Mentoring for the Over 50s

Since the project started a year ago, the Chamber’s Over 50s business mentors have engaged with more than 50 people aged over 50 who are looking to go into business and be their own boss. Business advisors Fiona Grist and Lynda Draper are often helping older people who have been made redundant or who are at the early stages of retirement.

“Most of our start-ups are lifestyle businesses,” says Fiona Grist. “For younger people, access to finance is a major issue in starting a business, but the over 50s are often in a better position. They often have funding, whether that’s through redundancy or early retirement, to do something in business that they’ve always wanted to do. They have a greater maturity too. Their concerns aren’t really any different from anyone under 50 when it comes to starting a business. They can be a bit more cautious and risk averse, especially if they’re investing their savings or redundancy money.”

Help, advice and guidance begins with a one-day start-up course at the Chamber. These sessions are run every month, as Fiona explains.

“We go through market research, marketing, elevator pitches and getting people to talk comfortably about themselves and their business. We cover cash flow, forecasts, tax, National Insurance and VAT, bookkeeping, raising finance, business plan, legal status, insurances. It’s a real primer and a taster for each area.”

The workshop is followed up with 1 to 1 mentoring from Fiona or Lynda, every month until the business starts, followed by regular support for the next three years. Mentoring is very informal and can include home visits or chats over cups of coffee, in a relaxed environment. There are also regular drop in sessions at the Chamber, bringing together start-up businesses.

“Our role is to ask questions and make suggestions,” Fiona says. “Sometimes people – men and women – can be lacking in self-confidence because of what has happened to them in the past, perhaps with redundancy or unemployment. Our job is also to help and encourage. Lots of people need help with being able to sell. Self-belief and self-confidence are hugely important.
“The message is definitely ‘you’re not on your own’. Isolation and loneliness are definitely big problems for society and the Isle of Wight community. We’re helping to support people by encouraging them into self-employment, helping people who have come out of a work environment, preventing them from becoming isolated.”

Island Business April 2019

Island Business April 2019

Events

april

25apr9:30 am4:00 pm50 Plus Start Me Up - Free One-Day Business Start Up Course

25apr9:30 am4:00 pmFree One-Day Business Start Up Course

25apr11:00 am12:00 pmLearn more about the Chamber HR, Health & Safety, Tax & Legal Services

26apr9:30 am12:30 pmFREE CPR AND DEFIBRILLATOR (AED) WORKSHOP

26apr1:00 pm4:00 pmFire Marshal Course - Good Skills Training

may

01may9:00 am10:00 amThe Benefits of Joining the Isle Of Wight Chamber

02may10:00 am5:00 pmManaging Teams to Inspire – One Day Training Course by In2action

03may7:30 am9:30 amIW CHAMBER BUSINESS BREAKFAST AT ROYAL OCEAN RACING CLUB

08may10:00 am3:30 pmBrilliant Blogging to Boost Business with The Magpie Anthology

09may7:30 am9:30 amThursday Tea and Toast Networking - Caffe Isola

09may5:30 pm7:30 pm#LinkedInLocal Isle of Wight, Ryde Castle Hotel

13may10:00 am1:00 pmCreating Your First Website - Nosy Design

15may10:00 am5:00 pmGo Ahead Make My Day – Management Teams – One Day Training Course by In2action

17may8:00 am2:00 pmTour of Island Tea & Coffee co

22may9:00 am5:00 pmHighfield Level 2 Award in Health and Safety - Good Skills Training

23may9:30 am4:00 pm50 Plus Start Me Up - Free One-Day Business Start Up Course

23may9:30 am4:00 pmFree One-Day Business Start Up Course

23may12:00 pm2:30 pmLUNCH WITH SHAUN SMITH (SMITH + CO) - UKSA

28may9:00 am5:00 pmLevel 2 Food Safety - Jigsaw Training

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