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Over-50s going it alone to be their own boss

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21/11/2012
Record numbers of UK entrepreneurs are aged over 50, as more and more shun retirement to be their own boss.

The number of those choosing to carry on working has almost doubled over the last twenty years, rising from 753,000 in 1993 to hit the 1.4m mark in 2011.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, this represents around 9% of the total number of people over state pension age in the UK today.

Research carried out in 2011 by Nominet Trust found that entrepreneurs are more likely to be over 55 rather than being aged 25 to 34. In fact, 32% of older workers are self-employed, compared to 13% of workers at a younger age.

Barrie Hopson, author at The Pluses of Being 50 Plus, says that 48% of over-50s are more likely to succeed in creating their own business than any other age group.

He credits this in part to the personality traits that often come with age, describing those aged 50+ as “more mature, less stressed, usually [with] better interpersonal skills with customers [and] more reliable. They are also fit and healthy. 25-year-olds 50 years ago were not as fit as 50-year-olds today.”

London is still the most attractive place for 50+ workers wanting carry on working.

The capital ranks eighth out of the 12 UK regions in terms of the percentage of young people in employment, but sits second from the top when it comes to employment of those above state pension age, just behind the South East.

At the other end of the scale, the North East has the lowest number of people above state pension age still in employment.

A study conducted in 2007 by Kingston University’s Small Business Research Centre also highlighted that despite the fact that 79 % of these entrepreneurs work alone, almost half of all 50+ entrepreneurs are happier than they have ever been.

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