Oswestry’s older generation of entrepreneurs have been given an extra chance to join an exclusive business support programme.

Silverpreneurs®  is the Shropshire co-operative of business experts offering a fully funded programme of support for new or relaunched businesses run by people over-50.

Places on the group’s first two cohorts were snapped up earlier this year and the group has now been awarded extra funding from the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire to take on a further 14 “silverpreneurs” in a third cohort.

The programme has places available for business people aged over 50 who have small or start-up businesses and pay tax or business rates to Shropshire Council. Applications to the programme can be made from November 1st through the website at http://www.silverpreneurs-ltd.com

The initiative was set up earlier this year as part of a drive to boost Shropshire’s economy by tapping into the skills and experience of older people. It’s first two cohorts of clients range from businesses dealing with international marketing to digital signage and cheese making.

Silverpreneurs® offers free business support in a three month long programme of support, ideas, information and inspiration for those aged over 50 who are setting up or revitalising their business enterprises.

Emma Chapman, Marches Growth Hub Shropshire Manager said the Silverpreneurs® programme had already attracted considerable interest from the over-50s in the business community.

“The Growth Hub’s aim is to find new ways to support all businesses across the region. The Silverpreneurs® programme benefits both the individuals taking part and the wider business community and local economy by building a support network of experience and knowledge,” she said.

Silverpreneurs®  co-founders Vernon Hogg from Oswestry and Chris Gough said they were delighted by the enthusiastic response to the new business support programme.

“Our aim is to inspire innovation and aspiration amongst older people, particularly those from a corporate background, to set up or develop their own businesses. We are already seeing that becoming a reality with our first cohort and it’s testament to its success that we have been awarded funding to make a further 14 places available,” they said.

The programme supports businesses with expertise and knowledge and at the same time provides sessions which promote social interaction and peer support between the members.

Chris and Vernon said that over time Silverpreneurs® aimed to develop a network of silver entrepreneurs who could use their experience and skills to support each other in successful businesses.

“The first two cohorts are already showing the benefits of encouraging entrepreneurship amongst the over-50s. The range and depth of experience and knowledge in those groups has been astounding. We have been supporting people with some fantastic business ideas and I’m sure the new group will be just as diverse and interesting,” they said.

The Silverpreneurs® initiative is headed by a collective of “silverexperts” who work with each group of businessmen and women to enhance and develop their business ideas.

Over each three-month programme they offer one-to-one and group sessions on business strategy, planning, getting ready to approach investors, sales and marketing and networking.

Further details on the Silverpreneurs® programme are available on the website http://www.silverpreneurs-ltd.com or by completing the expression of interest form at https://www.silverpreneurs-ltd.com/contact-us

The scheme is funded by the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire which is using money from Shropshire Council’s £3.2 million economic recovery programme.

The economic recovery programme uses additional restriction grant (ARG) funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to fund a series of business support projects. It aims to meet local economic need and provide Shropshire-wide business outcomes.

Pictured: Silverpreneurs founders, Vernon Hogg (left) and Chris Gough.