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Olderpreneurs: The UK’s new start-up generation is much older than you think

by Scott Brown | May 03, 2017
  • Becoming an entrepreneur is not only for the young, and while age may dim employment prospects for those in their mid-50s, nothing's stopping an experienced worker striking out on their own. In the UK a growing number of these olderpreneurs are realising that they have the skills, experience and finances to start a business for the first time.
    Older entrepreneur outside bookshop

    The timing is right

    Often, high-earning employees are laid off in their mid-50s to improve a company’s bottom line. This means the dream of a leisurely retirement is replaced with the reality of having to keep working and earning a steady income. In these situations, self-employment becomes an attractive option.

    Usually lump sums of money in the form of retirement funds, transfer valuations on final salary schemes, redundancy payments and even inheritances start arriving in a person’s mid-50s. This money can be used to inject much-needed start-up capital into a new venture.

    In addition to this, the UK is ranked in the top 10 countries with the most favourable conditions for entrepreneurs to start up new businesses. It also climbed from tenth position in 2015 to fifth in 2016 on the renowned Forbes Best Countries for Business list.

    Olderpreneurs, a boon for the UK economy

    Olderpreneurs have been shown to be more successful than their younger counterparts. Businesses run by owners in their 50s drive up revenues three-and-a-half times faster than GDP growth — 11.5% compared to 3.1%. Older entrepreneurs also create jobs at a rate more than seven times faster than the UK economic average.

    So it’s simple: More olderpreneurs is good news for the UK economy. If the employment rate of 50- to 64-year-olds matched that of 35- to 49-year-olds, the UK economy could be boosted by £88 billion. This shows that these old dogs have a few new tricks to teach the younger generation

    Why the older generation does it better

    While those in their twenties may have the energy to stay up all night and work, older entrepreneurs bring other formidable advantages to the table.

    A broad knowledge of business built up from years in the workforce, as well as potential management experience and large professional networks are just some of the reasons why so many olderpreneurs are successful.

    People who start a business later in life are also more likely to do something they are passionate about. When experience and passion are involved it’s easy to see why the seniors are currently doing so well.

    Don't be daunted, seize this opportunity

    The amount of work involved in launching a business can be daunting at first, but owning one’s own business promises a great level of autonomy and fulfilment.

    With the right help, and the drive to be successful, you too can join the new (older) generation of entrepreneurs.

    Thinking of starting up a business and showing the young ones how it’s done? Give our accounting department a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7553 or send us an email on and we’ll help you make a fist of it. 

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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