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Charity supports Sheffield’s over 50s start their own business

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A national charity dedicated to supporting people over the age of 50 who are unemployed or out of work explore self-employment is returning to Sheffield to host a series of interactive training workshops to help mature people start up their own businesses.

More than 250 people from Sheffield have contacted The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) for help in how to start their own business and the charity is planning to host the first of three workshops on Tuesday, February  18, at the Niagara Conference & Leisure Centre.

The course beginning in February will be delivered over eight weeks, taking people over the age of 50 through the challenging process of preparing to run their own business, covering areas such as managing finances, understanding legal requirements and how to draft a business plan.

The importance of small businesses to the UK’s economy is paramount, employing more than 14 million people, with a combined turnover of £1,500 billion, and of all businesses, 62.7 per cent were sole proprietorships.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also demonstrate that number of workers who are self-employed increased between 2008 and 2012 to more than 4.2 million, with more than 1.7 million coming from the over 50s.

In Sheffield there are 29,500 people who work for themselves and PRIME promotes self-employment as a viable route into sustainable work, which could be a possible alternative for the 3,500 unemployed over 50s in the area.

Lynda Jackson, a former police constable, has started her own long-arm quilting business since going on a PRIME course.

She said:

“The PRIME course was very helpful, providing structure and helping me to focus on the different aspects involved in establishing a new and hopefully successful business in these trying times.”

And Hugh Long, a former engineer, secondary school teacher and local authority worker, also attended a PRIME course before setting up his own maths tutoring business:

He said:

“I knew the theory of how to run a business but the course gave me an insight into the individual issues, such as keeping focused and how to build on early successes so the business becomes sustainable, and my advice to anyone who wants to start a business would be to pick something you really enjoy doing,”

Terry King, PRIME’s northern development manager, said:

“We tend to think that unemployment only affects the younger generations but nearly half of unemployed over 50s in the UK have been out of out of work for more than a year.

“This is a terrible waste as older people have years of skills and experience that could be benefiting the economy.”

“If you are over 50 and want to have a new direction in life, we can help provide you with the hard skills so you are much better prepared to start a business before going out on your own.”

Further details can be found at www.prime.org.uk/courses or contacting Terry King on: 07557 964511 or terry.king@prime.org.uk.

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