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50+ powerful force for UK enterprise

Date 26 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

A sixth of all new businesses are founded and run by people over 50, new research has revealed. This group of older entrepreneurs contributes £24.4bn to the UK economy every year, according to research commissioned by Yellow Pages.

The study found that the average turnover for ventures run by over 50s was £67,500 per year, although 10% had revenues in excess of £100,000.

Helen Stevenson, chief marketing officer of Yell, publisher of Yellow Pages directories, said: "Our study highlights the crucial contribution over 50s make to the UK economy and demonstrates that senior startups aren't afraid to take a risk by changing career later in life."

According to the research, the biggest motivation for older entrepreneurs was the desire to do something pleasurable (39%), followed by achieving a better work/life balance (29%) and not wanting to work for someone else (24%). Nearly half of all entrepreneurs over 50 are happier that they have ever been, the study also found, despite the fact that 79% work alone.

Mark Hart, professor of small business research at Kingston University, who carried out the research, said: "This research adds greatly to our knowledge of the over 50s' contribution to enterprise in the UK. There is clear evidence that the entrepreneurial activities of this diverse group are capable of providing sustainable incomes as they engage in new business ventures resulting from many years of experience."



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