In early January, IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) released ground breaking analysis revealing a remarkable surge in self-employment among individuals over the age of 50 - and despite an overall decrease in the total solo self-employed population since 2020, the number of business owners in this age group is experiencing significant growth.

Further analysis conducted recently by leading pension provider iSIPP has uncovered a staggering 20% increase in the number of full-time and part-time self-employed workers over the age of 65, surpassing a remarkable milestone of 523,000 individuals.

And the number of individuals aged 65 and over working as employees or self-employed has reached an all-time high of 1.468 million. Notably, self-employed workers constitute approximately 35% of the total number of individuals in this age bracket who are actively engaged in work.

Despite this surge in self-employment among older workers, the available support for those looking to transition into self-employment remains limited in most cases. However, amidst this dearth of resources, one initiative stands out.

Startup School for Seniors, a government-funded online programme, has recently been honoured with the prestigious Social Impact in Enterprise Award at the National Enterprise Network Annual Awards. This social enterprise, established during the pandemic to address the rising unemployment rate among individuals over 50, is committed to empowering this age group to pursue self-employment opportunities.

Recognising the unique challenges faced by older individuals, Startup School for Seniors provides vital support to those who require flexibility in their work. The programme acknowledges that 1 in 5 individuals over 50 are caregivers, and nearly 50% of their participants are struggling with health or mobility issues. To cater to their needs, the programme offers a range of resources, including pre-recorded videos, transcripts, one-on-one mentoring, and live workshops.

The upcoming eight-week programme, commencing Thursday January 18th, is designed to equip participants with the confidence and skills required to transform their business ideas into a reality. By offering comprehensive support and guidance, Startup School for Seniors empowers individuals to overcome challenges, explore new opportunities, and embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Through its innovative and accessible approach, Startup School for Seniors has already impacted the lives of hundreds of participants, helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their self-employment aspirations. The programme's commitment to inclusivity and its dedication to supporting those with caregiving responsibilities or health issues has garnered widespread recognition and acclaim

By equipping older individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to thrive in self-employment, Startup School for Seniors is actively bridging the support gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through its ground breaking initiatives, this government-backed program is empowering individuals over 50 to achieve financial independence, unleash their creativity, and contribute meaningfully to their communities.

Register for the next Startup School for Seniors