A NATIONAL charity dedicated to helping over 50s explore self-employment is coming to Orpington to host a series of workshops.

The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise will be holding the workshops at Orpington Library, offering advice and mentoring help to people interested in starting up their own business.

Figures provided by the Office of National Statistics show the number of self-employed workers in Bromley has increased by four per cent in the last four years.

Nationally more people over 50 are economically inactive than in the 20 to 24 year-old group, and self-employment provides a viable route out.

Jackie Shearring, Group Manager, East, of Bromley Libraries, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with The Prince’s Initiative, providing a platform for the over 50s in Orpington to explore the possibility of setting up their own businesses.

"We have noticed of late that there is an increasing demand for information about employment and enterprise, especially from older people.

"These new classes will provide mature people with the right skills and confidence to start a new business, which if successful will benefit the local economy and people in the community."

Nick Bunting, The Prince’s Initiative’s Chief Executive, said: "Mature workers face a perfect storm of longer working lives, a pensions’ crisis, economic downturn and the uphill struggle to find employment once it is lost.

"Their experience is often sacrificed against cost.

"We help people respond positively and all the evidence shows that they make a success of it, still running businesses at the key one and three year stages."

The first workshop will be on March 7.

Further details can be found at or on 0845 862 2023.