Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Boomers Are Fastest Growing Segment in Entrepreneurial Wave

Recent Event Attracted Nearly 100 Baby Boomers to Discuss Benefits of Entrepreneurship

Boulder, CO, April 26, 2012 - The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), which serves as the bridge between people 55 and older and the opportunities that enable them to continue in productive activities, today announced the results of the first in a series of four meetings, “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers.” During a time of high unemployment and low economic growth, CPL initiated the 2012 series to stimulate the interest of Baby Boomers in new-business creation.

The first event was held at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO, a focal point for entrepreneurship in America, and attracted almost 100 participants to engage in interactive discussion and dialogue about entrepreneurship. Sponsors of the event included the Kauffman Foundation, AARP, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and CPL.

Written evaluations from the event indicated that almost all participants have a strong desire to start a new business; 97 percent stated they are more likely to create a new business as a result of attending the daylong meeting.

These responses mirror a national trend where increasingly more Baby Boomers are starting their own businesses. In fact, according to the Kauffman Foundation, from 1996 to 2011 the number of Baby Boomers starting a business increased by nearly seven percent, the largest increase among all age groups. For people 20-44, the number of people starting a new business actually fell about five percent during that same time period.

“There is a wide range of individual, economic and societal benefits for the Baby Boomers to start new businesses,” says William Zinke, 85, founder and president of CPL. “People are living longer, yet often retiring earlier, and recent AARP studies confirm that 80 percent of Baby Boomers indicate their intent to continue working after leaving regular career jobs.”

Additional feedback from the meeting found that 87 percent of attendees stated that the event increased their awareness and understanding of the benefits and opportunities provided by entrepreneurship “very much” or “a great deal.” Seventy-seven percent indicated that they were “a great deal” or “very much” more likely to pursue programs or courses on entrepreneurship as a result of attending the event.

Speakers from the March meeting included Benno C. Schmidt, Jr., Interim President & CEO, Kauffman Foundation and former President, Yale University; Bruce Merrifield, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce and Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship, the Wharton School; Mary Beth Izard, author of BoomerPreneurs; Jerry Kelly, CEO and Co-Founder, Silpada Designs; and Danny O’Neill, President and Founder, Roasterie.

Human Resource Services, Inc. (HRS) created CPL as a non-profit to serve as the bridge between people 55 and older and opportunities that enable them to continue as productive contributors. The economic benefits of enabling people 55+ to continue working include providing them with needed income, contributing to–instead of drawing from–entitlement programs, reducing unemployment and increasing national economic growth.

The next “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers” meetings are scheduled to be held at Babson College in Wellesley, MA on September 14, Northwestern University/Kellogg School of Business in Chicago on October 11, and the University of Denver on November 15. To register, visit Follow the Center for Productive Longevity on Facebook at

Media Contacts:
Jenny Foust or Alicia Hassinger
Communications Strategy Group

Company Contacts:
William K. Zinke or James R. Hooks
Center for Productive Longevity

About the Center for Productive Longevity
The mission of CPL is to be the bridge between people 55 and older and their engagement in productive activities, paid and volunteer, where they are qualified and ready to continue adding value. It is imperative that we recognize the value added by an aging workforce. Visit for more information.

Alicia Hassinger
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Consumer-Driven Deal site, SoRewarding Debuts in Denver with First User Deal Request Fulfilled by Whole Foods Market

SoRewarding gives Denver consumers the power to negotiate the deals they want while supporting the charity they love

Denver, Colorado, April 26, 2012 - Denver-based SoRewarding, a social network that lets consumers create and request their own deals, launches Thursday, April 26 by filling its first consumer deal request with member merchant Whole Foods Market. Turning the world of group deal sites on its head, is a conduit for the consumer to negotiate the offer they want directly with the merchant they choose, without any pre-negotiated terms or third party interference.

Amy Watkins of Denver requested the Whole Foods deal, and was thrilled to hear it had been accepted. “I can’t believe Whole Foods accepted my deal request for a $20 gift card for just $10! As a mom, I’m always looking for ways to save money while giving my family the best. and Whole Foods just made that a lot easier this month,” said Watkins.

“Driving donations to non-profits in our communities via SoRewarding will have a major impact on groups who truly make a difference in the lives of others," says Heather Larrabee, Associate Marketing Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Region of Whole Foods Market. "We are thrilled to participate in this inaugural deal and are excited about this revolutionary new model.”

In celebration of filling SoRewarding’s first consumer deal request, Whole Foods Market is extending the deal to the first 500 SoRewarding members who purchase it.

