The Over 50’s Entrepreneurs are leading UK Small Business Growth
The over-50s age group are becoming an increasingly important demographic to the UK economy. Rather than being consigned to the scrap-heap in favour of younger workers, this age group are now creating their own jobs and generating their own income where before there were none open to them. Let’s take a look at how the over-50s are leading the small business battle charge.
According to the most recent employment figures, the number of 50 to 64 year-olds in work has risen from 6.8 million in 2005 to 8.7 million at the end of last year. Not only that but the data shows that 2.1 million people in this age group are self-employed. Of those 2.1 million self-employed, around 0.36 million of them actively employ at least one other person within their small business set up.
It has also been reported that those businesses last year created a combined turnover of £365 billion – a higher revenue than the £361 billion generated by the 0.37 million under-50s employers within the same bracket. The older generation are not only surpassing the turnover of their younger competitors, but they are also employing more people too! This older business demographic account for 3.46 million jobs compared to 3.40 million employed by under-50s small business owners.
Although this growth in the rates of senior-led business is a new trend, business experts say that this looks set to continue to grow over the following years.
The impact of the Silver Pound
Even when you look further than small businesses, the growth in medium-sized businesses – those with between 50 and 250 employees – the number of employees hired in an over-50s-owned company was 5.1 million in 2016, a figure that was up from 4.76 million in 2011.
What this means is that for the first time in history, the over-50s led businesses are ahead of the under-50s business owners in the same bracket. So not only are the over-50s outperforming their younger rivals in turnover, they are also outflanking them on job creation too.
Financial forecasters are predicting that the ‘silver pound’ will have even more of an impact on the economy in the coming years. Currently, discretionary spending in 2015 by over-50s was £376 billion. This was already surpassing the under-50s at £373 billion. Over-50s business currently supports up to 1.9 million jobs, a figure that is expected to rise to 2.8 million by 2027.
Having a Senior Moment
What all this information is telling us is that the government, as well as general population, should seriously rethink their old-fashioned attitudes towards older workers. Clearly the old mindset that as a worker you were spent in your 50s is a very outdated attitude, and now these wise and experienced workers are setting up SMEs that are forming the new backbone of the economy.
Britain’s entrepreneurs should no longer be seen as just young and ambitious people with lots of drive. The true picture is much more mixed than this. With many more people choosing to work after their pension age, combined with an increasing ageing population, we are sure to see these figures going up in future.