This week I was invited to make a presentation to an audience of over-50s who want to become entrepreneurs, hosted at The British Library by PRIME, The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.
As some of you may know, I am one of the four founding directors of >> Make it and Mend it, a website dedicated to living sustainably and creatively by making things and mending them instead of buying stuff and binning it. PRIME invited me to tell the would-be mature entrepreneurs how we, four over-50 women, built up Make it and Mend it from a casual conversation over a working lunch to a thriving and fast-growing online source of ideas and inspiration, with a large >> Twitter and >>Facebook following.
PRIME was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in response to letters he was receiving from people desperate to work but unable to find anyone to employ them – because of their age. It offers free information, workshops and business networking events.
The evening was well attended – there are a lot of over 50s out there mad keen to establish their own small businesses – and it was one of several happening throughout the UK. Presentations included advice on PR and marketing, IT, financing etc and I was one of three entrepreneurs (or as PRIME rather irritatingly calls us “olderpreneurs”) recounting our experiences.
Several key themes came out across the presentations, notably the growing importance of using social media, of exploiting personal networks and of using the many free resources for advice and knowledge.
The evening also provided an excellent if brief opportunity for networking and I was fortunate to meet a number of interesting people, including my fellow presenters, Cecile who has set up a franchised dating company and has financed it via a Zopa-PRIME loan and Suzy who founded Walking Workouts. >>More info on the roadshows
I plan to write a series of blog pieces to pull out some of the learning I shared to the attendees at the PRIME roadshow – so watch this space!