Reading the Gransnet newsletter last week, we were very pleased to hear about new research from the Nominet Trust revealing that entrepreneurs are more likely to be over 55 than any other age group. This flies in the face of popular belief, as findings have shown that almost 40% of people believe that entrepreneurs are between 25 and 34.
The internet is hosting the vast majority of older entrepreneurs, showing that older people are far from clueless when it comes to the world-wide web. In fact, some of the fastest rising users of digital and social media are older people, and this age group is really starting to harness the opportunities that the web provides.
However, despite this good news, there are still over 5.7 million older people in the UK that have never used the internet, and only around 25% of those over 65 are actively using the services that the web offers.
The £250,000 Challenge
In a bid to improve these figures, the Nominet Trust has launched a £250,000 Challenge to give funding and support to older people creating projects that help benefit their peers that are still beginners with digital technologies and the internet.
Using the knowledge and skills of a lifetime of experience, the £250,000 Challenge is a chance for older people to act as champions and create technologies to support their peers.
Specifically, the Nominet Trust is looking projects that work with older people (65+) to:
- use the internet to address specific social problems facing older people
- design new and better ways for older people to access and use the internet
- develop and use technologies familiar to older people who might have internet functionality, such as projects that use IPTV or internet radio.
Annika Small, Director of the Nominet Trust, said: “There is already a wealth of older entrepreneurs but as a society we’re missing a trick by not encouraging them to develop products and services with and for their peers. The internet is a powerful tool to engage people in the design of solutions that meet a specific social problem and improve their lives and communities.”
So if you have a great entrepreneurial idea for the internet, have a new technological idea that could help improve the lives of older people, or have a brilliant design that can help people access the internet, then why not apply to the Challenge?