Back in May 2005, the PRA (as we were then known) were successful in winning a tender with the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) to help them deliver the Age Equality strand of Potentia, part of their Entrepreneurship Action Plan.
Potentia is a programme to support young people, the over 50s, disabled people, black and minority ethnic groups, Welsh speakers and lone parents in establishing new businesses within the Welsh community. Life Academy successfully won the tender with Age Concern Cymru and Age Concern Training to promote Age Equality into the Potentia programme.
Delivered by specialist organisations, Potentia aims to unlock the enterprise potential amongst groups not traditionally associated with business, by providing them with tailored and relevant support during those crucial initial stages. Support will be given through personal development workshops, entrepreneurial psychometric testing, exploring business ideas or working on a one-to-one level with a dedicated client advisor. In our tender, Life Academy committed itself to developing two main areas of work:
- the development of effective toolkits for use by new business start-up advisers in their own age diversity work and for work with new business start-ups
- to provide consultancy & training in the use of the toolkits by new business start-up advisers
Stage 1 is now complete and Life Academy has delivered the toolkits to the Welsh Development Agency for them to be branded and copywrited by them. They are due to be available for use by the WDA this month.
The focus of the Age Equality strand is particularly on 18-30 and 50+ entrepreneurs. The 18-30 agenda is being developed jointly with Life Academy and Menter a Busnes and this work forms part of an extension on the original contract. Menter a Busnes develops and delivers a range of programmes aimed at inspiring young people and Welsh speakers to think creatively about business opportunities and start new businesses.
The WDA believed that establishing focus groups to check the validity of the toolkits would be helpful, so in January 2006 focus groups were organised in North, Mid and South Wales for 18-30 entrepreneurs and 50+ entrepreneurs. These focus groups were recorded on film and will be made available via the WDA website in due course. It is envisaged that the focus groups will also provide valuable case studies for use by new business start-up advisers.