Whilst progress has been made in relation to 50+ entrepreneurship, the European Union and Member States must move forward and genuinely recognise this group’s growing importance

With the aim of creating a more favorable ecosystem for 50+ entrepreneurs to flourish, we call on the European Union institutions and Member States to focus their efforts on five key areas:  access to funding, tax and regulation, education and training, entrepreneurship culture and coordinated support.

Call to Action

‘The European Commission acknowledges that “entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic growth and job creation” and that the 50+ demographic group represents a ‘valuable resource’ in this area. However, despite the fact that one third of the working population will be over 50 years of age by 2020, and in spite of their wealth of experience, knowledge and skills, self-employment rates for this demographic group remain quite low. It is therefore very important that action is taken to create an entrepreneurship-friendly eco-system that harnesses the potential of 50+ entrepreneurs. ‘

50+EPE is a group of like-minded organizations, companies, NGOs and academics coming together to ensure the potential of the 50+ entrepreneurs is fully recognized and supported by EU policy. To achieve this goal, 50+EPE calls on the European Union to put forward policies and proposals that:

  • Fully recognize the immense social-economic contribution that the 50+ group brings to Europe and the labour market challenges it faces
  • Promote and support 50+ entrepreneurship as a viable career option with benefits for individuals, economies and society
  • Allow the 50+ to make full use of traditional and innovative funding sources while avoiding age-related discrimination and improve access to information on all funding options
  • Align tax with pension policies to ensure entrepreneurial activity does not undermine pension prospects for 50+ entrepreneurs
  • Minimize or eliminate red tape throughout the entire process of business creation for entrepreneurs of all age groups
  • Simplify and reduce the tax burden for setting up and running a business especially during its early phases
  • Reduce discharge time after bankruptcy and facilitate funding for second/third time entrepreneurs of all age groups
  • Encourage the development of formal and informal entrepreneurial educational programs tailored to address the 50+ group’s unique needs and strengths
  • Support intergenerational learning and mentoring between young and older entrepreneurs
  • Help create a 50+ entrepreneurship friendly culture with support from the private and public sectors, civil society and academia by promoting role models and sharing best practice
  • Set up "one-stop-shops’ for 50+ entrepreneurs to bring together all business support services - mentoring, facilitation and advice as per the specific needs of the 50+ group
  • Commission a comparative study of the situation for 50+ business in the EU, identify their main obstacles and provide policy recommendations on how best to overcome them
  • Call on Member States to build knowledge, understanding and support for 50+ entrepreneurship at national level

N.B. The Platform 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. Anyone who decides to work for him/herself, regardless of the level of risk-taking, may be considered an entrepreneur.