WEARCI Seeks Mentors Among New Resident Retiree Business Owners

Friday, June 17, 2016

For Immediate Release
June 17, 2016

WindsorEssex Since 2009, the WindsorEssex Active Retirement Community Initiative (WEARCI), has inspired empty nesters, active retirees and investors to relocate to the 100 Mile Peninsula for a more affordable and relaxing lifestyle. Many have also fulfilled their dream of independence and pursued a new business opportunity.

Now, WEARCI will tap into their expertise and diverse backgrounds to encourage like-minded retirees new to the region that their big idea for small business can be a reality when guided by a new resource and mentoring program called Start Something New.

"Start Something New will be an ideal program for connecting and inspiring new residents age 50-plus to explore, shape and evaluate their 'second' career path as independent boomerpreneurs," said Krista Del Gatto, President of WEARCI, and Executive Director of the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS ® (WECAR).

"Our region has a wealth of very active retirees that have relocated here since 2009. They're spending their golden years pursuing golden opportunities - successfully, because of their lifelong experiences," emphasized Del Gatto.

WEARCI is seeking new boomerpreneuers to inspire, guide and mentor like-minded, new retiree-residents planning a second career as well as budding juniorpreneurs in the start-up or early stage of their new business endeavours.

The Start Something New program will incorporate several information sessions between July and October, led by experienced, small business owner/operators sharing their challenges, advising how to navigate the many obstacles that can make the difference in a start-up's success or failure, and connecting with the right people.

WEARCI will also gain access to the extensive resources and experience of the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre through their participation in the program, assistance with workshops and development of infrastructure to support the project. The Small Business Centre operates as a department of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

"We've been delivering mentoring programs successfully since 2001, focusing our training primarily to entrepreneurs under the age of 30,"  commented Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director of the Centre. "We have facilitated an entrepreneur program with the 50-plus age group which was well-attended and productive.  With the increase in new retirees to the
region, we have an incredible opportunity to share our knowledge base and look forward
to collaborating with WEARCI to help strengthen the support to this demographic."

WEARCI's Board of Directors are optimistic this new initiative will demonstrate the significance of the active retirement community and their economic and social contribution
to each of the nine communities in WindsorEssex.

" REALTORS® continue to support the WEARCI initiative financially to maintain a presence in the national marketplace and as a volunteer force to facilitate programs like Start Something New," stated Norm Langlois, WECAR's President. "But City and County funding are essential if we intend to build on the momentum that has led to our regional advantage as Ontario's premier active retirement destination," he emphasized.

Additional details on the Start Something New program will be available at RetireHere.ca beginning June 17.

An Information Session to launch and introduce WEARCI's newest initiative will be held as follows:

Tuesday, July 5, 12:00 pm.
Ciociaro Club
3745 North Talbot Rd. Oldcastle

Who should attend:

* Active retirees new to WindsorEssex since 2005 that have started businesses here and would like to offer their expertise, participate in future roundtable discussions and serve as mentors

* Retirees new to the region that have past business experience and would like to contribute their expertise

* Active retirees new to WindsorEssex since 2009, contemplating a new business start-up

* Young entrepreneurs in the planning stages of a new business venture eager to tap into the experience of seasoned business professionals

To Register for the Start Something New Program contact:

Leona MacIntyre
Project Coordinator - Start Something New
519. 974. 1079

Media Contact:

Krista Del Gatto, CAE
President, WEARCI
Executive Officer,
Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS ®
Tel. 519.966.6432 krista@wearci.com