top of page

Alliance between Porvenir and the U. del Rosario will promote the entrepreneurship of the elderly

With the creation of the first Observatory for Entrepreneurship of the Elderly, an unprecedented opportunity is opened in the country to promote the development of productive activities and entrepreneurship of a population that already totals 6.8 million people.

Observatory for the Entrepreneurship of the Elderly
Provided / Vanguard / Miguel Largacha Martínez, president of the Future Pension and Severance Fund

Starting a business idea is becoming more and more popular in emerging economies. Colombia, for example, is the fourth country with the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the world, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, published in May 2021.

Santander, for example, is considered by experts as an excellent market to undertake. The new companies registered in the Bucaramanga Chamber of Commerce between January and March of this year were 4,461, 29% of the ventures that took place in 2021. It is noteworthy that women bet more on entrepreneurship than men, since they they represent 52.4%. However, in these statistics the elderly are not visible, a population that demands greater social and productive inclusion.

Colombia has 6.8 million older adults, of which 45% are men and 55% women. It is estimated that by 2050 this figure will reach 14 million older adults, according to Dane (2020). This is a reality that puts on the table the need to implement timely actions from the private and public sectors, which allow improving the quality of life of this population.

In response to these needs, the Future Pension and Unemployment Fund in alliance with the Universidad del Rosario set up the first Observatory for Entrepreneurship of the Elderly in Colombia. It is an avant-garde initiative in the country that will serve as a platform to leverage the development of productive activities and entrepreneurship of this population.

Its consolidation and start-up has been a work of more than three years, whose genesis was the importance of meeting various needs of this population, including learning, being productive to their social environment and generating other economic income.

Work and monitoring

In 2019, the Centro Nacional de Consultoría and the Future carried out an investigation in which 48% of the older adults surveyed said they "wanted to continue learning and not feel relegated."

This is how the entrepreneurship program “Enjoying your Future” was born, an alliance between the Universidad del Rosario and the AFP, an academic and practical training program that helped pensioners and people close to receiving the return of balances materialize business ideas. . In total, 51 pensioners graduated and 11 business ideas were generated, of which the three best initiatives were supported.

A year later, in 2020, and taking the Covid-19 pandemic as a frame of reference, the firm Raddar and Porvenir conducted a survey to delve into the welfare situation of the elderly in our country.

The survey confirmed the need to adopt initiatives aimed at entrepreneurship that generate socio-economic well-being for older adults and, therefore, they continue to feel part of the activity of society. In addition, it confirmed that the pension translates into quality of life and stability for this population group.

With the creation of the Observatory for the Entrepreneurship of the Elderly in Colombia, a training program is launched under the virtual modality, focused on five modules called: Revitalize yourself, Empower yourself, Activate yourself, Learn and Undertake. Through these modules, business ideas will be generated, the elderly will be empowered to feel an active part of society, they will be guided in the control and management of their resources and they will be accompanied in the process of materializing their business.

“We see in entrepreneurship an opportunity not only to promote the productive inclusion of our older adults, but also the possibility for them to continue having an active and healthy life. They are, and will continue to be, managers of great social transformations, for which we applaud this alliance with the Universidad del Rosario”, said Miguel Largacha Martínez, president of the Porvenir Pension and Severance Fund, during the presentation of the Observatory.

This Observatory will also serve as a platform to carry out research on the socio-economic problems of retired and non-pensioned older adults (taking into account 55-year-old women and 60-year-old men) and progress will be made in the consolidation of a consultation website that serves as a repository for the research and programs carried out within the framework of this alliance.

Results by regions
Samples: Older adults from Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga.
- 33% of older adults consider entrepreneurship as an alternative to maintain their autonomy.
- Bucaramanga and Barranquilla are the cities where they have the greatest willingness to undertake, with 50%.
- 14% of older adults in Medellin express their interest in labor independence for having a family business tradition.
- Micro-businesses between 2019 and 2020: Led by women 95% and by men 89%.
- In Bucaramanga and Medellín, women have greater participation in the creation of micro-businesses.
- Barranquilla has the lowest proportion of men with micro-businesses and, for this reason, the largest gender gap.
- Except in Medellín, entrepreneurship motivates men more than women.
- In Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and Cali, women expressed that having greater independence is one of the main reasons that motivates them to create their own business.
- Regarding micro-businesses, the results showed that in the sectors of hotels and restaurants (17%) and artistic and home activities (16%) women have a greater presence.
- In activities where there is physical effort, such as transport and storage (13%) and construction (11.6%), the participation of older men is practically total.

Article taken from


bottom of page