The State of Senior Entrepreneurship in Canada

SEASONS GREETINGS

With another New Year starting today I’d like to wish all of my friends and readers of this blog a very Happy Holiday season and a prosperous 2015 New Year.

INTRODUCTION

I have mixed feelings regarding what I am going to write about today.  To date I have already written 36 only blog posts about senior entrepreneurs and seniors issues in Canada and for the most part there seems to be very little interest in this subject matter.  Maybe I’m getting way ahead of myself and I need to have more patience. On the other hand, I think that the Federal & Provincial governments in Canada see the potential of senior entrepreneurship and how this area could improve the quality of life of Canadian seniors; but at the same time this cohort is basically ignored.

As a result, it appears that many Canadians 50 plus have enormous health, education, lifelong learning, and ‘productive longevity’ challenges. If seniors are not provided with adequate training resources and facilities I’m afraid that this group will find it easier to be stuck in the past OR just work and play alone because nobody cares to help them go to a higher level and find some opportunities to give back to society.

Is there any light at the end of this dark tunnel? Remember the popular TV show Star Trek? Instead of being stuck in the past, the Captain of the space ship Enterprise, William Shatner now 83 years old has not quit because of ‘old age’ just being comfortable on his ‘pasture land’, contemplating his past accomplishments.  Instead, William Shatner, a speaker, author and a seniorpreneur (senior entrepreneur or small business owner) is presenly working on a “Catch Me Up” book project.

Shatner advises that seniors need to embrace new technology and accept new challenges at a later stage of life. Seniors have skills and life experience that they can leverage to achieve great things. But in order to do that, they have to ‘catch up’ to the technology of the day.

LIFE REIMAGINED- CARP & AARP

I believe that there is a huge differents in real activities to help seniors and specifically on the topic of ‘Life Reimagined’ between CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) and AARP (American Association of Real Possibilities).

I believe that CARP is basically stuck in the past preferring to focus on getting more entitlements (Health Care) and Pension reform for Canadians rather than discussing and creating new initiatives to help seniors in Canada who want to become more active, creative, productive and prosperous in their pre-retirement or retirement life.  I’m still waiting for the day that CARP will facilitate some workshops for those Canadians who need some more help to shift from a passive retirement to a more productive and meaningful retirement.

Life Reimagined was launched by AARP (American Association of Real Possibilities) in 2013. Life Reimagined is a first-of-its kind source of online and offline experiences that guide people through life transitions by helping them discover new possibilities and connect with a community of people pursuing similar passions and goals.

Life Reimagined online centers on an exclusive, customizable roadmap available at http://www.lifereimagined.org that helps people understand where they are in their journey to achieve their goals and dreams, reflect, and make decisions in planning their next steps.  It also includes a ‘Sounding Board’- a new kind of private social network for people to surround themselves with trusted friends and allies.  Through the ‘Sounding Board’ and other connection tools members of the Life Reimagined community help each by offering advice and support to help reach their goals both big and small.  Life Reimagined Institute for Innovation, is a world class group of thought leaders in the areas of life and career coaching, psychology, personal development, health and entrepreneurship.

Question- What is  Senior Entrepreneurship?

This is my particular area of focus, passion and interest. I think that the leader in this field is my good friend, Elizabeth Isele of Wasington, D.C. who is the Founder and President of Senior Entrepreneurship Works.  Senior Entrepreneurship Works was founded in January, 2012, the organization, designed to help seniors age 50+ launch their own businesses has transformed into a Movement. For Canada to be involved in this Movement it’s critical for both CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) and Startup Canada based in Ottawa, ON to adopt some of the Life Reimagined and Senior Entrepreneurship ideas and principles; in order for Canadian seniors to become more active and creative producing meaningful projects.

The Movement is comprised of individuals, organizations, corporations and governments from all corners of the world across sectors in unlikely coalitions creating systems to boost economic self-reliance, vitality and growth for individuals, communities and the world.

Elizabeth’s Senior Entrepreneurship Works is strategically focusing on four pillars to grow and sustain this Movement and amplify it’s impact:

1. Entrepreneurship Education & Training Programs

2. Access to Capital

3. Advocacy and Public Policy

4. Research

The End goal of senior entrepreneurship is changing the negative paradigm of aging to one of positive and creative social and economic opportunities by activating seniors’ wealth of experience, wisdom and resources. This will drive our new economy through their business startups, and boost prosperity for all ages; as they pour investment dollars back into their own communities.

CONCLUSION

Today, I strongly believe that Canada is a long way from having the right kind of public policy to promote the new trend of ‘productive longevity’.  As a result, I think that the State of ‘Senior Entrepreneurship’ in Canada is hopeful because of the developments in the USA, but within Canada itself not I think that it’s not very good.

FUTURE BLOG ARTICLES

I’d like to dream that everything is fine, however; I think that there has been very little or no progress regarding Canada’s role and responsibilities in promoting ‘Senior Entrepreneurship’ and Lifelong Learning for Seniors 50 plus.

