Age is No Barrier to Social Entrepreneurship in Scotland

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February 21, 2011; Source: Guardian Professional | Speaking on behalf of NPQ's readers in their 50s, 60s, and beyond, we say hooray for Age Unlimited Scotland, dedicated to helping boomers and beyon find their way into social enterprise. Rather than dismissing us AARP-eligible types as beyond the pale, Age Unlimited helps older people develop entrepreneurial ideas through personal development training and practical advice.

The organization also pairs budding older entrepreneurs with established entrepreneurs for mentoring purposes. An Age Unlimited spokesperson acknowledges that its clients don't typically think of themselves as social entrepreneurs and doubt their abilities, but the program has helped "unlock . . . the imaginations of budding older entrepreneurs right across Scotland."

Among the 15 ventures supported last year was Mamie Donald's. At 73, Donald is a "self-professed video games addict" who "spotted an opportunity to provide video gaming workshops for older people, introducing them to the benefits of IT and online social networks, thus reducing social isolation in the very old." As some of us superannuated types at NPQ reluctantly explore the intricacies of Twitter and Tumblr from our younger, more Internet-adept colleagues, we thank Age Unlimited for its vote of confidence in our latent abilities.—Rick Cohen