Retirement is gateway to business start-ups


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The Independent Online

The number of pensioners starting up their own business jumped by 44 per cent last year, after tight household budgets saw the over-65s seek out new income streams.

The figures, from the Office of National Statistics, record that 332,000 Britons aged over 65 founded businesses in the past 12 months. They also show that more than half of pensioners still in employment started their own business.

The findings are in spite of evidence that banks are unlikely to lend over-65s start-up funds. The Parliamentary Small Business Group Entrepreneurship Inquiry this month heard that older entrepreneurs were disproportionately affected by the reluctance of banks to lend. Of those over 65 starting up their own business, 62 per cent said access to finance was a problem, compared with 41 per cent of those aged between 18 and 30, the inquiry was told.

But outsourcing site reports that many older entreprenuers are overcoming funding difficulties by contracting out work to consultants and freelancers in a bid to cut costs. The number of business founders over 65 who have registered on it site has risen by 45 per cent in the past year to 12,710. Graham Little, 65, started his own company this year providing CPC driver training – a requirement for all HGV drivers to enrol in. He hired a freelance website designer in India via the Freelancer website, paying £200 – a fifth of UK developers' quotes. "I'd always wanted to start my own business, but never had the time until I stopped working," Mr Little said. "In my job, I was training drivers to get their CPC training certificate. I didn't want to throw away that experience and I wanted to supplement my pension so I didn't have to worry about money."

Saif Bonar, UK manager of, added: "Retired people are showing real entrepreneurial spirit by setting up their own businesses despite banks' failure to lend them funds."