Transitioning from unemployment to self-employment for over 50s

Breda Kenny (Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland)
Isabel Rossiter (Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Publication date: 8 January 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed, highlighting the barriers that need to be addressed, and to explore the impact of a tailored entrepreneurship training programme.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist philosophical standpoint is adopted with an action research approach to engage key informants to design, implement and evaluate the programme. Focus groups and interviews with 132 older unemployed individuals and 50 stakeholders across six countries were conducted as well as pre- and post-programme evaluations and surveys with 55 programme participants across three countries.

Findings

This research provides a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial learning and support needs of older unemployed.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample size of participants measured using a hybrid measure of ESE is a limitation.

Practical implications

For entrepreneurship educators, the components of designing and delivering an entrepreneurship programme for older unemployed are identified. For enterprise and unemployment support agencies, it provides evidence of the initial and ongoing support needs for starting and running a business in later life.

Originality/value

A framework specific to older unemployed individuals turning towards self-employment or entrepreneurship is proposed and tested in this paper. The framework proposes that individual and contextual antecedents influence the decision to become self-employed in later life and that the training, support and entrepreneurial experience helps to overcome barriers and shapes individual and societal outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Kenny, B. and Rossiter, I. (2018), "Transitioning from unemployment to self-employment for over 50s", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 234-255. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-01-2017-0004

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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