Barbara & Lyn Bidstrup
Age: Both 77
Hometown: Idaho Falls
Cause: Small-business counseling
After three decades of running a plumbing, electric and heating/air conditioning business, the Bidstrups wanted to pass along entrepreneurial lessons to others. In 2004, they began volunteering with SCORE, a national organization offering free, confidential counseling to local small business owners. Over their ten years at SCORE, the Bidstrups have provided more than 864 free counseling sessions, helping to launch about 100 successful new businesses and assisting everything from a senior citizen’s center to a supplier of gluten-free foods. They hold three to four one-hour sessions per week, and do additional email consultations. Most entrepreneurs seeking their help are first-timers. “We meet as many times as we need to meet,” says Lyn, to help newbies find their footing.