Business begins at 50 plus

Older entrepreneurs are a thriving demographic force behind the creation of start-ups, according to research.

A report from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) found that 50 – 65 year-olds started 27 per cent of successful start-ups between 2001 and 2005, with 122,300 start-ups launched by entrepreneurs in this age range.

Professor Ziolkowski, founded oil technology company MTEM in his late 50s. He says: ‘When we were starting the company it was at great personal financial risk, but we had enormous confidence in our idea.

‘We made a substantial profit from the sale of MTEM, as did the University of Edinburgh and our original investors, who were rewarded with nine times their invested money. Older entrepreneurs have an important role to play and our experience should be seen as an asset.’

Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of NESTA, says: ‘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.’.

According to a report from Nottingham University, almost a third of small- and medium-sized business owners will need to put plans for their retirement on hold because of the downturn.

See also: Don’t let age be a barrier

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Older Entrepreneurs

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