Shropshire business scheme helps silver entrepreneurs on the road to success

A Shropshire business support scheme for the over-50s has helped boost the business of more than 40 budding entrepreneurs.

Silverpreneurs founders Vernon Hogg (left) and Chris Gough with Emma Chapman of the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire

The Silverpreneurs® group was launched last year as an innovative programme of support for new or relaunched businesses run by people over-50.

It was headed by a collective of “silverexperts” who over the last six months have worked with 42 businessmen and women to enhance and develop their business ideas.

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The scheme was funded by the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire which used money from Shropshire Council’s £3.2 million economic recovery programme. The economic recovery programme uses Government grants to fund a series of business support programmes.

Silverpreneurs® co-founders Vernon Hogg and Chris Gough said that the Shropshire scheme had been launched in recognition of the fact that there was considerable support available for young entrepreneurs but very little designed specifically for the over-50s.

“We have had the privilege of helping Silverpreneurs® clients with their fantastic business ideas and of showing that being over-50 doesn’t have to be a barrier to launching or growing a successful business,” they said.

The Silverpreneurs® clients have included a cheese making business, adventure holidays, a social care business and international marketing.

Silverpreneurs® offered free business advice in each three month long programme of support, ideas, information and inspiration for those aged over 50 who were setting up or revitalising their business enterprises.

The 42 clients received one-to-one and group sessions on business strategy, planning, getting ready to approach investors, sales and marketing and networking.

Emma Chapman, manager at the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire, said that the growth hub’s aim was to support all businesses across the region. The Silverpreneurs®  programme had been a successful way of reaching an important group within the county’s business community.

“We have been really heartened to see the progress that clients have made through the Silverpreneurs® programme. That success not only benefits the individuals involved but also feeds into the wider business community and local economy,” she said.