UK, Study reveals Third Age Entrepreneurs critical to Growth

Entrepreneurs aged 50 and older were responsible for over a quarter of the companies set up in the UK in recent years, a new study published by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) reveals.

According to the report, entrepreneurs aged 50 -65 years, created 27% of successful start ups in the UK from 2001 to 2005. Over the period, more than 350,000 companies were set up, with over 50-year-old entrepreneurs responsible for creating 93,500 companies and employing almost 400,000 people.

The figures show that the UK had 122,300 third age founders responsible for successful start up companies. Among these, nearly 47,000 were entrepreneurs aged 50 and older who set up a company on their own.

Another finding is that where a company was created by both young and over 50 years old, older founders were more actively involved in the business with 60% responsible for wanting to form a team and 53% having the original business idea.

The report also found that older entrepreneurs are highly motivated by the desire to give something back to society and that only half said they intended to retire after reaching 65 years old.

Commenting on the study, NESTA’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Kestenbaum was quoted to say: “At a time when an ageing society is being viewed as a problem, our study shows that there is a wealth of experience driving the UK economy today. Many third age entrepreneurs are setting up exciting new companies which are employing thousands of people”.



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