In this time of social distancing, community matters big time for those who of us who are small business owners and solopreneurs. We need to brainstorm ideas, keep learning and stay connected with others. Being part of a group helps us cope with pandemic fatigue and stay positive about the future.
Shown below is a list of online communities where aspiring or current mid-life business owners can connect with one another. While one or two of these virtual gathering places have broader missions, each offers something of value for 40-and-older entrepreneurs. So go ahead and explore. See which one(s) feel right to you.
Your Next Chapter – Business & Life Beyond 40 – Founder Angela Raspass created this Facebook community “to inspire and support women with the confidence and clarity to create their Next Chapter — a fresh story where you own and leverage the value of your unique experiences and insights, accessing the full depth of your inner resources and power, expressed through a meaningful business vision.”
Small Small Business – Founded by late-blooming entrepreneur Steve Fredlund, this Facebook group believes “thriving small, small businesses are the key to revitalizing our communities.” Small Small Business seeks to connect owners, community leaders, experts and anyone else who wants to be part of a small, small business revolution.
The Transition Network — An inclusive community of professional women, 50 and forward, whose changing life situations lead them to seek new connections, resources and opportunities. Through small group interactions, programs and workshops, members inspire and support each other to continue a life of learning, engagement and leadership in the world.
Celebrating Life After 50 – While this Meetup’s roots are in in St. Louis, its virtual events draw participants from all over. The group’s mission is to build a lively, dynamic community of people who are leaving traditional work to pursue their passions and life-long dreams.
The Encore Network – Created by Encore.org, this LinkedIn group describes itself as “a coalition of leaders and organizations who view longer lives as an asset.” The Encore Network connects members to help them learn, grow, tap their talents and impact their communities.
GetSetUp – This peer-to-peer learning community enables older adults to learn a wide range of skills. Retired educators teach the classes, which are small, relaxed and a great setting to meet new people. Class offerings include “Building Your First Website,” “Share Your Thoughts in a Podcast,” and “How to Set Up a Store on Ebay,” to give a few examples.
Baby Boomer Business Owners – Discussion topics for this LinkedIn community include succession planning, strategies for business exits, working with multi-generations, retirement planning and other challenges faced by older entrepreneurs.