Earlier the idea that establishment of a start-up is for young people, who are still learning to get to know business, was often escalated. However today in our society it is not surprising at all to meet successful and ambitious people, who have already completed their studies, are well established in the labour market and who overshadow those around them with their new business ideas and move towards the implementation of their dreams rather than ideas dictated by others. Therefore in 2019 in the international sustainable business promotion programme “Futurepreneurs” there aren`t any age restrictions.
Scared by the examples of well-known names
Most older people are not only inspired, but also scared by the examples of well-known names, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, who implemented their ideas at their twenties, however according to the data of “Harward Boston Review” the main Boston magazine, in reality, the situation is slightly different.
In 2018 a research was conducted in the USA in order to find out the average age of a successful start-up founder. The results raised quite a few eyebrows – the average age was 42 years. In the field of software the average age of start-up founders is 40 and in the oil and gas and biotechnology sector, it reaches 47. It is concluded that ideas of more complicated fields are not so often among the start-ups founded by the youth. The most rapid start-up development within five years, however, is achieved by people, who started their business at the age of 45. In case of Steve Jobs, his most successful and profitable years came also much later – at 52.
Sustainable business is not just ecology
In order to create a business which is not only new, but also sustainable one needs to make additional efforts and be willing to find out, why we should think about it.
“Most people understand sustainability only as ecology and environment protection; however it has a much wider meaning as it may seem. The notion of sustainability also includes high-quality education, gender equality, development of industry, infrastructure, innovations, etc., therefore when thinking about a new business idea its value may be doubled when contributing to the creation and development of the sustainable world,” says Laima Kaušpadienė, Director of the Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park.
Such well-known brands as H&M, Adidas, Airbnb, HSBC bank, etc. support the development of sustainable business showing the world an example not only how the environment can be improved, but also how it can be beneficial to people themselves.
There are no age restrictions in “Futurepreneurs” programme
Initiated by the Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park, the international sustainable business promotion programme “Futurepreneurs”, which takes place for already three years, starts again at the beginning of 2019. Registration to the programme in Lithuania will start on 2 January and will continue till 13 February. This year the programme organisers invite to register everyone who would like to participate without any age restrictions. During the two-month programme, the participants gain knowledge at the training sessions, which take place in Vilnius, with the support of professionals in their field analyse and determine goals of business to be established, target market, develop value proposals, construct a draft of their business model. The programme participants are also supported by mentors, who share their experience, insights and give advice.
“Futurepreneurs” programme, started in Lithuania, also took place in Poland at the beginning of this year and in 2019 it will take place for the first time in the Netherlands.
“During two years in the finals of the “Futurepreneurs” programme, we have heard almost fifty sustainable business ideas. At the end of the programme, it is nice to see the progress of people, who joined the programme having minimum knowledge on business and sustainability, and their determination to develop their ideas. Feedback of the previous participants was very good and workshops were also attended by older people, who used to come as listeners. It encouraged us this year to invite to the programme not only the youth but also older people, who wish to gain additional knowledge,” says Laima Kaušpadienė.
There isn`t such a thing as not the right time to implement one`s ideas
Older people have more experience, but also more fears of making mistakes and sometimes this stops them from seeking their goals, taking up completely new activities, which require leaving their comfort zone. On the contrary, the youth use their ambitious maximalism, courage and determination to change the world making mistakes and learning from them. There isn`t the right time or place to implement one`s idea – only the right attitude and determination to take the first step.
“People often limit themselves offering various excuses. It seems that it is not the right time to start own business, they lack knowledge or support. These are the reasons why this year there aren`t any restrictions in the programme – everyone who wishes, people of various ages and competencies may participate. The only criterion is that the business idea presented at the end of the programme should meet the principles of sustainable development,” says Laima Kaušpadienė.