Its never too late to start a business; Over-55s start 63% more businesses than 10 years ago


Author David Hugo Hargreaves Growth Guru at Charterhouse: A family man and walker of the family dogs

Research from Barclays has revealed that more baby boomers are launching new enterprises than they did a decade ago; and this is great news for the economy.

It used to be that the word entrepreneur conjured up the image of a younger man, however, it’s safe to say that the leaders of Britain’s start-ups have now become more diverse. Not only are women increasingly taking their place among the UK’s leading founders, but also new research shows that Britain’s baby boomers are also launching more businesses.

Having looked at the demographics of its 1.1 million business customers, Barclays Business Banking has revealed that the number of SMEs run by people over the age of 65 has increased by 140% over the last decade; making it the fastest-growing age group in terms of entrepreneurship and self-employment. Overall the people who were 55 or older saw a 63% increase over the same period. In comparison, the number of ventures run by people between the ages of 25 and 34 only grew by 23%.

Perhaps it should be no surprise that when you break down this rise by location, the areas seeing the most growth in older entrepreneurs are those in the most traditional entrepreneurial hotbeds. The rise of people over 55 launching businesses was particularly high in London and the south-east. Other popular locations for older entrepreneurs were the north-east, Wales and the north-west.

At Charterhouse we have seen this trend at the coal face, with most of the entrepreneurs contacting Charterhouse for funding, a coach or other support averaging 45 to 55. We just thought that this was because on the whole younger male entrepreneurs are not yet mature enough to take professional advice

Commenting on the research in City.A.M, Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking, said: “It is fascinating to see this new emerging trend of ‘older’ entrepreneurs. 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.”

This report proves that entrepreneurialism is no longer just a young man’s game; something we at Charterhouse have known for many years.

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Author David Hugo Hargreaves the Growth Guru at Charterhouse.

We help entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and make a difference in this world.