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People have different reactions towards the thought of changing career paths at 50. Some are excited, while some are scared and others are unsure. Many question the need to switch to another job at this specific age since they do not have much left until retirement. The reactions all depend on the point of view. One can see the years they have left at their current job as ‘a short time’ while another may see them as ‘an eternity’. Most people looking to change careers agree with the latter thought. They either do not like the work they are doing or they want to switch to something they like more. The question is: is it possible? It may be difficult, but yes, it is definitely possible to change career paths at 50.

The hardest is to decide whether to stay at their current job or to leave. After passing all these years at the same company, climbing up the ladder and becoming an expert at a specific work, choosing to switch can be very difficult. Many are scared to move out of their comfort zones, which is a perfectly normal reaction. However, time passes as people hesitate with their decision. Statistics show that workers who launch themselves directly into the job search are more likely to get employed than those who prefer to wait for the right timing.

After taking the leap, the difficulties that one may face include fierce competition, technological disadvantage and financial liabilities. There is a very big number of highly qualified young job seekers on the market. Technology will also always be a problem for the older generation. This applies to those who are 50 now as well as those who will be 50 in twenty years. Looking for a new job is also time consuming, a period which may create a dent in years of savings. However, older job seekers retain certain advantages over their younger counterparts. Their most important plus point is experience. Even if they are changing career paths, they have acquired various skills over the years. These abilities will surely be useful. High-level skills and experience in the work environment can highlight a CV and increase the chances of getting employed.

Here are some tips that can be helpful when deciding to change career paths at 50:

1. Know what you want to do and what you can do

It’s important to be both positive and realistic when choosing to switch jobs. Taking the time to think about what one wants to do and what one can do is a crucial step.

2. Weigh the money implications

While money should not be the main goal when changing careers, it should still be on the list of things to consider. After all, a certain amount of income will be necessary to pay bills and afford some luxuries.

3. Upgrade your skills

One is never too old to learn. Mastering new skills to meet the requirements of the current job market should not be a setback. The job seeker should also be ready to learn and adapt to a whole new job from scratch.

4. Seek help and support

As mentioned above, changing career paths at 50 is not easy. Therefore, seeking the support of family and friends as well as professional advice will surely be helpful.

 

All in all, ending a job adventure to begin another one can be challenging. However, wasting away precious time at a job that one hates is not a wise decision. Change should therefore be an option so as to experience what life has to offer to the fullest.

Going green is not just a thoughtful decision to take with regards to the environment. It also enhances the way customers perceive a company. For instance, for the same service, a client might choose one firm over the other just because it is eco-friendly. Firms can thus impress consumers and potential collaborators by opting to protect the environment.

There is no need to make drastic changes. A company can start shifting to eco-friendly means through some simple steps. Building a green business from scratch also involves the same ideas: rejecting practices that harm the environment to adopt those that support it.

Firstly, these are the materials that an environmentally friendly company should avoid using:

  1. Plastics that are made from polyethylene
  2. Multilayered packaging
  3. Styrofoam
  4. Polystyrene
  5. Fossil fuel energy
  6. Materials that cannot be recycled

A firm wishing to go green can use the following instead:

  1. Plant-based plastics
  2. Biodegradable plastics
  3. Alternative energy sources
  4. Recycled materials and products
  5. Recycled moulded packaging
  6. Post-consumer recycled polyethylene bags that are made from recycled waste

Just by changing the products that the firm uses, it is already positively enhancing its ecological footprint. In this sense, going green starts by producing less waste and favouring natural, recyclable energy.

This is only the beginning though, as many other measures can be taken to make a company eco-friendly. The list below shows certain steps than a firm can follow to drive its environmentally sustainable growth:

1. Invest in nature

Planting trees outside the office not only contributes to the protection of the environment, but also beautifies a building’s exterior aspect. Inside the building, plants can be used to purify the air. Scatter potted plants throughout the office, both in the lounge and next to employees. This will brighten up the atmosphere, make clients and new recruits more at ease and increase productivity to some extent.

2. Save energy

Switching off the lights when they are not in use decreases the amount of energy waste that a company produces. The enterprise can also opt for energy-efficient lighting instead of incandescent bulbs. At the same time, it can choose to replace old equipment and machinery with new, eco-friendly items. Adopting this practice also helps to save money on the electricity bills, resulting in an additional fund. This extra money can be used to better the company or to further finance the firm’s green venture.

