ABOUT US

Our goal is to help Europe grow a new generation of entrepreneurs, specifically from the 50+ demographic group.

MISSION AND VISION

The experience, knowledge and skills of the over 50’s demographic as well as the size of this group provide a huge asset to Europe, both from a social and economic standpoint. Our vision is for a Europe in which this asset and potential is fully understood and realised, for the benefit of individuals, economies and society.

With this in mind, we have come together and formed the 50+Entrepreneurship Platform Europe, a group of like-minded organisations, corporates, NGOs and academics whose mission is to ensure policy makers understand, appreciate and harness the important contribution that 50+ entrepreneurship can make to Europe’s economy and society and create an environment in which 50+ entrepreneurship can fulfil its potential.

OBJECTIVES

To help achieve this objective, the initiative will act as a forum through which policy and programme insights and recommendations, best practice and evidence based research can be shared, developed and pursued.

The Platform has the following specific objectives:

  • Build greater awareness and political support for 50+ entrepreneurship
  • Inform and shape the policy environment in relation to 50+ entrepreneurship
  • Facilitate and encourage 50+ entrepreneurship knowledge sharing
  • Identify and promote the need for additional 50+ entrepreneurship initiatives and research
  • Build an understanding amongst the broader entrepreneurship community that 50+ is a vital element of entrepreneurship
  • Also build knowledge, understanding and support for 50+ entrepreneurship at Member State level

DEFINITION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The initiative supports a broad definition of entrepreneurship: one that recognises entrepreneurship as the willingness to develop, organise and pursue a business venture or initiative in order to create economic value or meet societal needs. Entrepreneurship is characterised by varying degrees of risk taking, and its scope extends from the individual, to the creation of SME-s and larger enterprises.

Anyone who decides to work for him/herself may be considered an entrepreneur, whether it is for a ‘mice’ or ‘gazelle’ enterprise. Gazelles, as extremely fast-growing companies expand continuously and create employment, but it is the mice – smaller enterprises – that are the more common. Indeed, 99% of all companies in the EU fall in the SME category – 9 out of 10 in this group are micro-enterprises.1 Some are innovative start-ups, some franchisees, direct-sellers, traditional crafts men/women, shop owners and free-lancers. Together they play a major social and economic role in society.

ACTIVITIES

The platform is engaged in many activities that aim to ensure that policy makers understand, appreciate and harness the important contribution that 50+ entrepreneurs can make to Europe's economy. Full details of our activities looking to create an environment in which 50+ entrepreneurship can fulfil its potential can be found below.

    • The “Third Age” is no longer characterised as being a short and inactive period, but now consists of many more years with a high quality of life and the desire to remain active. Tapping into the potential of this increasingly important and larger market of senior citizens could be a critical step in increasing business survival rates of SMEs, and also the creation of new businesses.

      The European Commission recently published the Good Practices Manual on Senior Entrepreneurship following two laboratories that took place during 2015 in London and Barcelona, delivered as part of the funding initiative “Senior Entrepreneurs: Best practices exchange”. The guide presents some of the existing initiatives in this field to seniors, intermediaries and policy makers, so that these key actors can better utilise existing resources, create new opportunities for cooperation or identify the gaps in supporting seniors. The guide was presented at the 50+ EPE informal public hearing on intergenerational entrepreneurship in November 2016. For more information click here.
    • On 5-8 December 2016 the European Commission Summit on Digital innovation for Active & Healthy Ageing is taking place in Brussels. The event will build on the achievements of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy ageing (EIP AHA) of which the 50 Plus Entrepreneurship Platform Europe (50+ EPE) is a member, past and current research & innovation in Horizon 2020, the Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme with Member States and the EIT-KIC on healthy living and active ageing. On Tuesday, 6 December the 50+ EPE will contribute to the session on TD 8 Scalable RoIs “The Potential of the Silver Economy” specifically on the “olderpreneur” business case.
    • On 15 November, the 50+ Entrepreneurship Platform Europe (50+ EPE) held a debate on “Boosting Europe’s Growth through Intergenerational Entrepreneurship.” Hosted at the European Parliament in Brussels by Ivan Štefanec MEP and Dita Charanzová MEP, the informal public hearing looked at defining intergenerational entrepreneurship and discussing how a multi-stakeholder approach can harness the potential of what everyone agreed was the new competitive advantage of entrepreneurship.

