National Conference Focuses on Workers 50 and older

National Conference Will Focus on Workers 50 and Older to Spur Economic Growth through Entrepreneurship

Increased Longevity, Economic Need, and Untapped Experience Drive “Over 50, Start anew!” Event in Washington, DC, November 7-8 

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 4, 2013) With clear demographic metrics quantifying the potential of people 50 and older (50+) to stimulate economic growth through entrepreneurship, a national conference based on the theme “Over 50, Start anew!” and bringing together thought leaders from business, government, education, and non-profits will convene November 7-8, 2013, at The Westin Washington, DC, City Center Hotel.

Participants in The National Conference on the Entrepreneurship Imperative for Engaging People 50 and Older will be charged with discussing and reaching agreement on actions the four sectors must initiate separately and through collaboration to stimulate substantially more new-business creation by Americans 50+.

With unemployment high at 7.6 percent and economic growth low at 1.7 percent and little improvement on the horizon, participants will be challenged to develop new approaches to tapping a talent pool of adults 50+ with experience, expertise, seasoned judgment, and proven performance. 

“We call this double ESP; entrepreneurship has been the backbone of the U.S. economy since the country’s inception,” said William Zinke, president and founder of the Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), a tax-exempt non-profit and conference organizer.

The National Conference will feature noted speakers and panelists, including:

  • Carl Schramm, dubbed by The Economist as “the evangelist of entrepreneurship,” an economist, president emeritus of the Kauffman Foundation, and Syracuse University professor;
  • Sergio Arzeni, director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship in Paris;
  • Technology trailblazer Candace Johnson, co-founder of SES ASTRA and SES, the world’s pre-eminent satellite system;
  • D. Bruce Merrifield, former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and chaired professor of entrepreneurship at The Wharton School;
  • Zoltan Acs, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and professor at George Mason University; and,
  • Donna Kelley, Babson College associate professor of entrepreneurship and director of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

“We have another energy crisis –massive amounts of human energy being wasted by society’s failure to utilize this large and growing talent pool,” Zinke said.  He added, “The 99 million Americans 50 and older comprise almost one-third of the total U.S. population.  Many of them possess the skills and ability to continue adding value through creating new businesses.”

Conference participants will explore how to develop an environment that stimulates, supports and sustains entrepreneurship and hear inspiring examples of entrepreneurial successes.

“The economic realities of a continuing global recession demand creative, innovative job-creation initiatives,” said Zinke.  “Despite popular thinking, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity for 1996-2012 has reported that adults 55-64 created 8.7 percent more new businesses on average for each of the last 17 years than did 20-34-year-olds and achieved higher success rates.”

Zinke continued, “Now is the time to recognize the transformative impact of demographic change and to engage those 50+ in entrepreneurial endeavors.  The conference provides a unique opportunity to stimulate a sea change in outmoded attitudes, law, regulations, and policies.  The result will spur our economic growth and job creation, with a lasting impact far beyond this event.”

Follow details of the conference at

Media contact:

Kristine Heine: 202-371-9600

[email protected]    

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