Entrepreneurship: Why it's not just a young people's game

Startup@AnyAge program to give senior entrepreneurs a leg-up

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The Startup@AnyAge program aims to help over-50s build confidence, skills and awareness to set up a new business in their community.

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SENIORS looking to start up their own business in Adelaide's inner southern suburbs are set to be given a leg-up thanks to a new program for older entrepreneurs.

The Startup@AnyAge program - a collaboration between the University of South Australia and SA Health - aims to help people over 50 in the City of Unley build the confidence, skills and awareness they need to set up a new business in their community.

Mayor of Unley, Michael Hewitson, said the program will inspire and empower mature and older Australians to consider new business opportunities.

"Entrepreneurship is not limited by age - it's all about having a great idea, plus the skills and know-how to make this happen," he said.

"The Startup@AnyAge program taps into the unique needs and life experiences of mature people to help them identify new business ideas, then helps them develop their abilities to make those ideas a reality."

Catering to the creative, low-risk preferences of older people, the Startup@AnyAge program will focus on developing the skills required for micro businesses and social enterprises, as opposed to traditional entrepreneurship programs that are driven by high growth and external funding.

UniSA researcher Dr Sanjee Perera said finding meaningful and rewarding ways for mature Australians to contribute to their communities is important, both for their personal wellbeing and for the economy.

"While an ageing population presents many challenges, it's important to remember that older people still have a lot to contribute to the community; life certainly doesn't stop at 50," Dr Perera said.

"As a society, we need to ensure older Australians have pursuits which support their potential to contribute to meaningful activities on their own terms."

Mayor Hewitson says the Startup@AnyAge program will also encourage intergenerational learning.

"This program is unique in that it is one of the first to support entrepreneurship across generations," he said.

"Working with our existing youth entrepreneurship program, not only do we hope to encourage shared experiences, ideas and knowledge, but we also hope to support cross-generational understanding - an essential factor for every successful and age-friendly community."

The project organisers have launched a survey to find out about p

about the project or taking part, email sanjee.perera@unisa.edu.au or phone 08-8302 -755.

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