Facing retirement, 10% dreams of starting their own business and 73% needs to keep working for financial reasons. Did you know that start-ups by seniors are more successful and sustainable? But most start-up courses target and are tailored to young entrepreneurs. By encouraging entrepreneurial activity we could give people the opportunity to live out an active lifestyle, increase employability and reduce risks of financial vulnerability and ageism.
Reason enough to launch an educational start-up programme with seniors; Start-up Plus. Piloting in the Netherlands and Poland, the programme was open for 100 participants. There was no registration fee. The target group was people over 50 with had an idea for a business, who were retired, or who were unemployed or who were employed but wanting a second career. Participants did not require any background knowledge, but were selected on the basis of their motivation.
As for the Netherlands, we offered a blended programme from 15 October to 12 December 2019 to about 60 participants. The programme combined face-to-face events with adaptive personalized online learning, and included support of peers, business coaches and top experts. Topics included:
- Customer insights
- Design thinking
- Testing assumptions
- Business models
- (Online) marketing
- Change management and mindset
At the end of the course participants pitched their business plan to a jury. The winning idea received 10.000 euro to boost the start of the company.
The programme was funded by the European consortium EIT Health, and organised by Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Aegon, Medical University Lodz, University of Naples Federico II and Institute Pedro Nunes.
As this pilot was very successful, we will most probably repeat it in 2020.