Older entrepreneurs more bullish about starting a business

Over-55s are significantly more confident in their own abilities to start a business than 18-24 year-olds, research finds.

Some 42 per cent of the senior band report confidence, compared to just 8 per cent of their younger counterparts, according to a survey by O2.

As well as displaying more confidence in their abilities, the study also finds that the older generation has more resources to devote to a business: they are less likely to see time (10 per cent) and money (18 per cent) as the biggest barriers to starting up compared to 18-24 year-olds.

A quarter of all senior respondents surveyed has aspirations to be an ‘olderpreneur’. In addition, a quarter state the desire to work for themselves only grows with age, with four in ten over-55s believing age shouldn’t be a defining factor in launching a business.

However, members of the older band suffer a lack of knowledge on the latest software and technology needed to successfully run a start-up, with more than half of the over-45s group admitting they need to improve their IT knowledge and a quarter of over-55s believing technology would constitute a barrier for them in starting a business.

A third of the over-45 age group also express confusion about the sheer quantity of technology products and software available in today’s market.

Paul Lawton, head of small business for O2 says, ‘The start-up community is such an exciting sector to be in, but there are still many perceived barriers that prevent people from all age groups from starting their own business.

‘It’s great to see that people heading into the latter stages of their working life are as likely as the younger generations to take charge of their destiny and start their own business. I believe that variety of entrepreneurs in the start-up market is exactly what the UK needs to ensure the continued growth of the economy.’

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Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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