Does age play any role in business success?
More people than ever past the age of 50 are setting up businesses. In fact over 50s make up 42% of the number of self-employed people working in the UK. So not only are they doing it, they’re doing it well.
Whether you’re unemployed, facing redundancy or just looking to become your own boss, there is help out there to start up your business. With coronavirus doing the rounds more and more people are looking to become self-employed.
- How tough do you have to be to run your own business?
- Freebies, freebies, freebies!
- Where can I get money to start my business?
- Ge more support for free
- Over to you
If you’re reading this then you’re probably already interested in starting your own business.
If you’re still just toying with the idea, however, there are plenty of perks to being self-employed:
- Financial independence
- The motivation that comes from being your own boss
- An opportunity to potentially turn your hobby into something that makes you money
- The ability to use all your skills as you see fit
- Flexible working hours so you can work when you’re at your most productive
- Personal satisfaction and contentment
- The chance to leave depressing 9-5 days in stuffy offices behind
Getting involved in a new business when you’re over 50 allows you to draw on all your experience and skills that you have learnt over time.
However, being self-employed isn’t easy. You have to be self-disciplined and organised. Remember, you won’t get paid if you’re off sick!
But if that doesn’t put you off then great, because many people find being self-employed liberating and motivating.
PRIME (The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise) is a charity set-up especially to help people over the age of 50 realise their ambition of starting a business.
It was set-up by the Prince of Wales after he was complemented for his help in helping young people find work. He was urged to do the same for the over 50s, who were being overlooked because of their age.
PRIME have so far helped over 28,000 people make their first steps towards self-employment. They offer several things to help you on your way to setting up a business:
- Free courses – PRIME offer a range of free courses taught by experts, that take place across the country, on setting up your own business.
- Resources – PRIME have a vast collection of free online resources to help you every step of the way as you begin your business. They have articles on everything from what tax help is available for new businesses to how to generate business through social media.
- Mentoring – Once you’ve attended one of the courses, PRIME can provide you with a mentor. Mentors are good for discussing ideas, asking questions and generally supporting you on your journey.
- Networking events- Networking is an important way of expanding your business – you can share ideas, meet other business owners and potentially meet future business partners. PRIME puts on informal networking events which often include a guest speaker, as well as drinks and nibbles.
To be eligible to apply for help from PRIME you must be 50 or older. As well as unemployed or facing redundancy.
Firstly you can check out our article on how to get funding for starting a business as most of those loans and schemes are available to the over 50s.
One of the main ways you can get funding for your business is by getting a Start Up Loan. Originally these were only available for people between the ages of 18-30 but now anyone can apply for a loan of between £1,000 – £10,000.
To be eligible for a start-up loan you must be a British citizen or UK legal resident living in the UK.
It is a loan, not a grant, so you will have to pay it back. Applicants must pay back their loan within one to five years at a fixed APR (currently 6.2%). Thankfully you can pay back the loan early without penalty should that be something you’re able to do.
PRIME have their own website where you can apply for a start-up loan and support package, which includes exclusive offers such as free accounting software and reduced fees with eBay. They also provide a mentor to guide you through the early stages. You can apply here.
Now you know the support that is available, you should check out these articles before you begin:
- Top 20 tips for running your own business
- Two ways you can set up a business online
- ecommerce : 10 steps to start a company
- How to get funding for starting a business
- What is a social enterprise?
- Apprenticeships: How they work and are they for you?
You can also check out this business encyclopedia for a comprehensive guide to setting up a business.
Setting up a business is never easy. But with determination, and using your skills and experience, you can become your own boss. Now it’s over to you.