Monday 21 August 2017 12:35 pm

The number of startups run by older entrepreneurs has surged over the past decade

Forget the slew of young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs – your Evan Spiegels and Mark Zuckerbergs.

For the number of businesses run by the over-55s has surged over the past decade, according to new research from Barclays Business.

The number of firms run by the over-55s has risen 63 per cent in the past 10 years, and the fastest-growing age group of business owners over this period has been the over-65s, with a 140 per cent increase.

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They're making a considerable impact with their businesses too. Barclays estimated that startups founded by those aged over 55 in 2015, contributed over £7bn to the UK economy the next year.

London was home to the fastest growing number of business owners aged 55+, with an 89 per cent rise since 2006. As for the business sectors with the highest growth of older business owners, health was top, followed by education, professional, and then real estate.

The bank has brought skincare entrepreneur Liz Earle on board as an entrepreneurial business advisor to better support its older customers, with particular focus on both the opportunities and challenges faced by business owners in the 50+ age bracket.

"The older generation adds so much value to the workplace in any context – bringing a wealth of experience and industry contacts to the table," Earle said. "I’m not surprised to see so many budding entrepreneurs of my generation, but it’s great to see them taking the plunge in later life, rather than feeling it’s too late."

Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking, added:

It is fascinating to see this new emerging trend of ‘older’ entrepreneurs. At a time when they could be planning for retirement, the over-55s are utilising their skills by putting their wealth of experience and business knowledge to use, breaking down stereotypes in the process.

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