It might look impossible to start an entrepreneurial journey after retirement but people have done it. Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), started his business after retirement, with just one ‘secret recipe’ of fried chicken. Raymond Albert Kroc was responsible for the global expansion of McDonald’s, turning it into the most successful fast-food corporation in the world at the age of 55+. Retired dental surgeon Charles Eugster took up bodybuilding at the age of 87. And at the age of 95, he started sprinting for the first time in his life, becoming World Champion at 200m indoor and 400m outdoor. These are some of the examples that make us feel elders have hidden potential to achieve anything even after retirement.
According to Forbes, “people over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth start-up”. A research indicates that a 55 year old and even a 65 year old have more innovation potential than a 25 year old. In this internet world, it might be difficult for the elderly to cope with the technological changes that take place day by day. But those can be learned with little with help of present generation youths. In this article, we are going to see some of the opportunities available for the elderly for their entrepreneurial journey.
- E-commerce: In the present world, most of the shopping is being done online so if you have a particular skill in handicrafts, soft toys, designer clothes, handmade soaps candles, fragrances, etc. set up an online shop on various e-commerce platforms such as e-Bay, Amazon, Flipkart, etc. You can also sell on several social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Or they can build their own e commerce site.
Example – Falguni Nayar started Nykaa at the age of 50
- Digital Marketing: using the Internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services wherever they are without involving any physical hardships. Example – Chris and Susan Beesley started their online mareting business in their mid-50’s
- Knowledge sharing: All you need to have is a good command of a few subjects. Reach out to the parents in your neighbourhood and start tuition classes at home. Example –Alec Bell, 66 year old retired lecturer from Feltham offers Philosophy sessions, Colin King launched online education business in his 50s.
- Book and Content writing: Elders have immense rich experience in their respective fields which they use for book content writing and through which they get a royalty for their published work. Example – J K Rowling became famous as a writer in her 40s.
- Florist and garden maintenance: It doesn’t involve much hard and physical work. This work can be done with the least involvement of force but it requires a lot of free time and patience and which obviously elders have and they can utilize it here.
Example – Epping Forest 51 year old offers popular knitting and flower arranging services.
- Investment agent/Consulting: If you’re someone with great investment insights, you can help people with their investment choices such as stock markets, mutual funds, SIPs, and more through online platforms. For starters, elderlies who wish to manage their extra finances can be your primary clients. Example – Michael Grottola started his consulting firm at the age of 65
- Baby day-carecentre: Managing jobs and taking care of children can be a task for young parents. Hence, they are always looking for day-carecentres – so, why don’t you consider starting your own? Leaving their kid with someone experienced will instil a feeling of safety. Moreover, the wisdom, warmth, and love that their child receives will always be cherished!
- Life coach: Are you good at yoga, meditation, or chiropractic healing? Consider becoming a healing coach. Elderlies often have minor aches and sprains that you can treat. At the same time, you can form a community that they would love to be a part of for companionship. You can also become a life coach, career coach, relationship coach, religious coach, or marriage counsellor. Example – Ernestine Shepherd, female bodybuilder started at the age of 56.
- Turn your hobby into a business: Are you good at photography, painting, music collection, home décor etc.? Utilize these skills to make money – just a little training along with the industry updates can help you get started. If you can reliably showcase your expertise, you will be doing what you love in no time while also earning money. Example – Sivasankaran (63 year old) started business of digitization of music and his clientele includes famous personalities like Aruna Sairam, Sanjay Subramaniam and Late Shri. Balamuralikrishna
It’s never too late, age is a just number. It’s not the age, it’s the vision which matters a for entrepreneurial journey.
Meaningful engagement in any activity through which we can give back to the society, generate employment, contribute to the economy of the country, do socially impactful work while remaining active and engaged gives a sense of fulfilment and purpose in life which is the basis of happiness in old age.