|A new Dutch government program called SeniorStart “aims at stimulating successful entrepreneurship by older (45+) people who have lost or left their jobs or are re-entering the workforce after an extended period, by creating a dedicated (virtual) professionally-staffed National Service Centre and supporting the sharing of knowledge and experience between experienced senior entrepreneurs and new startups through regional networks”.
The National Service Centre offers the following services.
Regional networks, staffed by 50-80 senior entrepreneurs each, will be set up initially in three of Holland’s twelve provinces, and later expanded to all provinces. They will function as platforms for sharing knowledge and idea incubators for qualifying new entrepreneurs. Knowledge and ideas will be leveraged nationally by the Service Centre and its sponsors.
The project is financed by the Taskforce on Older People and Employment, the GAK (Industrial Insurance Administration Office), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the WISE (Working Network and Information Centre for Senior Entrepreneurs) Foundation. It was co-developed by WISE and MKB, an umbrella group of over 500 trade organizations and business associations.
This is a wonderful initiative, one that deserves to be studied and emulated in other countries.
Now, what I’d really like to see is a network that connects these older, experienced aspiring entrepreneurs with the other group that desperately needs advice on how to set up a new business — young people just graduating from school and unwilling to enter into a lifelong contract of wage slavery as menial employees to pay off their student loans — and then advises both groups on how to set up and operate a successful entrepreneurial business.