Page 20 - good life autum 17
P. 20

Start Me Up for over-50s
How 50-plus Islanders are learning to be their
own boss

THE IW Chamber of Commerce is                 Our conversations are often about how we       Everyone moves at their own speed too.”
supporting older people on the Island by      turn a hobby into a business.”                    Clients receive mentoring for up to three
providing help and advice on starting a
business or being self-employed.                 Fiona and Lynda provide one-to-one          years and there are regular monthly get-
                                              mentoring, often meeting clients at home.      togethers, which are a chance to swap notes
   Since 2015, the chamber has been hosting   The mentors provide practical help as well as  and possibly find a bit of work too.
monthly workshops and providing ongoing       friendly support.
mentoring as part of the Age Friendly Island
campaign, an exciting partnership funded by      “We help with all of the legal
the National Lottery through the BIG Lottery  things, like information about
Fund, making the Island a great place to      insurance and registering with
grow old, while tackling social isolation.    HMRC, but it’s also about being
                                              able to provide a bit of a nudge,
   The chamber’s Over 50s business mentors    encouraging our clients to plan
are engaging with people aged over 50 who     ahead before we have our next
are looking to go into business and be their  meeting. We are there to listen to
own boss.                                     new ideas and to hopefully provide
                                              a bit of reassurance too.”
   Business advisors Fiona Grist and Lynda
Draper are often helping older people who        That reassurance is often
have been made redundant or who are at the    crucial when it comes to helping a
early stages of retirement.                   fledgling business idea. Restoring
                                              confidence or fighting self-doubt
   More than 100 people have now attended     can be a big part of the journey to
the Start Me Up one-day business course       being your own boss.
as part of the programme and more than 45
new businesses have been created so far.         “Some of our clients have been
                                              through bullying or stress at work
   “The majority of our clients have never    and might have retired early or
been self-employed before and they’ve now     taken redundancy, partly because
reached that age where they want to do        of their experience. Starting again,
something for themselves, that they enjoy     and having the confidence to leave
doing,” Fiona said.                           all of that behind, is very fulfilling.
                                              We watch our clients grow, from
   “Our job is to take a good idea and help   hesitancy to enjoying the process.
people to sell it, whether it’s a service or
product, and make a bit of money out of it.

   Start me up — Top tips from Lynda and Fiona

1  Start with the Start Up Course

   It’s an essential primer for the next step. The workshop
   provides help and advice on marketing, market research,
   customer care, banking, tax, National Insurance, cash flow
   forecasts, business names, legal status and business
   insurance. Bookkeeping and tax returns can be a big worry
   for newly self-employed people, so we put on whole day
   sessions covering bookkeeping and tax returns.

20 ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY PRESS The Good Life Autumn 2017
   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25