3. Opt for electronic data management

Getting rid of unnecessary paperwork can significantly reduce a firm’s negative impact on the environment. Computerise as much data as possible. This is not only eco-friendly, but also saves money as there is no need to buy as much paper anymore. Recycling used paper which is no longer needed is another green practice.

4. Reduce oil consumption

A company will truly be environmentally friendly when its employees also adopt this value. For instance, carpooling is a good way to save oil and money. Public transportation and telecommuting are additional options that can be considered.

 

This is only a beginning. Many other measures can be adopted to build an environmentally sustainable business. It is never too late for a firm to decide to go green. The first step can be small, but its impact will undoubtedly be impressive.

When you think about launching your start-up in Mauritius, various questions and doubts arise. Will you get funding? Does Mauritius have a market for your business? Will your start-up be able to grow within the island? However, despite its shortcomings, Mauritius may be just the right place to launch a start-up.

Helpful development schemes

Mauritius offers several development programs to help entrepreneurs in their venture. Schemes such as the SME Partnership Fund, the Mauritius Business Growth Scheme and the AFD Green Lending Scheme are available to business launchers. They can assist in both the opening and the growth of a start-up. Another way through which entrepreneurs can get support is incubators. These organisations specialise in the nurturing of a business. This includes, but is not limited to training, funding, legal assistance and the provision of office space.

The Mauritian market and growth opportunities

As a developing country, Mauritius is hungry for and open to new ideas. Innovation is fuelling the booming technological sector and creativity is being sought out everywhere. Now would therefore be the best time to introduce your idea and to try it in a start-up. Many young entrepreneurs have tested the waters, tasting sweet success. Some of them are Blast Burson-Marsteller, Focus Events, Sweat and Laugh, amongst others. As the country continues to develop, it will rise in terms of economy and innovation, providing further growth opportunities to Mauritian businesses.

Beginner friendly environment

Aspiring entrepreneurs who want to launch their first business will find Mauritius to be right up their alley. If you are Mauritian, you can count on your familiarity with the country and its citizens for a pretty smooth start. Mauritians who open their business on the island already have an idea about what their market will welcome or reject. They also benefit from the support of their family and friends, which is an invaluable asset. Before becoming a fully-fledged enterprise, start-ups often have to go through trial-and-error phases. While some aspects of a new business may pass with flying colours, others may fail. Dealing with failures is hard for anyone, even more so when in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar people. As such, it is always a good idea to start in a familiar environment.

Foreigner friendly too

Favourable conditions also welcome foreigners who wish to launch a start-up in Mauritius. With the country’s low-tax jurisdiction and investor-friendly environment, the process to open a business on the island is quite smooth. Foreign entrepreneurs can also benefit from the support provided by the schemes and organisations mentioned above. Since Mauritius is a small country, it can also be a perfect test location for a start-up. Trying out an idea can be risky depending on the scale at which the test is carried out. Therefore, reducing the impact of the success/failure by testing in a small area can be beneficial to new businesses.

While Mauritius is small, it is a fertile hub for entrepreneurs. Its current status as a developing country prompts further growth, offering the right environment for the launch of start-ups. Whether you are enthusiastic or hesitant about opening your business, the advantages and opportunities that the island provides will undoubtedly be beneficial to your venture. So, ready to take the first step?

Technology is omnipresent in our current lives and its importance is bound to grow as the years pass. One of the most innovative fields of study within computer science is artificial intelligence (AI). This sector focuses on the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

Speech recognition, machine learning and problem solving are some of the activities performed by these intelligent computers. As the popularity of AI increases, so does its application in various industries. Below are some of the ways in which this technology will revolutionise our lives.

Health will no longer be a problem

Machine learning refers to a computer that can learn by itself. As Pedro Domingos, author of ‘The Master Algorithm’ says, “Machines can attend to vastly more information and more complex processes than human beings”. Given a certain database, an AI system can analyse it to find the solution, and this includes the cure to cancer.

Various companies are already making use of machine learning to observe and identify human behaviour. Smartphones, for instance, already include several health sensors. In the future, this technology might be improved to predict when a person is going to have a heart attack. Following this diagnosis, the phone will call the emergencies and may also save the person’s life. Sensors might be included in people’s bodies to cure them from illnesses before they even realise they are sick.