SoRewarding’s proprietary Consumer Driven Deals (CDD) feature is simple and easy to use, connecting consumers directly to merchants in a social networking setting. To participate, both merchants and consumers simply request an invitation via the SoRewarding homepage, and upon receipt, create their unique, free profile page. Members looking for a great deal just need to gather a group of 10 or more friends or buyers and submit their deal request to the merchant via their SoRewarding profile page or smartphone app. Each time an offer is purchased, each individual buyer can select a participating SoRewarding non-profit organization to receive a cash donation.

Once a merchant receives an offer request, they have 24-hours to accept, reject or counter-offer the request, which can be done from the SoRewarding dashboard, or from a smartphone. The merchant has the power to control all terms and conditions of the offer with the click of a button.

In addition to benefiting consumers and non-profits, SoRewarding stands alone in benefitting the merchant as well. There are no fees to become a member, and merchants who sign up and enable their Consumer Driven Deals in the first month (through May 25, 2012), will retain 85 percent of the revenues generated through their deals for as long as they are SoRewarding members. Additionally, merchants who sign up after the first month will retain 75 percent of their consumer driven deal revenues for the life of their account; which is by far the highest profit commission paid by any group buy deal site.

“In this economy, consumers are looking for a way to save money, and companies are looking for ways to both retain existing customers while attracting new ones,” said Marion Mariathasan, SoRewarding CEO. “People are tired of receiving dozens of emails every day and scouring them for deals that might be of interest to them. With SoRewarding, consumers can easily connect to the merchants that appeal to them most.” Continues Mariathasan, “We have automated everything; connecting consumers, merchants, schools and non-profit organizations together through our social network. Saving money, making money and raising money has never been So Rewarding.”

SoRewarding’s non-profit partners include the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver, Make A Wish Foundation of Colorado, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, The Rise School of Denver, Colorado Uplift, Seeds of Hope, Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center, the Morgan Adams Foundationi, My Sister’s Closet, Mile High Leaps and Bounds, and the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation.

SoRewarding is currently an invitation-only network. Consumers, merchants and non-profits interested in joining should visit to request an invitation.

About SoRewarding
SoRewarding is your social marketplace for creating offers in your community while supporting the causes you love. SoRewarding enables consumers to use the power of group buying to get discounts on the things they actually want, without being inundated with offers they don’t need.

Contact Information:
Marion Mariathasan
SoRewarding CEO

About SoRewarding, LLC
Established in 2011, the founders of SoRewarding came from a technology startup that created the Consumer Driven Deals (CDD) platform. The team, burned out by all the unwanted “deals” they were receiving, created the CDD platform to empower consumers and merchants while creating a simple way to give back.

Amy Larson
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

AAA welcomes news that Japanese Pension Funds are turning to Alternatives

A new survey by JPMorgan Chase has found that Japanese pension funds are eager to invest more in alternative investments – and particularly in hedge funds.

Boston, MA, April 26, 2012 - A new survey by JPMorgan Chase has found that Japanese pension funds are eager to invest more in alternative investments – and particularly in hedge funds.

The move towards alternative asset classes is due to the fallout from a loss of pension holders money from investments in traditional assets, claims Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), an alternative investment advocacy group.

AAA claims that Japan is in a difficult situation with a rapidly ageing population. Pension funds are under pressure after one fund lost $1 billion – prompting them all to considering less risky alternative funds, which can be effective in diversifying portfolios.

AAA, which supports a range of alternative investment options, claims that more and more institutional investors are turning to alternatives in order to steer clear of assets that are impacted by general economic trends. Alternatives, such as real estate, commodities and timber, tend not to correlate closely with equities, and, as a result, are less likely to drop in value when traditional assets lose value.

Japan is facing the first year in which its baby boomer generation is set to retire and its working population is expected to drop in number dramatically. It is trying different approaches to pension fund investment as a result.

AAA’s analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, explained that this new alternative tactic in Japan reflects a general international trend towards alternative asset classes. He said, “following the global economic crisis, investors have changed their attitudes to investing and are looking for tangible assets to invest in that will offer long-term income.”

He added, “There is also a growing emphasis on ethical investments and investing in assets like real estate, precious metals, art and forestry offer an alternative that avoids dealing with stocks and shares and bonds – and banks.”

AAA supports ethical investments such as sustainable forestry projects like those run in Brazil by firms like Greenwood Management.

Anthony Johnson
Alternative Asset Analysis
71 Commercial St
Boston, MA 02109-1320