Iii e - fitsimons seniors as an untapped source of enterprise potential


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The upgrading of workforce skills is key to the competitiveness of SMEs. In today’s business environment there is a premium on innovation that enables firms to develop new products and services, new production processes and new business models. This requires both in-house innovation and the ability to absorb knowledge from other firms and organisations, both of which call for a skilled labour force. Skills are also a critical but understated resource for entrepreneurship seen in the sense of business creation. Similarly to workforce skills, entrepreneurship skills will boost the competitiveness of local businesses thanks to the improved strategic and management competences of the entrepreneur.

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Iii e - fitsimons seniors as an untapped source of enterprise potential

  1. 1. Seniors -A Source of Untapped Enterprise Potential? OECD workshop on Skills Development for SMEs and Entrepreneurship Copenhagen 28 November 2012 Paula Fitzsimons paula@fitzsimons-consulting.com
  2. 2. The Starting Point Demographic challenge to Lisbon Strategy Ageing of population is aggravating the entrepreneurship gap Not a homogeneous group Varying risk options is needed to suit individual preferences Novel approach is needed to encourage their greater engagement with enterprise
  3. 3. OECD Policy Brief on Senior EntrepreneurshipKey messages:Population in Europe is ageingFew involved in EntrepreneurshipMost focused on micro businesses with less growthorientationGrowing population of healthy older people with skills,financial resources and time available…potentialentrepreneurs http://www.oecd.org/cfe/leedprogrammelocaleconomicandemploymentdevelopment/Policy_Brief_Senior_Entrepreneurship
  4. 4. OECD Policy Brief on Senior EntrepreneurshipTo increase entrepreneurship by older people, policy should:Create a positive awarenessSupport training and networksProvide access to financing schemesInclude acquisition as route into entrepreneurshipEncourage 50+ to support others as Business Angels ormentorsTax and social security systems should not act asdisincentives
  5. 5. European Supported InitiativesPrince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (UK charity) http://www.prime.org.uk/Mature Entrepreneurs (Poland) http://pup.gda.pl/en/articles/629_914.htmlBest Agers (multiple countries) www.best-agers-project.euSenior Enterprise (three partner countries plus observers across NW Europe) www.seniorenterprise.ie
  6. 6. The means by which those in the older groups willengage with enterprise as part of this ambitious pilotprogramme is: Through starting and partnering Through investing and acquiring Through advising and supporting innovation in new and existing businesses Role of Senior Ambassadors in reinforcing the message
  7. 7. Senior Enterprise is also focused on: Raising awareness of the many ways in which older people can engage with enterprise Identifying and influencing the removal of barriers to engagement Influencing policymakers to view older people through engagement with enterprise as a resource
  9. 9. Senior EntrepreneursDeveloped and implemented on the basis oftransnational and shared learningIterative process has permitted the identification ofappropriate content and delivery style for 50+ SeniorEntrepreneursRole of volunteer mentors/facilitatorsCommunication strategy/ gatekeepers role in generatingfield of suitable participants
  10. 10. Community of Shared InterestPartnersMid-East Regional Authority, Ireland (Lead Partner)The PRIME Initiative, UKInno TSD, FranceObserversCity of Bonn, North Rhine Westphalia, GermanyConseil Général des Côtes d’Armor, Brittany FranceCounty Enterprise Boards in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, IrelandDublin City University, Ireland (Link to Professor of Entrepreneurship)Ministry for Intergenerational Affairs, Family, Women and Integration, North RhineWestphalia, GermanyPerspective 45, LuxembourgProvincial Government of Gelderland, NetherlandsPRIME Cymru, Wales
  11. 11. Highly InnovativeTurns the disadvantages often associated with the over 50’s and demographic change into a positive driver of entrepreneurship and growthSuch a comprehensive approach has not been delivered previouslyModel is being tested and will be rolled out beyond NWE
  12. 12. It is intended as a result of Senior Enterprise that More businesses will have been started More investment will have been made More older citizens will be active as advisors in new and developing businesses
  13. 13. Senior EntrepreneursOf those who have received some form of Senior Enterprise support, over 900 had set up new businesses in 2011.
  14. 14. Responding to Demographic Change in North West Europe To learn more please visit the website www.seniorenterprise.ie
  15. 15. Seniors-A Source of Untapped Enterprise Potential? Paula Fitzsimons paula@fitzsimons-consulting.com
  16. 16. Seniors-A Source of Untapped Enterprise Potential? Most definitely! Paula Fitzsimons paula@fitzsimons-consulting.com