We have been contacted by several of our readers highlighting the current increase in Entrepreneurs over 50 who are starting new businesses. With the current statistics showing that 1 in 6 of every new business is started by people over 50 it is a real growth area that is worth investigating.
I have been in contact with the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME), which is a nation national charity and provides help and advice for business creation for the over 50s.
Alastair Clegg, Chief Executive said “Everyone is talking about the rise of self-employment and new businesses being started and this report confirms that it’s the over 50s who are driving this positive trend forward.”
The UK Global Enterprise Monitor Report shows that the increase among this age group applies to both men and women, although male rates were ‘significantly higher’ – and the research pinpoints that both sexes were launching their own businesses predominantly out of opportunity rather than necessity.
The over 50s have the skills, experience and dedication that naturally lend themselves to enterprise. Businesses started by older people help benefit the economy, provide jobs and work for other people and more importantly, help keep older people in the workforce.
As the retirement age increases it is vital to find new and innovative ways to extend working life that will enable us all to retain financial independence, sustain ourselves for a longer life, as well as remain active and engaged in our communities. Older people tend to find it easier to set up as self-employed. Having gained experience and skills working for someone else, they have an established network of contacts and may find it easier to gain access to the initial start-up capital.
If younger people are the lost generation then older people are the forgotten generation. Being out of work is depressing, demoralising and soul-destroying whatever your age, but unemployment can hit you especially hard when you reach your 50s. Older people have mortgages to pay, houses to heat and families to care for.
One reader, Marilyn Mountford has set up Grandtrepeneurs on Twitter to help give a voice through group support and networking opportunities to celebrate older people in business, an example of how this can be achieved.
According to www.prime.org.uk there are more than 3.5m people in the UK who are over the age of 50 and do not have a job. They are more likely than any other age group to face long-term unemployment. They campaign on behalf of what is rapidly becoming a forgotten generation. They also help the over 50s turn their ideas, energy and experience into successful and sustainable businesses.
Contact PRIME for more information and help with practical matters including applying for grants.