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January 22, 2019

“Maturepreneurs” – The next generation driving economic growth

We believe that innovative new approaches are required to create and support a new generation of entrepreneurs involving people in the 50+ age group, sometimes referred to as Silver Surfers or of The Third Age – but we prefer “Maturepreneurs”.

There has been considerable research on this topic that reveals:

  • The population is ageing – ONS projections show that over the next 25 years the number of people over State Pension age in the UK will grow by 30+% from 12.4m to 16.9m.
  • People in this cohort do not see linkage between ageing and the end of economic activity and due to the progressive deferment of state pension age may face unforeseen financial strain.
  • Many such people are having to stay in work for financial reasons to make ends meet, but they may not be given the same opportunities as younger colleagues.
  • Opportunities that recognise the knowledge, skill and experience of older workplace colleagues are increasingly hard to find, despite the clear advantages that such workers offer
  • While this age group want to remain economically active, they may not want to work in a large corporate environment or start doing manual or retail work below their perceived capability.
  • Loneliness is often now experienced by people in this age group, and work, even if hard to find, offers the opportunity of keeping connected with friends and communities.
  • Inactivity, both physical and mental, can lead to deteriorating health and sense of well-being, while work of some sort can offset this and provide helpful stimulus.
  • Many will have always dreamed of one day running their own business, but are reluctant to for reasons such as fear of failure, lacking in confidence, and know how.
  • Some people in this age group are keen to work on initiatives that make a positive difference to society or the environment and are not necessarily motivated by personal financial gain.

Put simply, if these issues are not addressed Central and Local Government will have to spend more on the costs associated with an ageing population. However, if those living longer can remain economically active they can make a positive contribution to resources. Development of new approaches to enable people to remain economically is therefore much needed, with particular emphasis on supporting those who want to create their own business. After all, staying active as you age by being your own boss, perhaps for the first time, could provide a perfect blend of economic and social stimulus that helps individuals and society.

It therefore seems logical support for “Maturepreneurs” is much needed – but where is it?

Support is lacking – a new range of services is required – so what needs to be done, and why?

  • Maturepreneurs may not have run a business before and may be concerned about what’s involved
    Proposed Solution: Provide business planning, advice, and personal mentoring
  • Maturepreneurs may have established financial management issues that need to be considered
    Proposed Solution: Provide quality appropriate impartial financial advice
  • Maturepreneurs may be attracted to businesses with a social or community purpose
    Proposed Solution: Provide local workshops on how to set up and run a social enterprise/CIC
  • Maturepreneurs may not be familiar with the internet/social media/IT business skills required
    Proposed Solution: Provide local workshops offering help on relevant issues for those of all abilities
  • Maturepreneurs may not all have the networking and presentation skills needed
    Proposed Solution: Provide local workshops and support on such issues for those of all abilities
  • Maturepreneurs may want help generating business ideas and business structures
    Proposed Solution: Provide local workshops and mentoring on such issues for those of all abilities
  • Maturepreneurs may prefer collaborative teamwork to share expertise/risk, and enjoy social interaction
    Proposed Solution: Support collaboration by linking people with complementary skills and interests
  • Maturepreneurs may welcome inter-action and the opportunity to learn from existing entrepreneurs
    Proposed Solution: Organise introductions/internships/placements/group sessions with entrepreneurs

All of this requires well designed and delivered activity – we suggest Pilot Programmes

A new range of specially tailored initiatives are required to harness the potential “Maturepreneurs” offer. We believe that pilot programmes should be explored – for example:

Public Sector

Local authorities working in partnership with health authorities in areas with many residents of 50+
Impact: reduced healthcare costs, increased social contribution, increased business rates

Public/Private Sector

A Local Enterprise Partnership offering support to increase numbers of new businesses in its area
Impact: More new businesses and more new jobs

Employers

Organisations offering pre-retirement programmes could include bespoke support for “Maturepreneurs

Impact: Improved staff relations, links to new businesses, CSR benefits

Deyton Bell have considerable knowledge, skill and experience on relevant issues and can provide advice and practical support to design, develop and manage appropriate initiatives.

Please contact us to explore how we might be able to help you and your colleagues consider the issues, the risks, the opportunities and most importantly, how they can be appropriately addressed.

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