A serial social entrepreneur's simple, effective M.O.: "I'm just about getting on with it"
I’m calling this one How to Get it Done even if your business head’s that bit muzzy and motivation is flagging two months into these slushy lockdown days. I sincerely hope you’re settling into a rhythm that nurtures you and yours.
Solitude-seeking weirdo that I am, I’m mostly finding it manageable – surreal, yes, unsettling, too, but not enough to send me over the edge.
Beautifully deafening birdsong, marathon sunrise walks, huge WhatsApp chats with family and friends, Zoom events galore and – not virtue-signalling, promise – but some shopping runs for my older neighbours and helping fill the boxes at my local food bank. I know I’ve got it much easier than many. Grateful for that.
The rough-and-tumble of recent years has done wonders for my resilience, my capacity to maintain a steady state of sunny side up. My guest is the same, a realistic optimist who chooses to find reasons to be cheerful.
Suzanne Noble is a serial social entrepreneur who excels at acting on her steady stream of practical, good ideas. She likes solving problems. She doesn’t waste time mulling pros and cons. She spots a needs gap and goes for it. Quickly. That, as we all know, is the hard bit.
Her latest enterprise is Silver Sharers – finding compatible house mates for over50s, very much part of Generation Rent. Her Advantages of Age Facebook community and business academy is thriving, ditto an app called Frugl I’ll be asking her about.
Down the line from about five kms down the road from me in west London, I reached Suzanne at her home in Kilburn.
“Moving into the social enterprise space.. I only recently recognised that had I set that business up with a completely different structure, I could have run it very nicely as a not-for-profit. I was chasing big money from venture capitalists and angel investors who couldn’t see the long-term value in it.”
“Finding a place to live when you’re older, perhaps with like-minded people, this is not a transitional type of accommodation.. there’s a whole different kind of criteria the comes into play.”
“One in five people over 50 are renting now.. and that is going to go to one in three by 2040. ..Many, many people here [UK] and in the states are renting. I think we’re going to see that trend become more prevalent …unaffordable housing is a problem in every major city in the world.”
“With every startup, you have to just decide you’re going to go for it… I’m just about getting on with it.”
- Silver Sharers
- “Silver Sharers: the site helping older renters meet their match” – Amelia Hill in The Guardian, Jan 2020
- Advantages of Age website
- Advantages of Age FB Group
- The Age Advantage – Sonia Zhuravlyova for online mag Positive News, Oct 2017
- “I’ve put my career on hold to try and help musicians earn a living” – Suzanne on her Corona Concerts Facebook page in London’s Metro paper, April 2020
- Suzanne singing the dirty blues on YouTube
- Suzanne on Twitter
Follow The Big Middle
- Website I Twitter I Facebook I Instagram
- Hosted + produced by Susan Flory
- Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc