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Starting a Business after 50? Online Courses Can Help

Article by Fab after Fifty

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Though the paths to success may vary widely, ask any entrepreneur why they started their own business and you’ll spot running themes in their answers. For those of us facing a later retirement date than expected, it’s often a matter of destiny, namely controlling our own. People also cite finding the right work/life balance, pursuing a personal passion, and rising to a particular challenge as responses to what prompted them to take a plunge into the unknown.

It’s interesting that the prime reasons given for starting a business are often to do with personal gratification. However, this is just one component of owning your own company. The obvious potential for financial rewards and the ability to choose who you work and network with also loom large on the list. Other catalysts include the chance to give back to your community by doing things such as donating to local charities or even creating jobs in the neighbourhood.

Another theme that runs through discussions with entrepreneurs is just how vital it is to have the necessary skills before you dive into the professional deep. Before you decide to start a business in your fifties, be prepared for the groundwork that’s involved: without the proper proficiencies, you and your business are likely to struggle to succeed.

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Is lifelong education the solution?

The thought of going back to school and trying to fit study into a hectic life can be daunting, so flexibility while developing skills is crucial. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of programmes aimed at helping to prepare future business leaders, many of them online and offered through internationally-renowned universities scattered around the globe.

Online programmes are especially helpful as they often tailor the curriculum specifically to the management and strategic needs of a student and their future ventures. This alone can help overcome practical issues that often make learning new skills difficult.

Commerce has become increasingly global and so too have the opportunities for training. The Gulf region in general and the UAE in particular, for example, has become a hotbed for global living and learning. The UAE has many online academic prospects and is working hard to meet the demand for web-based training opportunities, with offerings that include everything from Executive Programmes and Certificates in Proficiency to MBAs and MScs.

Online education means broader opportunities

The multi-cultural element of international online programmes is also especially significant, as it offers students the chance to share experiences and knowledge with faculty and peers from around the globe while studying. Most courses include message boards, which can prove invaluable by providing a forum for open discussions that bring networking opportunities, as well as different perspectives and insights, into coursework.

In today’s globalised market, a business owner with more skills and training can make a fundamental difference in competitive advantage. Acquiring the best aptitude and abilities can help lay a solid foundation to grow your business and make it stand out. Online courses can close the gap between existing skills and those you require to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.


Images by Cristóbal Cobo Romaní and Shane Global Language Centres, and used under Creative Commons license


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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