Ageism is rampant in the workplace and especially in hiring. All of those articles about companies that are eager to hire ‘experienced older workers’ who are trying to re-enter (or stay in) the workforce are more PR than HR.

Retirees who want to go back to work are not the only victims of ageism. Older workers who try to change jobs or get laid off before they are ready to retire increasingly find themselves stuck in a netherworld that 1) wants experience, and lots of it, but 2) seems to be repelled by age or any indicator thereof. That resume you spent a career building suddenly becomes your enemy.

Entrepreneurship is a good option for older workers and retirees who are ‘not done’. Becoming an encore entrepreneur enables you to create your own job, be your own boss, monetize your experience and develop both an income source and a sense of control.

Starting a business is ageless but it’s also something that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed at. An AARP Foundation study of more than 1,000 ‘mature’ business owners found that older entrepreneurs have human, social and financial capital on their side, including accumulated business and life experience, knowledge and skills, established networks and resources that better equip them to succeed.

Age doesn’t forecast success but experience can — and experience comes with age. This is why the most sought after mentors are seasoned, experienced and yes, often older.

Becoming a small business owner has never been more accessible, whatever your age. Find the guidance you need to put experience to work for you, not against you, at

Lori Martinek