People’s Champion finalist 2017: Seniors Helping Seniors
Is the franchise that matches senior carers with older and less able people deserving of your vote for People’s Champion?
Start-up name: Seniors Helping Seniors UK Ltd
Franchisee: Christian Wilse
Started in: 2014
Based in: Canterbury
Business description: Elderly care service
The Seniors Helping Seniors story:
A number of start-ups have been born in the last few years with the aim of disrupting the ageing elderly care market, including Vida and Elder Technologies. The clue is in the name as to what differentiates Seniors Helping Seniors.
Yes, you guessed it: with Seniors Helping Seniors, the staff are the same generation as the people they help. Run by husband and wife team Christian and Sally Wilse, the company matches specially vetted senior carers with older and less able people to help them keep hold of their independence for longer.
Whether they have dementia or other age-related conditions, carers can provide help with a range of tasks including general domestic tasks, transportation to and from appointments, pet care, and trips out into the community. By matching personalities and activities, it aims to foster strong bonds between carer and senior that develop into lasting and mutually beneficial friendships.
The current pilot operation is active across the wider Canterbury and Thanet area. Seniors Helping Seniors charges £18 an hour, 50% of which is paid to the carer and 6% of which makes up royalty revenue. The average monthly running cost is £1200, accounting for membership fees, software, marketing, and phone. Seniors Helping Seniors opened an office in Harrow last year and already has two new locations in the pipeline.
The franchise has already been well established in the US market, where it was founded in 1998 by Kiran Yocom. Norwegian-born Wilse launched UK operations in 2013 and recently spoke to Startups.co.uk about what it’s like to start a business in your 50s.
Why Seniors Helping Seniors made our shortlist:
Seniors Helping Seniors isn’t just helping elderly people live in the comfort of their own homes for longer, it’s giving retired people a chance to earn a decent wage doing flexible and rewarding work in their communities.
And it has an inspiring entrepreneur behind it leading the way. 59 year-old franchisee Christian Wilse launched the UK arm of the Seniors Helping Seniors franchise supported by a Start Up Loan and has worked full-time for the chain ever since, supporting over 100 care providers.