It used to be that the word entrepreneur conjured the image of a young man in a hoodie but it’s safe to say that the leaders of Britain’s startups have become more diverse than that. Not only are women like Sarah Wood and Debbie Wosskow increasingly taking their place among the UK’s leading founders but 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, according to the report. Other popular locations for olderpreneurs were the north-east, Wales and the north-west.
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.