Fabulous news for one of our Age Friendly Island projects – Olderpreneurs who now has an award winner!
We would like to say Congratulations to IW Design and Print for being a finalist in the Marketing and Design Business of the Year and Winning a Highly Commended Award for Start-Up Business of the Year!
Martin Timbers who runs IW Design and Print was supported in setting up his business through the Olderpreneurs projects run by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce.
Martin’s win reflects two years of hard work, building a business from scratch. He’s had a bit of help too, from the Over 50s Start Me Up programme – also known as Olderpreneurs. Business mentors Lynda and Fiona have helped Martin to launch and grow his business. It’s the first time Martin has been his own boss and Isle of Wight Design and Print is built on Martin’s 35 years of experience as a graphic designer, web designer and photographer.
“Two years ago I had no business,” Martin explains. “I had an idea but I had no equipment or clients. The first thing I did was attend the Start Me Up course at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce in January 2016. I’ve never looked back.”
Martin was able to share his ideas with his mentors as well as other new businesses on the Start Me Up programme. Martin has grown with the project too. He’s now helping other Over 50s start-me-ups with advice on marketing and social media.
“To date, I have 65 clients,” Martin says. “I’ve worked with 27 new start-up businesses on the Island and a huge proportion of them have been part of the Over 50s group. At the awards, I was supported by other new businesses from the Over 50s network as well as Lynda and Fiona. It was great to celebrate with them. I’ve been the first Over 50s person to win a Business Award but I’m part of the team and I feel like the award is for everybody really.”
Olderpreneurs – The Over 50s Start Me Up project is supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding. It provides mentoring and helps to encourage people over 50 to start their own business and be their own boss. Being part of the project has made a huge difference to Martin.
“It’s really inspiring,” Martin says. “To be on the same shortlist as long established, multi-award winning big businesses is amazing. It was a bit like a dream. I work very long hours and it’s been worthwhile. Winning the award provides direction for my business and it tells me that I’m doing the right thing.”
All of the Olderpreneurs success stories can be seen on the IW Chamber website.