Wars will involve less human loss

As Chinese philosopher Laozi stated, “The best soldier fights without vengeance, without anger and without hate.” Robots fighting in the stead of humans on the battlefield will result in a decrease in the loss of lives. Even if it is smart, artificial intelligence will still be artificial. Computers do not get angry, sad, scared or murderous. As machines do not feel emotions, they are less likely to suffer from traumas and to act on impulse. Decision-making with regards to fights may therefore become more strategic and less chaotic.

The job market will change drastically

Robots are already responsible for a staggering number of job losses incurred over the past decades. With the rise of artificial intelligence, this number is sure to climb even higher. 47% of global jobs could be taken by AI in the years to come, according to an Oxford University study. Indeed, the creation of intelligent machines that can think for themselves will negate the need for much human interference. Surgeons will be replaced by computers who will not make mistakes and soldiers by robots who will not die.

However, not all jobs are at risk. For instance, mental routine work is a lot easier to automate than common sense. This includes street sweepers and people who do work which requires contact with the physical world. Jobs that function via creative and critical thinking will also be more in demand.

 

Despite having both its good and bad points, artificial intelligence will no doubt affect human life in the future. Understanding how it works is therefore crucial for progress within the field of machine learning.

Human productivity is not the same as that of machines. There are certain times at which we are the most efficient and some instances at which we lag in terms of productivity. This is perfectly normal, as the brain needs to rest. However, improving our efficiency is becoming more and more important to maintain increasingly competitive and demanding jobs. To answer to this need, various studies were carried out. These analyse the day of a general working adult to determine the times at which we are the most productive.

The ‘ultradian rhythm’

People function on a 24-hour internal clock. This equates to a whole day in which we sleep, wake up and go through several levels of alertness. The rate at which we transition from high productivity levels to low productivity levels is called the ‘ultradian rhythm’. This rhythm can vary from person to person, but humans generally go through cycles of heightened focus that last around ninety minutes each. These are known as the ‘ultradian cycle’.

They begin with high productivity levels that gradually deplete themselves as the cycle grows to a close. There is a way to find the time at which a specific person’s ultradian cycles begin. For instance, they can monitor their moods and their levels of concentration across several days. By tracking their routines, they will be able to identify their peaks and drops in terms of focus. Following this step, they can use the gathered data to increase their productivity and to take breaks when necessary.

People’s powers of logic and deduction are at their best in the morning

On a more general note, studies have found out than humans are the most efficient in the morning. This is due to several reasons. For instance, research indicates that people experience a 50% spike in their stress hormones within 30 minutes after waking up. This suggests a heightened level of focus and concentration which does not compare to the rest of the day.

Work that requires critical thinking, creative prowess and high mental capacities should therefore be done early. Additionally, mornings are hailed as the best time to exercise as the body builds more muscle at dawn than at dusk. Distractions do not impede on our thought process as much in the early hours of the day as well. This means that we are less likely to lose our focus to social media sites or other hobbies before the afternoon.

Another study shows that humans generally wake up in good moods. This positive attitude tends to get increasingly better as the time passes. Noon is supposedly the time at which people are in the best of moods. However, after this peak, humans start to get tired. Their efficiency begins to drop as the workday drags longer. As such, it is recommended to organise important meetings and to take high stake calls at midday. Success rates are much higher in the mornings or at noon in contrast to later on in the afternoon.

 

It is, however, important to note that humans have individual perks and are not all on the same schedule. Night workers may for instance find themselves to be at their lowest levels of productivity in the mornings. Other such alterations need to be taken into consideration when defining the time at which people are the most efficient. Nonetheless, having a general scheme can still prove to be useful.

Entrepreneur is not an easy career path, even less so in the ever-changing digital age. While there are new opportunities for start-ups each day, few of these last long enough to culminate into a business. This is because there are several factors that, if not addressed, can considerably hamper progress.

An ever-changing environment

For instance, it is well-known that the world is currently changing faster than ever. Information is being passed around in milliseconds and people’s attention does not stick to one thing for a long time. As such, entrepreneurs have to constantly adapt to the ever-changing environment in which their business is being developed. Demands and market specifics can shift at sudden rates, thus requiring entrepreneurs to be increasingly flexible.

