In a bid to boost the number of Senior Entrepreneurs in Ireland, a two-day ‘Start Your Own Business’ Residential Workshop is took place on May 8th and 9th in Portlaoise. Due to demand, a second such workshop is taking place on the 28th & 29th June 2012, with sixty places on offer to those from all parts of Ireland with a business idea. The places will be allocated to suitable budding entrepreneurs on a first come basis, so early application is essential.
People in Ireland, aged 50 and over, are still less likely to start their own business than younger people (GEM Research). The most ‘entrepreneurial’ age group in Ireland are those aged between 35 and 44. Those in this age group are twice as likely to be early stage entrepreneurs, than are those in the 50 and over age category**.
Encouragingly, 14% of all new firms set-up in 2011 were set up by people aged between 50 and 64, at the rate of around 280 businesses a month last year.*
‘Senior Entrepreneurs’ is a specially designed training programme, jointly organised by all the County and City Enterprise Boards and Senior Enterprise, which is an INTERREG supported EU initiative led by the Mid-East Regional Authority. The Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology is also supporting the training initiative.
“Our County needs to call upon all the entrepreneurial talent available, regardless of age, to help create economic growth and job opportunities here in West Cork,” according to Michael Hanley, CEO of the West Cork Enterprise Board. “Look at the skills, knowledge, networks and experiences that are accumulated by those aged 50 and over and how these resources and skills can be harnessed to set up successful local businesses, to help create local jobs,” he added.
Applications to the West Cork Enterprise Board are being accepted until 1st May for the residential workshop at the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise and organisers have advised that places will be allocated on a ‘first come’ basis to suitable budding entrepreneurs. The subsidised fee of €75 includes accommodation, meals and all training materials.
Speaking about the workshop course content, John Byrne from Senior Enterprise said: “Potential Senior Entrepreneurs will be given the tools and techniques they will need to help turn their business idea into a real start-up. For example, they will be focussing on the feasibility of their business idea, its market potential, the finance required, in addition to the sales and marketing plans for the business.” He added: “Uniquely, the ‘Start Your Own Business’ Programme also addresses the issue of succession planning and the passing on of the business, which are of particular importance to this age group.”
To help increase awareness of the training initiative, the organisers have enlisted the help of several successful Senior Entrepreneurs, who all established businesses during their fifties and sixties. They include: Peter Cullen from the Jelly Bean Factory, Cathy Whitty from Cathy’s Spelt for Health, Jean Condron from Hats by Jean and Damien Carolan from Pharbiz.
Further information about the Senior Entrepreneurs ‘Start Your Own Business’ Workshop on May 8th and 9th is available from the West Cork Enterprise Board at www.wceb.ie or by telephone on 023-8834700. Further information is also available at www.seniorenterprise.ie
For all local media queries, please contact your local Enterprise Board (www.enterpriseboards.ie)
Notes to the Editor
Statistics Quoted: *The latest annual figure for Ireland in respect of those who established new firms when aged between 50-64 is approximately 3,400 or 280 a month (calculated by Dr Colm O'Gorman, Professor of Entrepreneurship, DCU based on GEM 2011 research data). This means that this age group accounts for about 14% of all new firm entrepreneurs in Ireland. Please note that the GEM 2011 Report for Ireland has yet to be published.