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The grey economy

This report outlines the contribution of entrepreneurs aged over 50 who have seen their businesses quickly grow to more than 25 people.

This report outlines the contribution of entrepreneurs aged over 50 who have seen their businesses quickly grow to more than 25 people.

Key findings:

  • Older founders don’t differ greatly from their younger colleagues in the types of businesses they establish.
  • Most of those setting up high growth companies are white British men, just 5% are over 60, and relatively few are new to enterprise later on life.
  • There are few differences in motivations between older and younger entrepreneurs.
  • High growth founders are: more likely to set up a business based on innovation, more willing to exploit a business or market gap opportunity, and have a greater desire to give something back to society.

The population is getting older. The economic contribution of people over 50 is also increasing. More people are working beyond statutory retirement age. And more of them are running their own businesses.

 

At the same time, particularly during a time of recession, the government has a strong interest in encouraging more people to become self-employed or set up their own company.

 

Particularly where such companies create work for others, they can make a valuable contribution to the recovery.

 

Authors:
Ron Botham and Andrew Graves