At the European Parliament office in London I go to a presentation to mark the launch of the The Amazings a new project that aims to turn the skills and hobbies of anyone over 50 into a lucrative sideline.
The objective is to encourage those who are retired or semi-retired to share skills that might be lost with younger generations, via a digital marketplace. The idea is to stay physically and mentally active later into life, meet new friends and make a few quid to help maintain financial independence.
Anyone who wants to be “an Amazing” can advertise themselves on http://www.theamazings.com to find people who want to learn their particular skills.
At the European Parliament event I meet Terry, an expert forager who finds an array of foods in usual places such as Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park; Jeannette who has a great figure for a woman her age – she is a dancer and teaches the Cha Cha and Rumba; Bernadette a knitting pro; Andrew, an expert street photographer and Sharon who teaches drama with an injection of comedy.
The organisers have had a great response to the first phase of the project, so are looking to recruit more Amazings in London and around the UK. They have already ‘recruited’ expert local historians, photographers, hairdressers, urban foragers and numerous others sharing their skills every week.
Micro-working offers a recession busting solution for ‘olderpreneurs’ which operates through The Amazings website, an online platform for retired and retiring people to sell their skills as real life classes. It allows those with the most experience to monetise their hobbies or professional expertise in a fun and social way.
The Amazings is calling on those over 50 to turn their passion into an activity and make some extra money in the process. The Amazings’ business is simple: it enables anybody 50+ with a skill or expertise (that could be dancing, cooking, knitting, laying a brick wall, astronomy – any kind of talent or knowledge) to turn it into an event. The proceeds are split 70/30 with the Amazing in exchange for providing the marketplace and the advertising.
The term ‘start up’ is usually associated with young entrepreneurs. We often perceive ‘youth’ as equal to ‘talent’, as if new ideas are the exclusive preserve of those under 30.
But in reality, more than a quarter of the companies set up in Britain are started by people aged between 50 and 65 – and the failure rate is lower. ONS figures show that those who remain in work live longer than those who retire outright. The Amazings offers a way to turn a passion into a business, meet new friends, and work flexibly long after official ‘retirement’.
Amazings Co-Founder Adil Abrar said: ‘Nothing quite prepares you for life as having lived it. There’s a whole lot of wisdom out there, and we believe that once you retire all that shouldn’t go to waste. So we want to help amazing skills and knowhow get passed on; get that make do and mend spirit back. We’re on a mission to make the world more amazing.’
Anybody wishing to become or nominate an Amazing should go to: www.theamazings.com
The Amazings was conceived and incubated by Sidekick Studios. Sidekick Studios is a social innovation company, passionate about using design and technology to tackle social problems. Sidekick believes in bringing together simple technologies and great design to create startups that matter.
This year is also the European Year of Active Ageing which aims to promote mutually beneficial interactive co-operation between the generations