Bambi Price

Baby Boomers are Revolutionising Entrepreneurship

Delia Scales
Jan 27 · 5 min read

What is the fastest growing entrepreneurial group?

Senior entrepreneurs, or people over the age of 50, starting a new business.

The generation labelled ‘Baby Boomers’ have always done things differently.

Encouraged by better nutrition and affordable education, they have always challenged authority and the ‘way things have been done in the past’.

In the seventies and eighties they fought for family planning and demanded equal pay.

After raising their families and working hard to pay off mortgages, they are now facing extended life expectancy due to advances in healthcare.

Instead of simply retiring and collecting a pension like their parents, many ‘Baby Boomers’ across Australia are learning about new technologies and entering the world of entrepreneurship.

Fast facts –

  • Thirty-four per cent of young firms in Australia are led by senior entrepreneurs
  • Seniors (over the age of 50) are the fastest growing entrepreneurial group.Between 8 and 16% of startups across the world are run by senior entrepreneurs
  • Overall, senior entrepreneurs have more industry experience than their junior counterparts, invest more money and create higher profits.

“Baby boomers across Australia are taking control of their own destinies by starting new businesses at an age where others might be looking to retire.”

However 67 percent complained about a lack of information on starting a business.

This was not just an Australian issue.

In a 2013 an OECD report found that 16 percent of people aged 50–64 were considering entrepreneurship as a late career alternative but many required assistance with skills retraining and setting up a business.

In response to this need, the Melbourne Experienced Professionals Meetup group was founded by Bambi Price with co-founders Frederick Price and Leon Sterling.

“Does the answer to Australia’s economic woes lie in more people earning income until they are 70? If so, then self-employment maybe the key. As the nature of work changes some Australians will find the best — perhaps only — source of meaningful new employment is to create their next job, rather than applying for it.”

The co founders of the Senior Entrepreneurs group are Frederick Price and Leon Sterling.

Frederick Price
Leon Sterling

This group now has 945 members. They meet once a month at the city of Boroondara Council officers.

Invited guest speakers pass on the latest trends in technology, information on small business grants and business analysis tools.

These events are free, and provide networking and information sharing.

This group now has 945 members who meet once a month at the city of Boroondara Council officers and invites guest speakers to pass on the latest trends in technology, information on small business grants and business analysis tools.

These events are free, and provide networking and information sharing.

Bambi also runs a weekly co working space where people over 50 can drop in, meet others with similar interest and share a coffee and access free wifi.

It has been based at the Hawthorn Arts Centre in 2018, and in 2019 will move to Swinburne University.

And finally, the Senior Entrepreneurs group supervises a Capstone project with Swinburne University, called Student Partnerships

This unique project offers final year students the chance to work with real customers, in a supervised environment and provide value to the community.

“Under the supervision of the Senior Entrepreneurs Group, the students listen to small business problems, devise a solution and deliver it within a set timeframe.”

Bambi’s involvement in technology goes back to her childhood.

Her mother worked at Felt and Textiles, and was the first female computer developer in Victoria, Australia. Bambi’s step father also worked as a developer. This was the pre DOS era, where people used computing languages like Cobol and Pascal.

She did a Grad Dip in data processing and information technology in the 1970’s. She learnt electronic data processing, programming and analysis. She was involved in starting a recruitment company.

Bambi has raised two children, ran the family business Park Lane Information Technology and is currently co founder of student partners and sessional teaching at Swinburne University..

She has also set up businesses designed to help older people, like Telus and LaunchVIC.

The Student Partnerships has become so successful that they are expanding the program into other Universities across Victoria.

A paid version of the program is also being commenced in 2019, with local businesses or charities able to order work and pay students directly through a website, similar to casual employment websites like Upwork.

The founders of Student Partnerships are Bambi Price, Gill Ravalli and Paul Calverley.

Gill Ravalli
Paul Calverley

“Under the supervision of the Senior Entrepreneurs Group, the students listen to small business problems, devise a solution and deliver it within a set timeframe.”

For more information about the Melbourne Senior Entrepreneurs, please get in touch via the Melbourne Experienced Professionals Network.

A new website is underway, that will promote the Senior Entrepreneurs movement, provide a co working space, networking and job seeking supports.

© Wikihospitals January 2019

References

Old school rules: Melbourne support group for senior startups goes national — Sydney Morning Herald
The Rise of the Seniorpreneurs — Colonial First
Why seniorpreneurs are the new force in small business — Smart Company
The rise of the senior entrepreneur — Swinburne University
Seniorpreneurs take control — The Senior
Age no barrier to entrepreneurial flair

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