to give them the opportunity to thrive and grow their businesses. We couldn’t be more excited about the potential to help older Americans achieve their dream of opening or growing their small business.”

“As the nation’s leading advocate for the self-employed and micro-business community, we recognize the challenges of opening and growing a small business and the specific needs of those older small business owners. We are honored to support both new and existing businesses in their efforts to achieve their dreams and continue to usher forward America’s great entrepreneurial spirit, regardless of age,” said Hall.

Research shows that more Americans are turning to self-employment and being their own boss, including older entrepreneurs seeking a second career or expanding their existing business. According to research from the Kauffman Foundation, about one-quarter of new entrepreneurs were age 55 to 64 in 2019, compared to just 15% of this cohort in 1996. Additional research shows that people age 55 and older make up 45% of small business owners in 2022.

About the NASE Growth Grant Program

For over 40 years, NASE’s focus has been on finding the most effective way to bolster success for small business and self-employed members in communities across the country. NASE has awarded over $1 million since the program’s inception and continue to see significant return on our investments in the growth of member-businesses helping to fuel their local economies.

NASE’s Growth Grant program is intended for businesses planning to take the next step in their venture. It provides available capital for small businesses and sole proprietors to be able to hire and train additional employees, market their business in new and existing ways or invest in new equipment or software.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year and winning small businesses will be awarded $4,000 grants quarterly throughout 2022 and into 2023. Visit the Growth Grant page for more information.

NASE members also enjoy a comprehensive list of benefits designed to help small business owners and sole proprietors start and grow their business.  A complete listing of benefits available to NASE members is available, here. NASE members are offered a host of resources designed to help support entrepreneurs and small employers including access to professional “Ask the Experts” services in tax, health care and marketing, a navigational assistant health care portal, scholarships and grants, discounts on shipping rates and office supplies, and affordable email marketing systems and webhosting services. NASE’s newest member benefits continue the tradition of providing real-world, bottom-line assistance to small business owners. To become a member of NASE, apply online here.

For interviews with NASE or AARP, and additional background information on the older small business owner demographic, please contact


About NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, offering a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy.

The NASE NextBizThing helps identify and connect our nation’s smallest businesses. Need small business help? Check out NASE’s Ask the Experts for advice or the NASE Minute for small business support.

The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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