Press Releases

07 February 2017

The Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange and DCU Ryan Academy call for mature entrepreneurs to join the 'Ingenuity' accelerator programme 

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland, ‘Ingenuity’ is an accelerator programme targeted at business owners over 50 

Today Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange (ISAX) announced the launch of ‘Ingenuity’, a new accelerator programme targeted at mature business owners aged over 50 who are seeking to scale-up their businesses. The programme is running in conjunction with DCU Ryan Academy and is sponsored by Bank of Ireland. 

The one day a week programme spread over nine weeks is designed to specifically address the challenges facing business owners and includes workshops, bespoke mentoring and excellent networking opportunities. Bank of Ireland and ISAX are calling on ambitious entrepreneurs with fewer than 10 employees to take part in the Ingenuity programme. 

The increase in life expectancy coupled with the reduction in the size of the working population has meant that Ireland’s ageing demographic has become one of the key issues facing policymakers. There will be considerable change over the next 25 years’ when the number of people aged over 65 years will be over 1.3 million compared with 460,000 in 2006. 

Self-employment and entrepreneurship offers many potential benefits for individuals and the economy in general. 25% of those who are self-employed in SMEs, which account for 99.7% of all active Irish business enterprises, are in the 50 – 64 age group. 

Developed from research commissioned by ISAX, the Ingenuity Accelerator course is currently accepting applications. The advantages mature adults have over their younger counterparts is that they have built up a lifetime of industry knowledge and experience, and have forged a lifetime of connections and relationships. Barriers include the perception many people have that entrepreneurship is a young person’s game, as well as technological change, such as social media. 

Commenting Anne Connolly, Chief Executive, ISAX said: “It’s a myth that scaling your own business is only for young people – says Chief Executive Officer of ISAX, Anne Connolly. Recent research undertaken by future-focused market research company Amárach revealed that more than one in five over-50s had some experience of setting up their own business and 17 per cent of those with experience set up their business when aged over 50. 

With this in mind, ISAX offers a number of business programmes for entrepreneurs and business owners in the over-50s category. The Accelerator Programme is tailored for people with ambition for fast-growth, to scale up their business to an internationally trading company. It has been designed for entrepreneurs seeking to take their skills, experience and ambition to the next level. The structure includes modules on funding sources, succession planning, and includes concepts and strategies on sustaining growth in a changing economy that will draw on the themes of innovation, scaling-up and sustainable growth. Participants will also have an opportunity to pitch to an audience of potential investors. It commences on 24th March 2017 in DCU Ryan Academy based in Citywest. 

Ms Connolly added:” The over-50s have so much to offer to the business world and to society.” 

David Merriman Head of Enterprise Development Bank of Ireland said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Ingenuity programme and we encourage any entrepreneurs over 50 with fewer than 10 employees to consider taking part in this unique programme. At Bank of Ireland we have an extensive enterprise programme of activity in place to support business throughout the life cycle, much of which will be equally relevant in providing support to the mature entrepreneur”. 

Niamh Collins, COO of DCU Ryan Academy commented; “There is a perception that entrepreneurship is a young person’s game but the reality couldn’t be further from it. We support an increasing number of mature entrepreneurs who are key players in Ireland’s business world. We look forward to welcoming the selected Ingenuity accelerator participants to the DCU Ryan Academy and to work with them to grow their business.” 

About the Ingenuity Accelerator Programme: 

  • It’s a tailored accelerator programme for 20 mature entrepreneurs running their own businesses with fewer than 10 employees 
  • The programme runs 1 day a week, over 9 weeks from 24th March to 26th May 2017, culminating in a finale event at which each company will pitch to a network of investors and mentors. 
  • It is run in DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 and is sponsored by Bank of Ireland. 
  • The 2017 Ingenuity Accelerator Programme is open for applications until 20th February 2017. 
  • Applications can be made on-line at: info.isax.ie/ingenuity-accelerator-application
  • For more information call 061 317578

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