I love the idea of businesses that solve real human problems. Not problems like "my fridge doesn't text me when I'm out of milk", but problems like loneliness and lack of social connection.
This idea solves that problem. It's pretty simple: older people need more social contact, have untapped and undervalued skills and life experience and benefit from being around younger people. Young people don't get much exposure to older people and therefore don't always respect them as much as older people deserve.
This businesses would unite older and younger people in a skills swap, for instance:
How to use a smartphone < > How to cook a meal
How use the internet < > Understanding a car engine
What's an app? < > Using a sewing machine
I need to learn English < > I can practise your English (already happening here)
I need to practice driving < > I need help to get my groceries
I need to be supervised after school < > I'm available
It's also good for less exchange based interaction - just hanging out and chatting, sharing interests like movies or books, help with homework, going on outings etc.
HOW IT WOULD WORK
You'd probably be best off finding a nursing home and a school that were nearby. In fact, my high school had a nursing home right next door. Schools often have facilities like a cooking room, a computer lab/library and sewing room for some of the activities above so you'd get the school to volunteer the space and co-ordinators from each end to, well, co-ordinate.
HOW IT WOULD MAKE MONEY
This originally started with the idea of the elders teaching the young'uns how to drive - the younger people would pay a fee for the service and the platform would get a small fee. Someone suggested to me that the company could connect the driver and teacher for free but sell insurance - also a good idea.
You could even sell your skills as a consultant and get local councils to pay you some money to implement the idea.
No shit, this is very much not the next Airbnb—it's largely (if not purely) a social enterprise. But it'd help the world and strengthen communities, and I think businesses should try and do that more.