Fierce competition

The decrease in new enterprises is also a notable factor. In the 1980s, 15% of the all businesses were start-ups. This percentage has now dropped to 8%. This is due to the sheer amount of competition that entrepreneurs have to deal with. Most of this comes from big companies that are constantly innovating to adapt to changing markets. However, innovation also means that new technology emerges every day. This enables many new businesses to thrive in the digital world.

New opportunities

Looking closer at the digital age itself, various aspects impact on the way in which businesses are being developed. With the rise of the internet, businesses have lots of opportunities for development. Indeed, many entrepreneurs can make use of helpful online platforms to launch and boost their start-up. Social media websites offer highly valued exposure. Many even use the internet as a basis to create their start-up.

For instance, the retail and commerce business has changed so much in the last decades. Online shopping is thriving and payment systems are less and less cash dependant. The internet also gives entrepreneurs access to a more global market.

New challenges

While all of these advantages are very much real, the downsides of the internet are still present. For instance, establishing an online business is considerably expensive. Developing a website can cost a fair bit of money and so do app-designing and digital marketing. E-businesses also have to rely a lot on advertising, which can be quite pricy. They need to reach their target markets, and unlike brick-and-mortar stores, they do not have a noticeable physical presence.

Another threat that entrepreneurs have to deal with in the digital world is hackers, spammers and conmen. As said above, information is being passed around at phenomenal rates. This is because the information is stored on the internet or on a computer. However, these can be easily hacked into by experienced cybercriminals and the data can be damaged, stolen, sold and/or leaked. A start-up dealing with sensitive information has to install counter-hacking solutions or employ tech specialists to prevent data thefts. In turn, these countermeasures can be quite expensive. These web-associated costs and risks can also dissuade entrepreneurs from launching their business or even lead to bankruptcy.

 

While the digital world can foster new ideas for entrepreneurs to open start-ups, it also presents challenges. These can be risky, so business launchers have to be well prepared to face and overcome the obstacles. Still, be it now or twenty years ago, getting started with a business has always been challenging and will no doubt still be in the future. The key is to take advantage of the positive changes introduced by the digital world. By adapting and learning from their mistakes, entrepreneurs will eventually tackle the difficulties presented to them.

An incubator is by definition a growth infrastructure which helps new ventures develop into successful businesses. The process usually involves the provision of physical and communication facilities as well as networking possibilities and education. Via the assistance provided, the start-up will eventually gain access to capital.

Origin

The concept of incubators was born in the United States in the 1950s, but primarily became noticeable in the mid-1990s. Indeed, the dot-com boom resulted in a chain of incubators and 2005 finally saw the creation of Y Combinator. This American organisation is one of the leading incubators around the world. It is at the base of successful companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Twitch, Quora and more such enterprises.

Y Combinator is also known as the company which sparked the rise of modern incubators around the world. For instance, there are approximately 7000 incubators worldwide, according to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). Amongst these, 1250 can be found in the United States alone, 700 in China, 400 in Brazil and 220 in the United Kingdom. Mauritius also has some incubators, although the numbers are less impressive.

Impact of incubators

All of these incubators are impacting on the worldwide start-up scene and individually changing specific entrepreneurial landscapes. The survival rates for businesses that go through incubators are reportedly around 92%. Their success is attributed to various aspects.

Guidance

While some value the development of business skills, others highlight the networking advantages that come with incubator programs. Start-ups gain both credibility and value when associated with incubators and the latter’s sponsors. Also, they are less likely to scramble with official/legal paperwork with the provided guidance. These contribute to raising a confident batch of start-ups that can tackle markets and challenges with relative ease.

A good work environment

The provision of office equipment and a functioning work space also impacts on the entrepreneurial scene in various ways. Firstly, these give entrepreneurs the necessary tools they need to cultivate their ideas and to network with other start-up owners. The potential for growth is considerably greater in this sense.

The whole ecosystem benefits from incubators

Also, with access to these facilities, entrepreneurs are given a place to start, which boosts their involvement in their project. It is therefore safe to say that incubators promote and actively participate in the growth of entrepreneurship on various levels.

