The Grey Incubator is pioneering a new approach to help the South African economy recover by saving our biggest economic contributors, middle aged entrepreneurs. They develop more mature entrepreneurs, fondly known as grey entrepreneurs, referring both to their grey hair and the collection of grey matter in the brain and the knowledge it represents.
Not only do many grey entrepreneurs begin with more financial capital or an asset base to start their enterprise but the worldwide average age of a successful start-up owner is 47 years old. Showing an international trend towards successful entrepreneurs being consistently middle-aged.
Their experience, skills, networks, and assets represent an incalculable value that grey entrepreneurs have generated through years of working. Not to mention that they have often faced stress, and failure before, making them more resilient.
After noticing that entrepreneurs between the ages of 30 and 60 have been overlooked and ignored by most entrepreneurship programmes, founders Willem Gous and Eugene Beetge began using their 50 years of joint experience to enable these grey entrepreneurs to start and build their ideas into a business with minimal risk.
The Grey Incubator combines expert consultants in entrepreneurship, with a business community of grey entrepreneurs to facilitate the learning process at all entrepreneurial levels.
“Although the internet provides abundant access to information, courses, and training, it lacks cohesion,” says co-founder of The Grey Incubator and entrepreneurial expert Eugene Beetge. “Information is organized into small isolated silos with little to no knowledge sharing on how the components required to run a successful business come together.
“Learning how to be an entrepreneur using all these isolated bits of information, is possible but it is an inefficient and time-consuming journey.”
Eugene believes that to be a successful entrepreneur you need a roadmap, guidance, vision, motivation, support, and skill.
“Combine these elements with accountability, sound boarding and masterminding, and it is possible to avoid big financial risks,” he says.
For the grey entrepreneur, a start-up often requires risking their last available capital, and guidance from conception to fruition in the current economic environment can be invaluable in preventing failure.
The Grey Incubator programme pairs small, carefully curated groups of individuals into cooperative teams that work together with experienced overseers and mentors to help develop their businesses and ideas. These groups are guided to make sure they stay on track while helping them avoid costly mistakes.
As each group progresses and achieves their weekly goals, third party specialists are made available to help groups go through the natural growth phases of a start-up.
The Grey Incubator uses a subscription-based model that allows start-up founders to invest in themselves and their business without long term commitment thereby reducing their financial risk.
Although many mature professionals’ livelihoods have been disrupted by the COVID 19 pandemic, learning how to start and grow a successful business in your middle age can be an invigorating experience.
Like any first venture into entrepreneurship, it can be overwhelming, risky, and costly without the correct guidance. By creating a business community in which older entrepreneurs are surrounded by like-minded peers and can be guided by experienced mentors, The Grey Incubator is investing in our economy, inspiring people to rediscover their dreams, and providing a path for them to rebuild their lives.