Renaissance at RetirementPosted by Antonia
A ripe entrepreneur: The kids have left the nest, your company has sent you off with a warm farewell, and you’ve already been on a warm destination trip this year. You do not see yourself hunkering down on a rocking chair in the foreseeable future, patterning yarn with click -clacking knitting needles or playing endless hours of poker, wagering pennies with the old boys. You remark to yourself with disbelief “I’m retired? But I thought retired meant old. I don’t feel old. I am not old. I need to figure out what to do.” You’re not ready to throw in the towel, so you find yourself thinking about the things you could possibly do to fill your time that don’t involve a boss, daily monotony or water cooler gossip. You think about your dreams, the paths you forsook in order to follow the one that you’re on, and the ideas you had along the way. Why not live one of those dreams? Why not choose another path? Why not develop an idea? With all of your experience, there is a good chance that you could pull things off a lot better than the rookies. Maybe it’s time to start your own business.
A mature person has many advantages over a younger one when it comes to starting up a business. Additional to sheer time spent on the planet absorbing experiences, older people likely have the finances needed, or the equity, and the contacts needed to create the beginnings of a business. Further, they have had time to develop at least a few feasible business ideas based on their professional or personal expertise. All they need now, is a business plan. BC statistics confirm the popularity of this idea. According to them, 29% of workers aged 55-64 are self employed. Beyond the age of 65, over half of BC citizens are self employed. This is a much larger proportion than the 19% of people aged 25-54 who have their own businesses.
Dr. Maria Gyongyossy Issa is a Vancouverite who has taken the entrepreneurial plunge at the tender age of 61. After a long career as a blood researcher, she has now taken a new spin on life. Using expertise that she developed through her career, Dr. Issa and her business partner have created a seedling enterprise. They recently participated in the BCIC New Ventures Competition, which helped them structure scientific ideas into business talk. Then, after having created a successful business plan, they went out on their own, to present to major players in the industry in order to secure funding for their project. Many hurdles must be passed starting any new business, but all that is part of the entrepreneurial journey. Judging by her progress to date, we can safely say that Dr. Issa is on the road to a new and potentially very successful career.