Why over 50s have the upper hand when it comes to business

Posted on: 03 June 2015 by 50connect editorial

They say age is just a number. Well, they’re wrong

Over 50s self employed

Whether you’re a baby boomer picking yourself up from redundancy or simply hoping to generate more than what’s in your pension pot, now could be the best time to launch your own business - and it’s actually everything to do with age.

In the UK, the number of over 65s who are self-employed has more than doubled in the past five years to reach nearly half a million, according to the Office for National Statistics.

I don’t find those figures hugely surprising – we speak to thousands of businesses across the country at the hub and we’re increasingly hearing how older entrepreneurs are using their years of experience to kickstart successful ventures.

From florists to personal chefs, dog walkers to bookkeeping – the number of Britons powering along with business buffs half their age is truly exciting.

While fresh-faced entrepreneurs may know the ins and outs of the digital world, the one thing they don’t have is experience. Seasoned business people can react to customers better and have a greater idea of goals.

Entrepreneurs also know what they can and can’t do by 50: they’re able to play to their own strengths and know their own weaknesses.

Aside from the healthier income, the fulfillment of owning a business later in life is massively rewarding for a generation willing to work - but preferring to call the shots.

Not all of the factors behind the increase in 50+ entrepreneurs are necessarily positive. For instance, research by Prime shows that more than a million people over 50 have been involuntarily pushed out of the workplace.

Harnessing the potential of these workers could add an extra £88 billion to the UK’s GDP. The companies overlooking these mature business minds are undoubtedly missing out – but their loss is increasingly boosting entrepreneurialism across the UK.

Matthew MooreAbout the author


Matthew Moore is the hub lead at Johnston Press. the hub was created to strengthen relationships between Johnston Press and local businesses and offers tips, resources and inspiration to entrepreneurs.

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