Start-up culture always seems to focus on the millennials or younger generations with their side hustles, Ted Talks and Instagram empires. Yet there is a growing number of “oldertrepreneurs” in their 50s, 60s and beyond who have an equal amount of energy and motivation to launch a business.
A survey from the Institute of Directors, for example, found that 53% of their members identified as entrepreneurs and 67% of members were over 50. Separate research shows that the number of people older than 55 who own a business jumped by 63% in 10 years to 2017.
Being older might bring unique challenges to finding business success – ageism and caring responsibilities, for example – but life experience and determination are not to be underestimated when it comes to business success. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that older entrepreneurs see more professional success than their younger counterparts, due to factors like industry experience and financial security.
One success story is Tim Latham, who worked in the corporate world and the RAF before founding Unretired, a business which prepares employees for retirement, last year at age 59.
“I once attended a ‘survival programme’ aimed at corporate partners who were working in a high stress environment – they were keeling over with heart attacks and getting divorced,” he says. “As I moved into my late 50s, I wondered, was there anything of that quality and rigour for employees as they approach retirement?”