If you’re over 50 and are put off starting a business due to your age, then think again. Over 50s account for almost 45% of new businesses started up in the UK, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
The trend for older people starting their own business is growing. A report from Barclay’s showed that people over 55 are now 63% more likely to start their own business when compared with figures from ten years ago.
In addition, the number of people aged 65 and over starting their own businesses has more than doubled since 2012. Known as ‘olderpreneurs’, people over 50 are increasingly turning to entrepreneurship. So, why is this happening?
Introduction of pension freedoms
In 2015, the government introduced pension freedoms, which has given older people the option to take their lump sum tax free and use it to start a business. But this isn’t the only reason for the rise in later life start-ups.
Low-interest loans are also playing a part in the supporting of the growth of new companies, and The Start Up Loan Company has granted more than 5,700 loans so far to people in their 50s.
Here are three examples of some of the over-50s small business successes.
1. The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Founded by 59-year-old David Atkinson, the Yorkshire Meatball Company (YMCO) launched in 2014. Driven by a mission to ‘lead the fight against tasteless meatballs’, the business was originally a simple restaurant experience. Success followed with a second restaurant subsequently opened at Hotel Indigo in York.
Market changes prompted the decision to ‘pivot’ the business and change focus in 2016. The YMCO now sells premium meatballs into supermarkets, with clients including Morrisons, Asda and Tesco.
2. Mums Bake Cakes
Paula Wilkinson (50) and Richard Watson (55) are business partners who launched a personalised UK cake delivery service at the start of 2016. Acting as a marketplace for home bakers to sell cakes online to local customers, the business has hundreds of bakers signed up and selling cakes across the UK.
Last year they were named the GN Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year and won Jacqueline Gold’s Women on Wednesday (WOW) award that celebrates women in business.
3. Seniors Helping Seniors UK
Christian Wilse was 59 years old when he launched the UK-based arm of Seniors helping Seniors, an elderly home care service. Christian and his wife have worked full time for the company every since they launched in 2014.
Employing around 100 part-time carers, they work between 10 and 20 hours a week with flexible shift patterns.