Start-up Plus

Facing retirement, 10% dreams of starting their own business and 73% needs to keep working for financial reasons. Did you know that start-ups by seniors are more successful and sustainable? But most start-up courses target and are tailored to young entrepreneurs. By encouraging entrepreneurial activity we could give people the opportunity to live out an active lifestyle, increase employability and reduce risks of financial vulnerability and ageism.

Reason enough to launch an educational start-up programme with seniors; Start-up Plus. Piloting in the Netherlands and Poland, the programme was open for about 100 participants. There was no registration fee. We aimed at 50+ with an idea for a business that are currently unemployed or in the workplace but want a second career and retirees that wish to start their own business. Participants did not require any background knowledge, but were selected participants on the basis of their motivation.

We offered a blended programme of eight weeks, combining face-to-face events with adaptive personalized online learning and support of peers, business coaches and top experts. Topics included:

  • Discover customer insights
  • The ability to apply design thinking
  • Learn to test assumptions fast
  • Basic knowledge of business models
  • Basic knowledge of (online) marketing
  • Introductory knowledge of change management and mindset
  • Getting acquaintance with tools to develop prototypes such as open source coding

At the end of the course, on 12 December 2019, participants pitched their business plan to a jury.
The winning idea received 10.000 euro to boost the start of their company.

As this pilot was very succesfull, we hope to be able to organise it in 2020 again. Contact Ineke Vlek should you be interested.

The programme is funded by the European consortium EIT Health, and organised by Leyden Academy, Aegon, Medical University Lodz, University of Naples Federico II and Institute Pedro Nunes.

Watch the trailer (1.16 minute) for more information: