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The Rise of the Older-preneur


Over one in four UK small businesses set up by the recently retired or redundant

Inventor of the wind-up radio and ‘older-preneur’, Trevor Baylis says it’s never too late to start your own

New research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank has unveiled that rather than relax or look for a new job, over 1 million* ‘older-preneurs’ have used retirement or redundancy as an opportunity to set up their own business.

The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ Small Business Report found that more than one in four (27 per cent) of Britain’s 4.7 million* small businesses, were set up after retirement (7 per cent) or redundancy (20 per cent).

And it is the ‘older-preneur’, people aged 55 and over, that are the largest group starting up businesses when not in employment. The poll found that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of ‘older-preneurs’ set up their business after being made redundant. A further 12 per cent have set up in business after taking retirement. The survey also revealed that almost one in ten (9 per cent) small business owners have started their business with redundancy or retirement money.

Trevor Baylis OBE, inventor and entrepreneur, said: ‘It’s never too late to start your own business. I started life as a stuntman and it wasn’t until I saw a programme about the spread of HIV in Africa that I had the idea for the wind-up radio – I was over 54 at the time. I didn’t set up Trevor Baylis Brands, my company to help inventors until 2004, when I was in my 60s. If somebody’s got an idea for a business or an invention, I’d really encourage them to seek the correct help, advice and support and push ahead with it, the economy relies on entrepreneurial spirit and most of all, it could be very rewarding.”

The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank research indicates that, in spite of the economic climate, more than 611,000* (13 per cent) small businesses have been set up in the last two years. The Banks’ survey also found that:

  • Almost one in five (19 per cent) ‘older-preneurs’ say they have transformed a lifelong passion or hobby in to a business
  • Arts, craft and catering is a popular for ‘older-preneurs’, with 10 per cent starting a business in this sector

Gary Lumby, director of small business banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “Many people realise that there is more to life than working for somebody else, and it’s even better if you can turn something you love and enjoy in to a business venture.

“As a society, we are living longer and understand that age and experience bring much more. It should be no surprise to see people wanting to put their experience to good use rather just seeing retirement as a time to switch off.

“And while redundancy is a difficult time for many, for others it provides opportunities; acting as a spur to starting a business they would not otherwise have done. It’s our role as a Bank to help and support people old and young to realise their business goals.”

Further information about the support Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks can offer small businesses can be found at or

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