      Participants from the EU institutions such as the Parliament and the Commission, as well as private and third-party representatives, welcomed the initiative and concluded that support for intergenerational entrepreneurship can significantly contribute to Europe’s socio-economic development. Co-hosts Ivan Štefanec MEP and Dita Charanzová MEP together with fellow colleagues from the European Parliament, such as Heinz Becker MEP, Brando Benifei MEP, Marlene Mizzi MEP, and Tomáš Zdechovský MEP; welcomed the initiative as an important milestone to help address Europe’s societal and demographic changes.

      For a summary of the event’s discussions please click here.
    • July 2016 - Following the 50+ Platform working lunch in March, where MEP supporters gathered to discuss actions to promote senior entrepreneurship, a group of nine MEP supporters submitted a written parliamentary question (E-004594/2016) asking the Commission about current and future plans aimed at creating an environment in which 50+ entrepreneurship can fulfil its potential. The answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission was published on 15 July. The answer references the soon to be published Guide on Best Practice Exchange of Senior Entrepreneurship by DG GROW as the main source collecting activities and its outcomes on the topic of senior entrepreneurship, stating future activities on this topic are not envisioned for the near future. The 50+ EPE Secretariat is looking forward to the findings of the report and will share with members upon its publication.
    • 8 June 2016 - The 50+ Entrepreneurship Platform Europe recently joined the European Innovation Partnership on Active Healthy Aging (EIP on AHA) showing continuous support in promoting active and healthy aging policies in Europe by submitting its commitment “to provide a forum through which policy and programme insights and recommendations, best practice and evidence based research can be shared, developed and pursued” for the period 2016-2018.

      The 50+ EPE looks forward to collaborate with Partners of the EIP on AHA working on a shared vision in developing, promoting and deploying innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing.

      The commitment falls in the context of the Action Group D4 Age-friendly environments “Innovative employment policies and the silver economy” which has received 130 activities and results form 28 regions. For more information visit: https://ec.europa.eu/eip/ageing/commitments-tracker_en
    • 16 March 2016Heinz K. Becker, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s intergroup on Active ageing, Intergenerational Solidarity and Family policies hosted an exclusive lunch with fellow Members of the European Parliament, as well as members of staff, members of the 50 Plus Entrepreneurship Platform Europe and other interested stakeholders on 16 March 2016 in Brussels.
      Mr Becker has long been a champion of the rights of the senior generation and believes that entrepreneurship is more important than ever, given the current employment and societal challenges of the 50 plus group. Specifically for this purpose, Mr Becker welcomed and thanked MEP Marlene Mizzi, MEP Ivan Stefanec and MEP Eduard Kukan as well as other members of the European Parliament staff for their participation and commitment to such an important topic. Together with members of the platform, Amway, Engie and EBN, as well as other stakeholders such as the Federation of Austrian Industry and the Federation of Senior Experts, participants assessed the current state-of-play of 50 plus entrepreneurship and immediate opportunities for its acknowledgement, as well as what further opportunities can be created for this focus.
      Summarising discussions, MEP host Mr Becker underlined the need for a holistic approach bringing solutions to a variety of challenges which must also ensure that tax and social security systems are developed accordingly. Together with Mr Stefanec and Mr Kukan, Mr Becker stressed that everything discussed will be addressed to the European Commission and all members and supporters will look to gather more support from their co-nationals, as well as other entities they consider the topic is relevant to. Mr Becker thanked all participants for their valuable contribution which led to clear, concrete steps and content to harness the overall entrepreneurship potential that Europe currently has and encouraged all attendees to become missionaries on this topic at EU level, as well as national.
    • 25 November 2015 - The 50 Plus Entrepreneurship Platform Europe continues to receive on-going support from Members of the European Parliament, who have come on-board to collectively advance the platform’s objective of creating a more entrepreneurship-friendly policy environment for the 50 plus group in Europe.

