Starting out in business does not necessarily go hand in hand with starting out in life, as a rise in entrepreneurs over the age of 50, dubbed olderpreneurs, is proving.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that there’s been a 21 per cent increase in the number of people over the age of 50 starting up their own business since 2008. There are now nearly 1.8 million self-employed people over the age of 50.
The proportion of workers over 50 who are self-employed (around one in five) is higher than any other age group. And that’s not all, statistics show that many of the late startups are more successful than those of younger entrepreneurs. According to the charity Age UK, more than 70 percent of businesses started by people in their fifties survive for at least five years compared to 28 per cent of those started by younger people. Indeed, McDonald’s franchise founder Raymond Kroc was 52 when he began working with the McDonald brothers to create the world’s most famous food chain in 1955. He was 59 when he bought them out and took over completely.
While much of the focus and support for startups by the government and other organisations has been aimed at younger people, the over 50’s have been applying their skills and experience much to the benefit of our SME economy.
It would, however, appear that, despite the many success stories, support for over 50s to start up their own enterprises is more important than ever before. The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) claim that there are now over 4 million people over 50 who are seeking work and worried about redundancy. With society now retiring later in life this is a very real issue. The organisation, set up by the Prince of Wales, aims to support the over-50s to start businesses of their own and provides advice to help them harness their skills and set up successful businesses.
Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan says it’s never too late to start your own enterprise,
“Whilst there are risks involved with starting up any business the statistics are showing us that people over fifty have a good chance of making their ventures a success. There are a number of possible factors for this, not least the fact that they are indeed older and wiser with a wealth of experiences and contacts under their belts. Determination and business acumen have nothing to do with age. Businesscomparison.com is a fantastic resource for those starting up in business at any time in their life. We compare providers to find the best deals on the financial nuts and bolts of business including insurance, commercial mortgages, asset finance and bank accounts.”
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