AARP Foundation and Wacif Announce New Business Program Focused on Older Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 14, 2016

Jeremy Cullimore, (202) 529-5505

AARP Foundation and Wacif Announce New Program to Boost Self-Employment with Older Adults in the D.C. Region

Wacif is among 17 community-based organizations selected nationally to help older adults build the skills to work for themselves

Washington, D.C. (November 14, 2016) – AARP Foundation has awarded a generous grant to the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) to launch the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 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.

“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.”

“We are happy to join AARP Foundation in this national initiative to expand economic opportunity for America’s older populations,” said Harold Pettigrew, Wacif’s Executive Director. “The Work for Yourself@50+ initiative aligns with Wacif’s mission to promote asset building and economic inclusion, and provides new opportunities for older adults to create jobs and generate greater economic opportunity in our communities.”

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.”

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 nontraditional 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 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 Wacif:

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is a nonprofit community development loan fund whose mission is to empower underserved communities and individuals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area by providing access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses, childcare centers, affordable housing developers, and community organizations. Learn more at, on Twitter and Facebook.

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 Follow The Hartford on Twitter at

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

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