Ralf Sange

Ashoka Fellow
Germany,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Ralf Sange was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
With his non-profit organization “Gründer50Plus” (“Founder50Plus”) Ralf Sange builds the field for founders and entrepreneurs age 50 and above in Germany. He supports the growing number of men and women in their second half of life that are keen to start their own businesses, either due to a lack of job opportunities and financial difficulties or because they have a long-standing business idea that they would like to bring to fruition in order to make a contribution to society.

An experienced entrepreneur himself, Ralf has built the first start-up network in Germany to specialize on the needs of these older founders. He and his passionate expert coaches – who all are over 50 themselves – empower older entrepreneurs to utilize their vast life experience in the creation of new companies and organizations and prepare them for typical instances of age discrimination, such as discriminatory lending policies by commercial banks. By focusing his advice and mentorship on the older entrepreneurs’ biographies, their acquired competencies and their age-specific needs - such as special risk assessments and group formats with peers - he has managed to transform startup consulting methods into tools for including and enabling a previously overlooked part of society.

Ralf combines his age-sensitive consulting methods, the franchise-like network of advisors he is building and national and EU-wide communication and advocacy strategies into a comprehensive package to break the silence on age discrimination, to unleash the (social) entrepreneurial power of the Third Age and to change the perception of what “active aging” can mean.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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