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Could you be the next successful olderpreneur?


An olderpreneur, if you haven’t encountered the term before, refers to an individual over 50 embracing the entrepreneurial life for the first time – whether that be starting a service-based business, turning a hobby into a money-generating concern, or buying a franchise from a successful chain. And there are several excellent reasons why, as a retiree or someone approaching retirement, you may want to explore this option further.

1. You may not be ready to retire

Not everyone is mentally prepared or financially able to stop working at 65. In fact,  it’s not unusual for people to keep working well into their 70s or 80s these days. So, if you want (or need) to launch your second career, give some thought to which industry you’d like to work in and what your next step should be.

2. You have experience…

While youth may seem to be more highly valued than experience in the modern workplace – according to AARP.org, “two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination at work” – the years of knowledge you’ve gained during your working life are an excellent foundation upon which to build a new business.

3. … and networks

Besides knowledge and experience, another valuable asset you’ll find yourself with at the end of your career is a network of contacts. Use this to your advantage – get in touch with anyone you’ve worked with over the years who may be able to help you in your new venture.

4. You have access to funds

In the years leading up to retirement, it’s not unusual for people to find themselves with access to significant sums of money – whether from inheritances left to them by their parents, investments or early retirement packages. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider using some of these funds to start up a small business that could help you generate an income for years to come. 

5. It’s a trend…

… in the United Kingdom: “According to the Office for National Statistics, there are now nearly 1.8 million self-employed people over the age of 50, an increase of 21 per cent on 2008. Indeed around one in five people aged over 50 is self-employed, a higher proportion than for any other age group.” (Telegraph.co.uk)

… in the United States: “The highest rate of business start-ups in the US is among people in the 55-64 age bracket and they’re almost twice as likely to found successful companies than those under 34.” (Lifetimeincome.co.nz)

… in Australia: “…more than a third of Aussie startups are led by those over 55, with older entrepreneurs the fastest growing segment of new business owners.” (Lifetimeincome.co.nz)

6. The odds are in your favour

If you’re still not convinced about the value of starting your own business in later life, considering these findings from an Age UK survey as reported by the Birmingham Business School: “… more than 70 percent of businesses started by people in their fifties survive for at least five years, whereas only 28 percent of those started by younger people last that long.”