Women olderpreneurs

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Women olderpreneurs – confidence, profit, and a boost to the economy

One very effective way for older people to earn a living is the self-employment route. The Centre for Micro Enterprise at London Metropolitan University (CME) has trained 350 women over 50 to start their own businesses, largely via ESF-funded projects. The success rate is good: at the end of courses 70% of course members are self–employed. In the UK, businesses started by over-50s are more likely to last: after 5 years 70% of the over 50s are still in business, but only 28% of businesses owned by younger people will still be going. The women have many reasons for choosing self-employment: some regard it as the only viable option in a work culture where they feel employers are ageist; some have a long–held passion to work for themselves and realise time is running out. Businesses are of many types, often innovative:

  • Fairytale Furniture is a new concept in children’s furniture;
  • EGAR is an award winning social enterprise which works with teenagers to combat knife crime.

CME has built up a range of courses, produced case studies and research papers. It works with European partners where possible. It is keen that governments should take a radical new look at funding before we reach the tipping point with the ageing workforce.


For more information: Hilary Farnworth – mailto://hilary.farnworth@londonmet.ac.uk

Source: European Age Management Network (EAMN) newsletter 6 (May 2009): http://www.age-platform.org/EN/IMG/eamn_newsletter6_may2009.pdf

See also: Ladies who Launch, Guardian, 24 Mar 07: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/mar/24/careers.workandcareers