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The Start-Up School provides entrepreneurship training, coaching and a network for seniors interested in starting a business. The programme is free and fully funded by local government in partnership with grant providers, housing associations and organisations dedicated to serving unemployed people over the age of 50 years old.



The programme aims to address a growing population of jobseekers over the age of 50 years old. The Start-Up School began in 2020 following the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to higher rates of unemployment among seniors in London.


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The 8-week training course includes over 25 hours of pre-recorded videos on various entrepreneurial themes by two business development consultants, the two co-founders of the programme. These include creating a business idea, business planning, marketing and branding, finance and business models and legal information. During the course, participants receive individual and group coaching during weekly Zoom check-in sessions with the course creators. The course also aims to increase digital skills among seniors and concludes with a short-form video showcase of the cohort’s businesses.  The programme is open to any new and existing senior entrepreneurs.


The first cohort of the programme began in October 2020 with 65 students. Since then, the course has run every 3 months. As of April 2022, there were 165 spots available in the spring 2022 cohort. In a survey of the previous programme participants, 35% reported to have earned money from their business during the Start-Up School for Seniors. Three-quarters said that they now had sufficient business skills to start their business. A large majority (79%) reported that upon completion of the programme, they were confident about the future of their businesses. Following the success of the programme in London, the programme is being expanded to Central Bedfordshire, where nearly one in three jobseekers are over the age of 50 years old.