You’re never too old to become an entrepreneur: Apply to the Smart Ageing Prize

17 Feb 2020

There are just two weeks to go before the Smart Ageing Prize closes to applications. The 50,000 prize is looking for solutions that support, empower and inspire older adults to engage in entrepreneurship.

Could you be this year’s winner?

What is the prize all about?

The AAL Programme and Nesta Challenges have collaborated on the Smart Ageing Prize series since 2015, to improve the lives of older adults in an increasingly digital world. In today’s tech-savvy society, anybody can be an entrepreneur if given the tools and the support that they need to thrive. As stated by Forbes, “the average entrepreneur is 40 years old when they launch their startup, and people over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth startup”. Regardless of age, the adoption of innovative digital and non-digital tools opens the entrepreneurship arena, harnessing the abilities and knowledge of everyone to spark intergenerational collaboration.

The third edition of the Smart Ageing Prize is looking for solutions that enable everyone to participate in and succeed through enterprise. This could be anything from developing an online platform that helps older adults to discover new career opportunities, to creating learning programmes to facilitate intergenerational skills and knowledge sharing. The 15 finalists will be selected in March 2020 and will be provided with financial and coaching support to develop prototypes of their concepts. The prize pot is split into three awards: 35,000  for first place, 10,000  for the first runner up, and 5,000  for the second runner up. Don’t miss out on your chance to participate! 

The Expert Judging Panel

We have also just announced our panel of expert judges, who will be helping us select some of the best solutions. The eight members of the panel are representatives of countries from all across Europe and have been chosen due to their diverse range of expertise in the sector and their positions as important stakeholders relevant to smart ageing. One of our judges, Deborah Gale, works in gerontologist research at Encore Fellows UK amongst other organisations and institutions, focusing on how we attribute value to ageing. Another, Ton Koper, is the founder of powerAge Foundation which is dedicated to promoting the strengths of older adults in both business and wider societal contexts.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? If you think your concept could benefit older people looking to enter the entrepreneurial space, follow the simple steps below to submit your application:

  1. Have a read of our eligibility criteria, judging criteria and terms and conditions to ensure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.
  2. Fill in your application form via our online platform, Submittable.
  3. Click submit and we’ll be back in touch to let you know if your application has progressed!

If you have any questions about the prize or your application, you can email us at


Our website is continuously being updated about the prize and with other news in the sector so be sure to check it out and apply!