Stereotypes suggest that we assume that startup founders are young persons who are full of life and energy not old persons within the dependency age bracket, but the realities of the business world suggest that word: ‘startups’ could and should extend its identity to include elders in the society who necessarily don’t have to establish any enterprise but serve as mentors, advisers and consultants to young persons who have the drive to setup a business enterprise.
Experience does come with time and activities undertaken in the business world. A retired Wall Street financial consultant should know more about the internal working system of the stock market as well as a wide network than a young 25-year old FinTech founder whose key strengths are at best his creative mind and relentless energy. Isn’t it going to be a great idea to marry the advantage on both sides of the divide?
The elderly ones in the society especially those who are retired tend to have a lot of free time to spare. This could be utilised to offer insight through advisory services to startup founders who might need a different opinion on how their business ideals can offer more – considering the fact that young people tend to take advice from only people who think and act like them. Finding a way of bringing millennials and baby boomers together could prove to be the next big thing when it comes to disruptive innovation!
The social benefit of a symbiotic relationship between young founders and senior citizens can also be seen as beneficial health wise to both parties, especially the elderly who are saved the mental stress of feeling alienated, and made to know that they are still important – through such relationships. Studies are yet to confirm how this would reduce mental health illnesses associated with the elderly, but we can project that this would help in some ways.
Startups need to reach out to senior citizens who were exceptional at their jobs when it was required of them and in turn, seniors should avail themselves the opportunity of helping young startup founders find their feet.
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