The Age of Entrepreneurship
Contrary to popular belief, the largest number of British entrepreneurs are 55 years and over, rather than 20-somethings like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
New findings by Nominet Trust explode the myth that older people don’t have the desire or know-how to be entrepreneurs. Most people believe that entrepreneurs fit into the 25-34 age group, when in fact they are more likely to be over 55. Nominet Trust has also found that perceptions of how older people use the internet and what they have to offer are largely incorrect: most people believe that people over 65 are luddites when, in fact, the fastest growing users of digital and social media are older.
Published today (26th October), Nominet Trust’s Ageing and the Use of the Internet report highlights that there is huge potential to mobilise our aging population’s enterprise and digital savvy to address social problems in their lives and communities using the internet. In particular, the report shows there is a pressing need for products, services and technologies for older people designed by older people.
For this reason, Nominet Trust is launching a £250,000 Challenge. The Challenge’s funding will be available for projects that work with older people to: use the internet to address specific social problems facing older people; design new and better ways for older people to get on to and use the internet; and develop and use technologies which older people feel comfortable with.
Annika Small, Director of Nominet Trust said:
“The internet has the potential to make entrepreneurs of us all. At this time of global recession, we urgently need to tap into the creativity, experience and enterprise of older people to address big social challenges. There is already a wealth of older entrepreneurs but as a society we’re missing a trick by not encouraging them to develop products and services with and for their peers. The internet is a powerful tool to engage people in the design of solutions that meet a specific social problem and improve their lives and communities.
Nominet Trust’s Ageing and the Use of the Internet report shows that older age is actually a better predictor of success for entrepreneurial start ups. And a survey carried out by Nominet Trust to coincide with the research launch has found that people are more likely than not to be interested in becoming an entrepreneur past the age of 55, if they had the resource to do so.
The fastest growing users of digital and social media are older and the number of over 65s grew by 81% over same period. Evidence suggests that increasing numbers of older people are not only using the internet but becoming next generation users, creating content, sharing ideas and experiences, and using the internet to take action in their community.
This all combines to show us that the real generation gap is in our perceptions and that it is time that we recognise the huge potential of our aging population to use the internet in addressing the big social challenges facing this country.
Notes to editors
About the Nominet Trust
The Nominet Trust is a UK registered charity, which believes in the power of the internet to improve lives and communities.
The Trust brings together, invests in and supports people committed to using the internet to create social and economic value.
Nominet Trust has invested in hundreds of projects since its inception in September 2008, providing business support as well as financial investment, seeking to connect projects to prospective partners who can help increase their reach and impact.
Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. Nominet has a strong public purpose and the Trust is one example of its commitment to creating a safer, accessible and diverse internet.
Details of how to apply for investment can be found here and the next deadline for first stage applications is 1st February, with full applications completed by 1st March.