Advantages of Age strives to help those over 50 to develop an entrepreneurial mindset providing them with the tools, resources and peer to peer support to become small business owners.
Thanks to a grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we were able to trial our Advantages of Age Business Academy in London, a six-month programme aimed at helping over 50s to transition to becoming small business owners. This has been run subsequently on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis and we are now seeking to work with local authorities, housing associations and others to deliver this programme on a national level.
Our Reset Mindset Programme, a three month course funded by the Big Lottery’s Community Fund is being piloted in October 2019 with the goal of helping those over 50 to overcome some of the mental health challenges they face as a result of being made redundant or long-term unemployed, building their confidence and resilience and helping them to identify new pathways to employment.
Our Kitchen Table Workshop is an introductory one-day course aimed at helping over 50s to harness their skills and strengths and begin to identify potential income streams.
From their early 50s onward, people start disappearing from the workforce in large numbers. 80 percent of 53-year-olds are employed but less than half of the population still have jobs in the year before they qualify for the state pension. Some 57% of 50-59-year-olds who leave their jobs are forced out, higher than in any other age group. The redundancy rate for 60-64- year-olds is twice as high as for those aged 16-49.
The impact on mental health for those out of work is one of quiet despair and cuts across all classes. The highest age-specific suicide rate was 24.8 deaths per 100,000 among males aged 45 to 49 years; for females, the age group with the highest rate was 50 to 54 years, at 6.8 deaths per 100,000.
At the same time, the over-50s are the new business start-up generation. Some 14,000 older people have set up their own businesses in the last four years - triple the number started by those aged 18 to 24. These newfound entrepreneurs aged 50+ are who will benefit from the work we do who, by collectively sharing wisdom, experience, and life skills will help to ensure they have the greatest potential for success.
Yvonne Fuchs is an educator who has taught for many years in both Adult Education and the art school system. She is passionate about inspiring her students to find their own style and media to express themselves in their work. She studied for an MA at Central St Martins and has held senior roles in HE and FE institutes, including being part of the Art School Inspectorate. She now applies her business expertise to social enterprises and the creative industries and continues to run her own creative practice.
Yvonne works with creatives and designers as a mentor and business adviser and is an energetic speaker on leadership, branding and creativity in commercial and social enterprises.
Suzanne Noble has transitioned her career a number of times from TV producer to creator and distributor of an over-the-shoulder baby sling, running a Top 150 entertainment PR agency and, more recently a tech start-up for Londoners on a budget called Frugl. In 2016 she created the website Advantages of Age to challenge the media narrative around ageing, joining forces with Yvonne to help support would-be older entrepreneurs.
We run courses that help over 50s discover new pathways to employment such as our upcoming 'Reset Mindset and Get Ready to Earn' course funded by the Big Lottery and starting on 1st October.
We have a very active Facebook group of over 3k that hosts social activities and creates social connectedness amongst our beneficiaries.
We have a small but growing membership of supporters that contribute financially in exchange for using our social channels and website to market their businesses.
Are you passionate about empowering and helping older adults turn their ideas into successful businesses? Do you have a knack for identifying...