Why Google’s investing in the over-50s

An employee walks through the lobby of Google's Washington, D.C., headquarters.
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An employee walks through the lobby of Google's Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Google is looking to tap into the growing base of so-called "silver entrepreneurs" and has launched a scheme to help people over 50 create start-ups.

The pilot program will be held on Google's London Campus and will see sessions held one morning a week over six weeks to help founders over 50 start a business. The first group for the initiative starts this week and will consist of 10 founders.

"(It is) designed to bring together for the first-time entrepreneurs who are just entering this space and happen to be over 50," Eileen Naughton, the Vice-President of U.K. and Ireland sales and operations at Google, said during a speech at the launch of London Technology Week on Monday.

According to Britain's Office for National Statistics, one in five over-50s is self-employed and the number of these silver entrepreneurs is estimated to hit 2 million by 2020, a group that Google is hoping to capitalize on.

This is not Google's first foray into start-up projects aimed at specific demographics. In 2013, it launched a program called "Campus for Mums" which the search giant bills as the "world's first baby-friendly startup school".