Two OAPs have become Britain’s oldest entrepreneurs after securing a £25,000 start-up loan to launch a new online business – in their SEVENTIES.
Royal Navy veteran David Pledger, 71, and his wife Sandra, 73, have set up an online booking service for inns and guesthouses.
The elderly couple, from Stoney Stratton, Somerset, have never run their own company before but can draw upon a combined 144 years of experience.
Despite their old age their proposed venture, Full House Marketing, was good enough to secure them a £25,000 start-up loan.
Industrious David served as a mechanical engineer and diver in the Royal Navy from 1959 to 1966.
When he left the forces he and Sandra, his wife of 45 years, went into the hotel business.
After turning around a string of guesthouses and B&Bs, the pair decided to put their well-seasoned skills into a fully-fledged internet business.
They managed to get funding from X-Forces, a social enterprise set up to help veterans and their families realise their entrepreneurial aspirations.
The couple were mentored by former Royal Navy officer Mike Mackenzie, who helped shape their business plan and sort the financing needed for their launch in February next year.
Ren Kapur, managing director of X-Forces, praised the couple as an “inspiration”.
She said: “Age should be no barrier to realising one’s potential and for those military veterans who have served the UK so loyally and with such selfless commitment this is a real success story.”
David said his new booking system will help small and independent inns and guest houses by keeping them fully booked.
He says he’s always been hard-working and resourceful thanks to the skills he learnt as a young lad in the Navy.
David said: “I joined the Navy at 16 years old and the experience taught me discipline, diligence and a lot about human nature and relationships.
“These skills have all been highly transferrable and have helped me carve out my civilian career.”