According to their reports, the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity among the 50+ category in the UK and Ireland increased over the duration of the Senior Enterprise project. Strong groups and networks were also created, leading to continued meetings and courses after the end of the project period.
In terms of awareness, the project also influenced regional, national and European policy makers, and changed the perception of policy makers in respect of those aged 50 and over. For example, in their Report of the Entrepreneurship Forum, which was established by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, seniors were highlighted as a group with entrepreneurial potential.
For example, the EU 2020 Entrepreneurship Action Plan highlighted the potential of those aged 50 and over as entrepreneurs and as mentors and mentioned the project as a good practice example.
Áine Cuddihy, one of the participants in this project highlighted her experience with Senior Enterprise and was featured as a ‘Role Model’ on their website. She said: “The Senior Entrepreneur course was a phenomenal experience for me. I had made an awful lot of mistakes in the past. I learned to market my business better through Facebook and Twitter. Even a week after doing the course, I have secured five new orders and have more than doubled my Facebook followers.”
Áine ‘s example not only illustrates the direct impact Senior Enterprise had on her budding business, but it highlights the impact this project has had on supporting new businesses and increasing entrepreneurial activities among the over 50 age group.