Brave Starts is an amazing not-for-profit community of mid and late career professionals led by seasoned career development experts.
Without bureaucracy or investors we challenge what's broken. We speak honestly with an integrity we know our members value. We share content we believe will be useful (not what will be profitable to sponsors).
We provide cutting edge research backed insight and programmes to support professionals: we love the challenge placed upon us by members hungry for intellectual stimulation.
We were called to give evidence for the older worker select committee. We've shifted the narrative away from older workers being lazy and 'on the golf course' to governments and organisations being lazy and failing to take advantage of the ageing workforce opportunity. This video gives a flavour
We'd be nothing without the support of people who give up their time, expertise and skill without payment or salary. You can't buy passion, but your £30 a year donation really does help towards our costs.
"100% of our fees support charities, small businesses and our own community"
A successful track record of helping people build better futures
Focused on needs as we change and get older
A dynamic community of talented, well connected professionals
Innovative opportunities to enable longer working lives
Harris is a tech and product guy at heart - with 10 years experience across Financial Services and Property Industries - such as Fitch Ratings, Lloyds Commercial Bank, and CBRE. He is also Product Officer of an innovative health tech hearing company. His passion for helping people is what drew into the Brave Starts concept.
Editor and Comms
Anna Streule is our Editor and Comms guru! Relocated from Switzerland where she was editor of an online magazine. She brings a variety of experiences across management consulting, personal training, and teaching - the ultimate career changer! Her passion is supporting people like her who are looking for their next big change!
Strategy and Partnerships
Lucy is a psychologist and Vice Chair of the Association for Business Psychology. She was previously Global Head of Recruitment in the Investment Bank and Strategy Consulting sectors across JP Morgan and LEK consulting. Brave Starts is a result of people passionately joining together to try and help companies supporting their employees to work and age better.
Mike is a seasoned thought leader and program director in the area of longevity, retirement preparations, and inclusion and diversity. Mike worked at Aegon for 18 years, previously holding roles as Sustainability Officer and Group Internal Auditor. Prior to working for Aegon, Mike worked for PwC and Wells Fargo Bank.
Alan is one our career coaches. He started life as a civil engineer. He moved into business and strategy development roles with major construction sector organisations. He then gained an MSc in Organisational Psychology aged 59. He values research and evidence-based approaches and he loves helping people discover what they can do and then go-get it!
Experienced Communication Skills Coach training groups and individuals on range of topics including presentation skills, pitching skills, corporate reputation and helping people improve their personal impact in meetings. An empathetic and encouraging communication skills coach with a track record of excellent feedback
Ian has built strong investor and grant funding networks. He was recently Head of Access to funding at The Knowledge transfer Network helping innovative companies raise money via investors, grants or equity.
David is an award winning Chief People officer. He’s a huge advocate for ageing better and has won significant recognition for the fabulous work he does in this arena.
Michael brings his experience of being a Chief People Officer to the team. He’s got over 20 years experience at Senior HRD.
An award winning expert on all aspects of pensions and later life policy
Head of Savings & Retirement at .unner, cycler, golfer and tenor
We operate on a volunteer basis to support our activities of helping our members lead longer, fuller, working lives. Our member fees go to supporting our platform, our legal fees, and general company admin. Your support helps us on the journey to achieving our mission.
We've made a commitment to only focus on sharing and driving benefit for our members. We work with academics to ensure what we share is based on what works (not what is popular or attracts clickbait). We are focused on building the evidence base and blueprint for how we can best access and enjoy work as we get older. Our commitment means we don't accept referral fees, allow advertising and we have no interest or reason to sell your data. This commitment means we don't attract investors.
Similarly, we do not qualify for government grants as support for career guidance is only available or organisations supporting people under the age of 21.
We don't generate enough income to pay employees, so we rely on volunteers. We hope one day we will become large enough to generate salary payments. In the meantime, your support and donations contribute towards our running costs.
This is an ongoing debate for us, but we'd rather keep fees to a minimum to try and help as many people as possible. We will however review this and adjust as needs change.
Harris met Lucy at a dinner exploring the solutions to an ageing society. Their visions were aligned - Lucy the psychologist specialising in mid/later life career development and Harris the tech wizard who makes everything happen.
We're a registered Community Interest Company (basically we're too small to be a charity!) Our articles of association mean if we do generate profit in the future, it needs to go back into supporting and helping our members. Think of us as a professional body for people over 45 who want to love and enjoy their work.
Society is youth focused and people over 45 simply aren't 'sexy' enough to attract or garner the interest or PR needed to drive real change and investment into this demographic (you can read and comment on our article here). Career support and guidance is more widely available for the young. Every FTSE 100 organisation has a 'graduate' scheme, but there are not yet 'career changer' or later year entry schemes. Our professional members would not be seen in a job centre and those who have used them are unsatisfied with the service.
We don't believe in criticism, but where we see a real need, we feel compelled to do what we can. By focusing on building up our community of people over 45 and arming them with the insight, knowledge, skills and strategies we know help we achieve more and that feels amazing.
We want to raise the standards of career guidance and support for people over 45. Standards currently are not guaranteed and much of what is available is not practical or lacks the evidence to prove it works. (For example, you can read our article on what you should look out for if you are considering hiring a career coach)
We truly know as people get older, they do get wiser and so many problems in our workforce can be addressed by embracing and recognising the value of our ageing population. We will have done our job when organisations invest in strategies we can prove work and when people aren't held back from opportunities they should be celebrated for achieving.
We are always looking for brave people who want to help people succeed in their life aspirations. If you can regularly commit a few hours a week, please send us an email to email@example.com with your background (preferably LinkedIn) and why you would like to join our mission and team.