For instance, the start-up ecosystem is seeing changes at both macro and micro levels with the involvement of incubators. The organisations help with the economic growth of a country. They also have a hand in the creation of wealth, jobs and innovation ventures. Additionally, incubators aid in the fostering of an entrepreneurial culture on a local level. They promote research and create opportunities for university students and in certain cases also impact on international trade.

On a more specific note, the changes that incubators are bringing to the entrepreneurial scene in India reflect the local population’s drive in terms of start-up creation. However, while around 5000 businesses are created in the country each year, a lot of these start-ups end up dying due to a lack of support. This can be attributed to the gap between entrepreneurs’ expectations and incubators’ offers.

In any case, Mauritius has a lot to learn from incubator experiences and impacts worldwide. The advantages that these business hubs provide can be very beneficial to the local entrepreneurial scene.

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Nathalie Daruty is a woman entrepreneur in Mauritius promoting medicinal plants. For a long time, Nathalie has been working on starting her enterprise Feuilles et fleurs and wants to take her business to the next level.  Now with all the knowledge, she has acquired from the Turbine Test Drive Program, she has joined the Turbine Incubation program to strengthen her start-up. Nathalie shares her vision and her interesting journey with us.

“I strongly wish to develop an enterprise that becomes the reference in the field of medicinal plants and its application. For that, I have plans to learn about the applications in depth from healers and specialists around the globe and bring this knowledge to our country to benefit our people.”

organic plantatin

Nathalie tending to her plants in her new field of crops

My entrepreneurial journey began when I started my studies on phytotherapy and aromatherapy. I started by testing a few infusions from plants in my garden and shared the products with friends and family: they loved it! Their reaction boosted my motivation and confidence so I kept working harder. I was able to make some money and buy paper bags as packaging.  Then I participating in Christmas markets where I earned enough money to buy a plant dryer. Taking part in these various fairs also allowed me to slowly level up the packaging. Back then, the dryer was in my garage while all the manufacturing was in my dining room. I finally also had to convert a room into a studio for my workshops. Despite having a few regular clients, my business could not flourish due to the limited land and production.

I have thus decided to move to farmland where I will also conduct my workshops.

natural products Foliage is collected in a sustainable and eco-conscious fashion

 

I am often asked:”Why Feuilles et Fleurs?”  One of the reasons is that I have always loved infusions and herbal products. After teaching for many years, I really wanted to do something that I am curious about and create new products that would be beneficial for our planet. That urge of doing something on my own doubled when I realized that I have to change my lifestyle to take care of our well being and go closer to nature.

Another reason would be the lack of good quality natural local herbal products. Most herbal products are imported and may not be of quality. The lack of simplicity in our consumption habits is neither good for our body nor for the planet.

My creations till now involve 12 variety of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, crude dried plants in bulk, massage balls (siam tampon), fagots of purification with sage.

natural products

Feuilles et Fleurs products in their new packaging

 

These natural products are for people who acknowledge the importance of health, that prevention is better than cure with chemical products, who are also environmentally friendly and want to learn the clean way of doing cultivation.

I am also looking forward to Feuilles et Fleurs conducting a workshop of 4 DIY sessions in collaboration with Wellness and SensiBio where participants will learn how to make their own cosmetic and cleaning products. The sessions are as follows:

5th February 2019: Sun’s cream and repair oil

26th February 2019: laundry, stain remover and dishwashing liquid

19th Mars 2019: deodorant, two kinds of toothpaste and makeup remover

9th April 2019: 3 soaps, powder shampoo + bar shampoo

workshop

The aim of this work is to be ecological, to reduce waste and also economic.

The Turbine Test Drive Programme was really beneficial to Feuilles et Fleurs. It made me realize the importance of structuring my company and gave me a more acute vision of the future.

Up to then, Feuilles et Fleurs was a very small company that I just liked working on, today, I have started taking action to make it a good and profitable business!

I never had any entrepreneurial training. As an incubated start-up at Turbine, I am really looking forward to all the experience and knowledge I will be getting through the coaching and workshops. I believe that it will help me avoid certain mistakes and guide me in making the best future possible for Feuilles et Fleurs. I understand that Turbine has a really good network too, and this will help me.

I am so thankful to Turbine for selecting Feuilles et Fleurs for the incubation program after Test Drive. I am really excited about the upcoming adventure!

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