Age is No Limit to Entrepreneurship

Age is No Limit to Entrepreneurship

According to recent statistics, many of the newly retired and soon to be retired are starting their own businesses instead of embracing the standard idea of retirement. A 2004 AARP study on self-employment found that about one in three self-employed workers age 51 to 60 made the transition to self-employment at or after age 50. Dave and Chris Angell became part of this growing trend when they started their home-based business following retirement from careers in the field of education.

For more than 30 years, Dave has enjoyed photographing wildlife and nature. A few years before he retired as a biology and ecology teacher at Bismarck High School, Dave and Chris contacted SCORE for advice on growing this hobby into a business.

Supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE is a volunteer organization made up of current and retired business owners, offering free and confidential business advice through one-on-one mentoring.

Working with Duane Sorby, their SCORE counselor, they put together a business plan that would guide them in the creation and growth of Angell’s Images. Started in 2003, Angell’s Images offers nature photographic prints along with greeting cards and hand-crafted frames.

Startup was slow, but they never gave up and sales have been growing steadily each year. They currently market their products online through their website, through Pride of Dakota, and at many art and craft shows in the region.

Because of their support of other home-based businesses, Dave and Chris have been named the 2011 North Dakota Home-Based Business Champions of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This annual award recognized individuals who have experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a home-based business and have volunteered to improve the climate for other home-based businesses. Dave and Chris were selected after a statewide competition.

In recognition of the small business community’s contribution to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. This year it is May 16-20, 2011. Leading up to that week, the SBA presents several awards honoring the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business champions.