article by Diane Shawe M.Ed
Turning 50 isn’t the end of a business career – it’s the beginning. And an ever-growing wave of ‘olderpreneurs’, starting a business have 70% chance of surviving their first five years compared with only a 28% survival rate for those younger than them.
Nearly half the self-employment population is over 50, and one in six new businesses started in the UK are set up by post-half-centurions.
So what’s fuelling the entrepreneurial impetus of the ‘silver startup’, and why are they doing so well?
The over-50s age group has been particularly hard-hit by the recession. Last year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed 28% of those aged between 50 and state pension age were out of work – compared with only 20% of those aged under 50.
Why? One of the biggest factors is the rife ageism that permeates practically every industry in the UK, that anyone over 50 who’s been forced to look for employment will testify to with a weary nod. The ONS estimates those who lose their job aged 50 or over have only a 10% chance of being re-employed.
Deciding to use their money from redundancies to fund ta company, over the course of two years the payout had trickled in its entirety into the business. But it was worth the investment – and they often don’t have to rely on the ineffective banks at the moment.
At a fundamental level, sometimes people just want to do something different in their later years.
It’s interesting that recent YouGov and Standard Life research found the average age at which people feel totally confident in their working skills is 37, while the more elusive sense of fulfilment peaks at 50. Perhaps this climax of achievement and sense of ability leads to a need for a new direction, a new challenge, once a person passes the half-century mark.
You’re in good company if your over 50 and considering starting a business.
More than four out of 10 new businesses in the UK are started by people over 50, according to the Office for National Statistics. And it’s a growing trend. A recent report from Barclays highlighted that over 55s are now 63% more likely to start businesses than 10 years ago.
And this rise in business owners doesn’t just apply to founders in their 50s – the number of self-employed people aged 65 and over has more than doubled in the UK in the past five years.
While there’s never a ‘right time’ to pursue a business idea, an increasing number of people in their 50s and over – dubbed ‘olderpreneurs’ – are shifting to entrepreneurship. But why?
For starters, budding business owners in their 50s are capitalising on the government pension freedoms – first introduced back in 2015 – and are opting to take their tax free cash lump-sum to “create wealth” by using their pensions to start a business.
However, it’s not just pension-led funding which is boosting the numbers of the UK’s older entrepreneurs.
Low-interest loans and mentoring, provided by the likes of , is playing an integral part in funding and supporting the growth of founders in their 50s with over 5,700 loans having been supplied to founders aged 50 and over by the organisation to date.
Supported by research from PRIME that those who start a business in their 50s are 42% more likely to be successful than their younger counterparts, we want to shake off the notion that starting a business in middle-age isn’t a good idea. On the contrary, older entrepreneurs have the advantage of being able to tap into wealth of experience and knowledge which they can put to use in a start-up venture.
To break down stereotypes, we’ve highlighted five inspiring businesses founded by entrepreneurs aged 50 and over, who each received a Start Up Loan to make their business dreams a reality.
Operating in industries ranging from domestic care to street food.
After every downturn there is alway a upturn because people really work hard along with banks, investors and government to make it work.