Help at hand for over-50s looking to start their own business
WORKSHOPS will be staged in Plymouth by a charity which supports mature workers.
The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise aims to help people aged over 50 back into work as increasing numbers look to self-employment following redundancy.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show a 15 per cent increase in the number of self-employed workers aged 50 to 64 – an extra 185,000 people – in the past four years.
Among the over-65s the number soared by 54 per cent, a rise of 121,000 people.
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The Prince's Initiative's city workshops will offer advice and mentoring. The first free event is on January 24, with details on the organisation's website.
Delivered over six to eight weeks, including three classroom days, the course takes people age over 50 through the challenging process of preparing to run their own business and covers areas such as researching a business idea, planning finances and how to market and sell a product or service.
Nick Bunting, Prince's Initiative chief executive, said: "Mature workers face a perfect storm of longer working lives, a pensions' crisis, economic downturn and the uphill struggle to find employment once it is lost.
"Their experience is often sacrificed against cost. We help people respond positively."
Nick Hewer, star of TV's The Apprentice, is a Prince's Initiative ambassador, and said: "The over 50s have so much to bring in terms of experience and work ethic. Courses such as this one in Plymouth are a fantastic example."
Annette Molyneux, from Plymouth, retired from teaching and began Cherish Floral Design.
She said: "Having been cocooned in the world of education for 30 years as a full time teacher, the outside world was a very daunting prospect.
"The Prince's Initiative was my life-line."