Business development · 22 August 2017

Olderpreneurs become UK’s fastest-growing group of new business owner

older worker
The number of entrepreneurs aged 65 and over in Britain has risen by 140 per cent in ten years

The fastest-growing age group of UK business owners in the last ten years has been the over-65s, challenging the notion that twenty-somethings dominate the world of entrepreneurship.

Research from Barclays Business Banking has found that in the last decade, the proportion of so-called “olderpreneurs” in Britain has risen by 140 per cent, as a growing number of workers approaching retirement age try their hand at starting a business.

Barclays’ data also suggests that the country’s mature entrepreneurs are having an increasingly important impact on the UK economy. In 2015, UK startups established by people aged 55 and over contributed more than £7bn to the economy, according to the research.

In contrast, over the last ten years the number of businesses set up by 25 to 34-year olds in Britain grew by a more modest 23 per cent.

Welcoming the figures, Barclays Business Banking CEO, Ian Rand, said that it was important to continue to support the UK’s generation of olderpreneurs. He said: “It is fascinating to see this new emerging trend.

“At a time when they could be planning for retirement, the over-55s are utilising their skills by putting their wealth of experience and business knowledge to use, breaking down stereotypes in the process.”

Sectors that enjoyed the highest growth rates of new businesses run by olderpreneurs between 2006 and 2016 included the health, education and professional service sectors, in which the proportion of olderpreneurs grew by 198 per cent, 164 per cent and 112 per cent respectively.

The housing sector (real estate), and startups related to the arts and to culture, have also proved popular amongst older entrepreneurs.

Liz Earle, A Barclays entrepreneurial business adviser and former CEO at Liz Earle Beauty Co, commented: “I’m not surprised to see so many budding entrepreneurs of my generation. It’s great to see them taking the plunge in later life, rather than feeling it’s too late.

“The older generation adds so much value to the workplace in any context – bringing a wealth of experience and industry contacts to the table.”

Top ten business tips for mature entrepreneurs

(1) Have confidence in your abilities

(2) Know your subject- it is key

(3) Know your business strategy inside out

(4) Get tech savvy

(5) Always take your time, even if you feel like it is limited

(6) Look after your wellbeing

(7) Trust your gut instinct

(8) Find your passion

(9) Prioritise what is important to you

(10) Don’t be afraid to ask for help

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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