      Since its launch, the Platform takes pride in listing three additional MEPs as its official supporters:
      • Eduard Kukan (Slovakia, EPP)
      • Lambert van Nistelrooij (Netherlands, EPP)
      • Ivan Štefanec, MBA, PhD (Slovakia, EPP)
      In joining the platform, Mr. Kukan MEP stated: "The importance of the 50+ demographic group is only going to increase in the coming years. It is our joint responsibility to ensure that all actors play an active role in supporting their economic endeavours, including boosting entrepreneurship. The value of the 50 plus group to Europe also brings out their particular experience, which they can share. I look forward to working with the partners of the 50+ EPE to help create a more entrepreneurship-friendly environment in Europe."

      The Platform welcomes support from other MEPs and partners and should you like to join us, please contact us at info@50plus-europe.eu or + 32 2 515 0011.
    • 23 November 2015 - Amway published the 6th edition of its annual entrepreneurship report, AGER 2015, entitled ‘Defining the entrepreneurship spirit’, which aims to shed light on the motivations of entrepreneurs in five continents. Despite geographic differences, the findings show that entrepreneurs are perceived as avid learners who strive for success and independence and entrepreneurship is viewed overwhelmingly positively.

      The survey - with a population sample of 49,775 - was conducted by Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, an independent market research institution, in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich in Germany as a scientific partner.
    • 30 October 2015 - Michael Meissner, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Amway Europe spoke at EBN’s Annual Congress, ‘‘New frontiers for innovative entrepreneurs” that took place in Brussels on 28-30 October 2015, where the audience gathered more than 2000 attendees.

      Representing the 50+ EPE, Michael spoke of the importance of 50 plus entrepreneurs and how all actors of society can work together to create a more favourable environment for senior entrepreneurs to flourish.

      His presentation can be found here.
    • 15 October 2015 - The 50+ EPE launches its very first brochure addressing a number of themes and sub-themes around the topic of 50 plus entrepreneurship. With input from members and supporters, this brochure discusses the role that policy-makers, corporates, academia and NGOs can play in improving the entrepreneurship culture in Europe.

      Some of the key issues include: the situation of 50 plus entrepreneurship in Western and Eastern Europe, the potential for inter-generational exchange between young and 50 plus entrepreneurs, the importance of training and role-models and finally the need for companies to boost entrepreneurship from within, known as intrapreneurship.

      The brochure can be found here
    • Harnessing the Entrepreneurial potential of the 50 plus demographic 15 October 2015 - 12 European stakeholders, supported by Members of the European Parliament, launched the 50 Plus Entrepreneurship Platform Europe (50+ EPE) at a luncheon event hosted by Heinz K. Becker member of the European Parliament. The platform – with its own "Call to Action" – is a group of like-minded organizations, companies, NGOs and academics who have come together to help create a Europe in which the entrepreneurial potential of over 50s can be fully harnessed. The event brought together a number of high level speakers, including Ann Branch, Head of the ‘Jobs Creation’ Unit at DG EMPL at the European Commission; Prof. Ing. Anna Pilkova, PhD., MBA, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Comenius University in Bratislava and Michael Meissner, Vice President of Corporate Affairs Amway. Host Heinz K. Becker MEP concluded the event by emphasizing his support and inviting "all of you who wish to see the 50+ group lead economically and socially active lives to do the same as together we can achieve more!"

MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS

The members of the Platform include leading academics and research institutes, charities, associations, NGOs and companies all of whom have a shared interest and real expertise in relation the over 50’s and entrepreneurship

‘In my capacity as an elected Member of the European Parliament and Member of the Parliament’s Intergroup on Active ageing, Intergenerational solidarity and Family policies, I salute the 50+ Entrepreneurship Platform Europe initiative and offer my full support.’ – Heinz Becker MEP
‘We welcome support from other like-minded politicians, corporates, organizations representing 50+ demographic  groups, NGOs, think tanks, academics, international organizations and the media as together we can achieve more’ – 50+EPE
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      Alto Center for Entrepreneurship connects Aalto University entrepreneurship activities with the surrounding ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, and investors
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      One of the world's largest direct selling businesses that has put entrepreneurship promotion at the heart of its organization
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      Business-led charity engaging businesses through programmes offering a range of practical ways for business to work together and take action. BITC’S Age at Work campaign aims to help businesses meet the challenges of an intergenerational workforce and reap both the commercial and social rewards.
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      Comenius University in Bratislava is the oldest and largest university in the Slovak Republic. Its Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship focuses on research topics that include senior entrepreneurship, inclusiveness of entrepreneurship, etc
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      The Confederation of European Senior Expert Services a.i.s.b.l., known as CESES, is an international not-for-profit association of 21 organisations from the member states of the European Union. The first such legal entity of its kind in Europe, it encompasses the skills of over 24,000 volunteers. Combining the vast resources of these organisations, CESES offers professional, voluntary, short-term assistance and advice to enterprises and institutions.
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      A French multinational electric utility company. Its CSR programme is based on supporting senior entrepreneurs and employees.
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      A multinational professional services firm. Invests in small- to medium-size businesses, social enterprises and entrepreneurs as part of its CSR programme. EY started the World Entrepreneur Of The Year program to celebrate successful entrepreneurs, so they could share their stories, inspire others and receive recognition.
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      A pan-European network bringing together more than 200 Business & Innovation Centres, and similar organisations such as incubators, innovation and entrepreneurship centres across Europe.
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      Gründer 50plus (“Founder 50plus“) is an award winning initiative addressing demographic changes in Germany through counselling and support of the 50plus population.
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      A Milan-based consultancy firm that has managed several projects on self-employment, both on behalf of the private and public sector, including working with female entrepreneurs, migrants, and older workers pre-retirement age.
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      UK charity that supports people aged over 50 who are out of work or at risk of redundancy to find employment, volunteer or set up a business.
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      Solvay Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship is the center of the Free University of Brussels fully focused on entrepreneurs and their changing needs throughout their journey, combining four perfectly complementary segments: education, training, individual coaching and networking.
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      Focuses on young people through trainings and workshops to empower youth with the tools to have a positive impact such as entrepreneurship schools set up in Europe and Asia.
    • Heinz Becker MEP

      Heinz Becker MEP (Austria, EPP)
      Details

    • Brando Benifei MEP

      Brando Benifei MEP (Italy, S&D)
      Details

    • Dita Charanzová MEP

      Dita Charanzová MEP (Czech Republic, ALDE)
      Details

    • Viorica Dăncilă MEP

      Viorica Dăncilă MEP (Romania, S&D)
      Details

    • Syed Kamall MEP

      Syed Kamall MEP (UK, ECR)
      Details

    • Eduard Kukan MEP

      Eduard Kukan MEP (Slovakia, EPP)
      Details

    • Marlene Mizzi MEP

      Marlene Mizzi MEP (Malta, S&D)
      Details

    • Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP

      Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland, EPP)
      Details

    • Paul Rübig MEP

      Paul Rübig MEP (Austria, EPP)
      Details

    • Claudia Tapardel MEP

      Claudia Tapardel MEP (Romania, S&D)
      Details

    • Ivan Štefanec MEP

      Ivan Štefanec MEP (Slovakia, EPP)
      Details

    • Lambert Van Nistelrooij MEP

      Lambert Van Nistelrooij MEP (Netherlands, EPP)
      Details

    • Renate Weber MEP

      Renate Weber MEP (Romania, ALDE)
      Details

    • Tomáš Zdechovský MEP

      Tomáš Zdechovský MEP (Czech Republic, EPP)
      Details

If you would also like to support the Platform or inquire about Membership then please contact:

Platform Secretariat
Phone: + 32 2 515 0011 | Email: info@50plus-europe.eu