“We’re all growing older and Ireland’s older population is also growing. Nearly 20% of us are now over 65. We are living longer. We are generally healthier and more active than our predecessors. As we age our needs change. While that might be seen as a challenge, we believe it also creates an opportunity for local businesses”, explains Sarah Mallon from the Local Enterprise Office Louth.
Companies that adapt to the changing needs of an aging population can benefit from increased customer loyalty and strong word of mouth recommendations. Louth was the first county in Ireland to achieve “Age Friendly” status and now Louth County Council and the Local Enterprise Office, as part of the ERASMUS+ Age Friendly Economy Project, are looking to build on this reputation.
“We are hosting a free 2 day Bootcamp on 26-27th April to help local business people understand the over 50’s market, also known as the Silver Economy. We can assist the business community and budding entrepreneurs to innovate, adapt their current services and look for new business opportunities to support Ireland’s older population.” Sarah continued.
Local business owner Cheryl Malone of Malone Dance Academy is already limbering up for this opportunity. Cheryl runs a ballet, dance and gymnastics academy in Dundalk. “Most people think that dance is an activity for children. But we’ve seen the benefit that dance offers older people. It helps promote agility, balance and good health as well as being a lot of fun. Our adult classes are a joy to teach but also opened up our Academy up to a whole new audience. I’ve signed up for the Local Enterprise Office Age Friendly Economy Bootcamp because I really want to explore how we can innovate to meet the needs of older age groups and expand our reach in this market.”
This intensive two day Bootcamp will take place on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April at Creative Spark, Dundalk. Attendance is free but there are limited places so registering your interest in the Bootcamp is essential. Register now by calling Sarah Mallon in Local Enterprise Office Louth on 042 9324184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah concludes “It is widely recognised that over 50’s are the fastest growing and highest earning section of the population. The EU estimates that the over 50s market, or the “Silver Economy”, will be worth over €5 trillion annually by 2025. This is an exciting opportunity for local businesses to focus on this growing market. We encourage local businesses and budding entreprenurs to register early as places are limited and will fill fast.”