Senior Entrepreneurship Works
To help Seniors Aged 50+ Build Sustainable Businesses, Create Jobs, and Stimulate Economic Self-reliance for Themselves, Their Communities and the Nation

About Senior Entrepreneurship Works


Mission Statement

To spearhead a global movement designed to change the negative paradigm of aging to one of positive social and economic opportunities by elevating and supporting through education, advocacy, capitalization and research senior entrepreneurs who with their wealth of experience, wisdom and resources - as the statistics document - are driving individual, community and global economic self-reliance and boosting prosperity for all ages.

Changing the negative paradigm of aging and amplifying the economic vitality of people 50+ is not just a social/cultural/human rights issue; it’s an unprecedented global economic opportunity.

Executive Team


Elizabeth Isele, Founder and President

Recognized globally - from the hallowed halls of Congress, the domes of Istanbul, the golden spires of Oxford University, and the cockpit of a vintage biplane - as a pioneering senior entrepreneurship expert, Elizabeth is leading the transformation of the culture of aging and retirement. She has created a comprehensive system designed to unleash the potential of seniors age 50+ to create and drive economic markets and generate social and environmental impact. Her passion (grounded in data and metrics) is contagious as she strives to eliminate the prevailing gloom and doom scenario that describes this huge demographic wave as a "silver tsunami" and replace it with the image of a "silver lining," yielding golden dividends.

Since January 2012, she has become the go-to person for all things regarding senior entrepreneurship (programs, policy, capitalization and research) for the White House, the US Congress, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI-America), the EU Commission on Entrepreneurship, the Federal Reserve, the CDFI Fund, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the World Health Organization's (WHO) Age Friendly Cities initiative, Ashoka, and AARP, among many others.

Co-designer and key witness at the first ever US Senate Hearing on Senior Entrepreneurship in February, 2014, (C-span:, Elizabeth also designed with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) the first "50+ Entrepreneurs: New Engines for a New Economy Summit" in Washington, DC, 2012. She also helped design and lead the first ever Senior Entrepreneurship Summit in Puerto Rico in May 2014.

Elizabeth is a sought after speaker at major national and international government, philanthropic, academic, economic and positive aging convenings - in person and online through webinars such as the one she created for the Federal Reserve. Often quoted in publications such as the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, PBS, NPR and Bloomberg Newsweek, Elizabeth also writes on 50+ entrepreneurship for, PBS Next and on her blog at

As a serial senior social entrepreneur, Elizabeth has dedicated her life to making social change happen: helping individuals find their voices and celebrate their cultures; creating innovative programs for those living at the edges of society so that they could become more self-reliant and active participants in their communities; and building innovative cross-sector collaborations to maximize social impact. She continually researches new, solution-based strategies, purposefully networking innovators, ideas, and values to generate new strategies for creating system change and social capital. Elizabeth believes we need to identify better ways for the social, policy, academic and private sectors to leverage each other's knowledge and build upon each other's success to increase our collective ability to positively impact the world.


Jeanne Sullivan, Chief Information Officer

Jeanne M. Sullivan has been investing in and growing tech companies for many  years.  She is presently the Founder of Sullivan Adventures, LLC, an advisory services firm to entrepreneurs.  She is a Co-Founder of StarVest Partners which was formed in 1998 and created $400 million under management.  Jeanne has over 23 years of venture capital experience and has spent 30 years in the technology sector encompassing both extensive operating and investing experience with technology companies. Ms. Sullivan has honed her trade creating “go to market” plans for early and expansion stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, a keen understanding of the technology landscape and industry trends.  Prior to her venture experience, Jeanne gained her operating experience with AT&T and Bell Labs while serving in product and industry marketing roles.  Her earliest business experience was in a marketing and production role at a large global advertising agency.

Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of empowering entrepreneurs from “startup” phase through the exit.  She likes to share her experiences, gained by working with many entrepreneurs both in the US and globally, in a pithy and humorous style. 

Jeanne serves on the board of the New York Venture Capital Association and is a newly invited member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.  She is also a newly named Entrepreneurship Fellow at Barnard College. Jeanne a serves as advisor for many organizations that work to “fund and fuel” women entrepreneurs and is on the Global Board of Trustees of Astia, an organization that empowers high growth women entrepreneurs.  Forbes recently cited Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs”. The New York Angels organization honored Jeanne as the OPEL award winner for 2013 – Outstanding Professionals for Entrepreneurial Leadership.



Global Outreach Partners

Deborah Gale

Affiliate Director Operations, UK

Deborah is our American/British dual national Ageing Aficionado. She spent her formative years and completed her undergraduate degree in northwest Pennsylvania before moving to Silicon Valley, working full time, while completing her MBA. This launched her career in international corporate treasury at Memorex Corporation and Apple Computer before she became a serial expat. During this period she honed her skills as a journalist, blogger and a radio broadcaster for BBC Berkshire and the World Service.

Deborah had five daughters in five years and moved back and forth across the Atlantic five times. Then, after successive attempts to return to full time productive employ were unproductive, she returned to academia to retrain and completed a second masters in Ageing and Public Policy at King's College, London. Using her own experience as a template, her dissertation was an Anglo-American comparative study of educated baby boomer mother managers who exited the work force during their childbearing years and their experiences in attempting to resume or commence new employment.

Now, as a gerontologist and research fellow for the BioCentre on Ethics, Deborah's interests lie in optimizing the experience and later life employability of the baby boomers (born 1946-1964) during the heady demographic transition currently underway. A reassessment and redefinition of how boomers will choose to age is the new narrative for the 21st C. This creates opportunities for senior entrepreneurship and enterprise and opens up pathways for advancing intergenerational connectivity through life long learning and reverse mentoring programs.


Joanne Hession (Ireland and the UK)

Founder and CEO, QED Training and IgniteIreland, Joanne Hession is passionate about small businesses and has worked with county and City Enterprise Boards throughout Ireland. She was listed as one of the top 100 all-island businesswomen by Irish Entrepreneur and Your Business magazines and as one of the top entrepreneurs in Ireland by Prudence magazine.

Joanne is also co-author of Don't Get a Job, Build a Business!



And Our Collaborating Partner in Australia:

Joanna Maxwell

Joanna says she survived her first career in corporate law to become a coach, creative thinker, trainer and writer, where she combines the rigour and analytic skills learned as a lawyer with a creative coaching approach that emphasises finding new possibilities and reaching practical outcomes.

She founded Work In Colour Pty Limited in 2002, in order to focus on her fascination with the power of creative change for individuals and businesses.

Her "Juicy Thinking" creative thinking workshops help corporate clients get creative, offering practical tips and tools to generate ideas and solve problems.

Joanna's also been a freelance journalist for over 20 years, for publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times, The Bulletin, Eureka Street, and Australian Artist. She now also write regularly on workplace, business innovation and creative thinking topics for AFR BOSS magazine.

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