January 1, 2015 is an important date.  It means that now we can say that EVERY Boomer/Elder is at least 50 years old.  I’s now more crtical than ever to have something in place before this huge 50+ cohort approaches retirement, with a strong possibility that many seniors will have nothing purposeful and/or meaningful to do. I hate to see seniors being unimportant, invisable, politically weak, socially discountable, and economically insignificant.

Myself, I’m going to take an unspecified amount of time (sabbatical) away from my present blogging activities to focus more on RESEARCH in the area of ‘Senior Entrepreneurship’ and find out how in Canada we can take this subject to a higher level.  I will be able to study what is happening in REAL time in different countries around the World.

For those friends, readers and the leadership community who want more information about my ‘Seniorpreneur Project’ I have the following references:

1. My new book titled, Encore! Encore! Seniors (50 Plus) As Entrepreneurs: Their Time Has Come. (Available on Amazon.com)

http://www.amazon.com/Encore-Seniors-50-Entrepreneurs/dp/1493793608

2. My website- http://www.seniorpreneur.ca/

3. My Blog address- (37 Only Blog articles) https://seniorpreneur.wordpress.com

4. My Empire Avenue Site- http://www.tsu.co/seniorbiz

5. My e-mail address- joewasylyk@hotmail.com

Thanks for your interest.  If you want to leave any comments or any ideas about how we can expedite the 50+ entrepreneur movement in Canada please feel free to do so below.

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10 thoughts on “The State of Senior Entrepreneurship in Canada

  1. lee anne says:

    Happy New Year Joe! Don’t give up! I am a 55+ entrepreneur who has had the good fortune of finding an incredible product which I was able to introduce to Canadians 6 years ago. Over 80% of our clients are seniors and I specifically look for “mature adults” to represent my company. I made a promise when I started this company that I would pay it forward, by making sure that the majority of my Dealers are 55+.
    I have never regretted my decision. The seniorpreneur has a great work ethic and understand the importance of customer service. I currently have 9 Dealers in Ontario and Quebec. There is a definate need for websites like yours, just give them time to find it and more time to participate. I found you on youinc. a few months ago, I decided to comment because I heard the frustration in your post. I know they are out there, the majority of my Dealer inquiries are from 50+.
    Keep up the good work!
    Regards,
    Lee Anne Daniels

  2. Jan says:

    Hi Joe! Don’t give up. Let’s collaborate. We are definitely on the same page. I have been a Career Counsellor for 20+ and recently became self-employed to better serve Boomer women. I have written a book called, Work On Your Own Terms in midlife and beyond. I have been offering a series of free workshops to help Boomers create their own work – either as entrepreneurs or via multiple streams of income. Have recently added paid workshops and a Retreat to the mix.

    On Vancouver Island, there is huge growth in Boomer self-employment as most of the jobs available are a mis-match for our skills and interests. I would love to chat with you.

  3. Sandra says:

    I just came across your blog and am very interested in this area. I work primarily with women entrepreneurs but I think there is and will be a huge need for specialized work as well in developing supports for senior entrepreneurs and encouraging this option. The government has put huge amounts of money into Futurepreneur, it would be good to see some creative development at the other end of the spectrum.

    I’d love to stay connected to this movement.

  4. Hello Joe,
    I just came across your blog on one of my favorite topics…Seniorpreneurs. I’m the Founder of Canadian Business Chicks. We are the first inclusive women’s platform connecting Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Mom’s Students, and you guessed it…..SENIORPRENEURS.
    I truly believe that everyone brings something to the table and I’ve intentionally included Seniorpreneurs as the 55+ group have so much to offer. There is definitely a place for Seniorpreneurs in The Nest and support what your doing. Feel free to send me a note on my site. http://www.canadianbusinesschicks.com
    Great work and look forward to continuing the conversation. Love to help advocate and collaborate!

  5. Lisha says:

    Sometimes you just have to give it more time. You never know when you’ll turn a corner and your ideas will suddenly become more recognized.

  6. Manual Pietz says:

    enjoyed your insight and would love to connect, please can you connect with me https://www.facebook.com/JPencilliah

  7. Jan says:

    Hi Joe! I’m wondering if you monitor this site. i wrote my first post here a year ago but have not yet heard from you. I believe this topic is really heating up both online and off. By the way, you are right about AARP being much more progressive than CARP. I am now in their Pilot Project on Life Reimagined. It’s allowing me to connect with my peers across the Border. I feel lucky they let a Canadian into their program. Feel free to connect with me via: Jan@WorkOnYourOwnTerms.com

  8. Jan, Hi there! Thanks very much for your posts here. I’m monitoring this site to give approvals. At the present time I am doing more research work in this area. It would be great if CARP had a special person in charge of Lifelong Learning, Financial Literacy and Senior Entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, CARP for some reason still wants to focus on Healthcare & Pension Reform. These are important issues however; they don’t do much for seniors who want to be more active, creative and productive in their pre-retirement or retirement life.

  9. Nourhène Zghal says:

    Hello, It’s the first time I read your post and I find it very interesting. I belive also on senior and on their contribution in our society. I’m preparing my Ph-D about senior entrepreneurship, but I did’n find a lot of scientific article in this subject for the canadian case. If you have a some research about senior entrepreneurship (canadian case or another) please send it to me.
    Merci !
    Greeting from Tunisia
    Nourhène

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