New Ventures Maine Receives an AARP Foundation Grant


New Ventures Maine is among 17 community-based organizations selected to receive funds to help older adults build the skills to work for themselves.


Augusta, ME – AARP Foundation has awarded a generous grant to New Ventures Maine (NVME) to conduct Work for Yourself@50+ workshops in communities around the state beginning in Portland, Bangor, and Lewiston. This national grant initiative is designed to help vulnerable older adults assess opportunities for self-employment, build skills, and connect with resources that will enable them to generate income by working for themselves.


NVME’s mission is to assist Maine people achieve economic security by providing training and individual coaching in planning a career, managing money, building assets and leadership, as well as starting a business. NVME has been providing entrepreneurship training for over 30 years to adults of all ages. In recent years, more than a third of those coming to the organization for assistance with a business venture are 50 or older, and as the oldest state in the nation, NVME expects to see continuing interest among older adults in increasing their income through self-employment.


“For many low-income older adults, self-employment and business ownership is an opportunity to change their future,” said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson. “AARP Foundation is proud to work with organizations committed to helping older adults successfully run their own business. 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.”


“The Work for Yourself@50+ curriculum with its emphasis on the needs and interests of older adults is a perfect complement to our existing programs and the populations we serve”, according to Gigi Guyton, Micro Enterprise Specialist who will be coordinating this project. “We are excited to work with our partners at AARP Maine, SCORE, and the Maine Small Business Development Centers, among others, as we deliver these workshops around the state.”


Through a nationwide open request for proposals, AARP Foundation, with support from The Hartford, identified and then selected promising organizations in high-need communities to receive grant awards and implement the Work for Yourself@50+ workshop model. The workshops help low-income adults 50 and older understand the pros and cons of self-employment and support them through the early steps that can lead to success.


“The Hartford is excited to work together with AARP Foundation on the Work for Yourself@50+ program, empowering mature adults to build on their potential and to prevail as independent entrepreneurs,” said Diane Cantello, head of Corporate Sustainability for The Hartford. “Self-employment creates small businesses that contribute to the stability and vitality of their local communities.”


Working with AARP Foundation, each grantee will put together a plan in its community to:

  • Publicize Work for Yourself@50+ resources and workshops to potential entrepreneurs
  • Host and facilitate a 90-minute introductory workshop, designed by AARP Foundation, to walk participants through the Work for Yourself@50+ materials
  • Connect program participants with local, accessible resources to help them take action on their income-generation plans


In addition to receiving grant funds, grantees will also participate in a community of practice and regular assessment to help build a body of knowledge about effective older-adult services and programs.


Creating and owning a business has long been heralded as a path to financial success and economic mobility; low-income older adults, however, face unique hurdles when re-entering the workforce in a non-traditional capacity. AARP Foundation’s and The Hartford’s investment in these grantees seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable populations by supporting and advancing effective solutions.


To learn more about the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative, please visit aarpfoundation.org/workforyourself or call 1-888-339-5617 to receive a free toolkit and sign up for a local workshop.



About AARP Foundation

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.


About The Hartford

The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at thehartford.com. Follow The Hartford on Twitter at twitter.com/TheHartford_PR.


The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice at thehartford.com/legal-notice.