94-year-old UK entrepreneur proves it’s never too late to start up

Age, gender and other data paints picture of start-up Britain in new report

The oldest person to become a director of a new limited company in the UK in the last three years was 94 – while the youngest was 16.

That is according to a new report by the Made Simple Group, which has used registrations on its business formation website Companies Made Simple to paint a picture of contemporary UK entrepreneurship.

Focusing on the 110,000 registrations completed between January 2009 and September 2011, the report revealed that nearly 1,000 students have started their own businesses in the last three years – but the average age of a new company director has remained consistent at 30.

Of the new directors appointed in 2011, 75% were male, while 25% were female – a figure which has remained unchanged for the past three years.

International entrepreneurs

However, an Entrepreneurial Nations Index revealed that the UK is also attracting significant numbers of entrepreneurs from outside the British Isles. India had the most new business owners living in the UK, closely followed by Poland and Pakistan..

Meanwhile, China had the highest proportion of start-up businesses which are based in the UK, while the director remains on their home territory.

Fluke or fate

The data did reveal some interesting trends in the characteristics of UK entrepreneurs. For example, the most common name of female directors was Susan, whereas for male entrepreneurs it was David.

However, there was little evidence that entrepreneurial spirit is affected by star sign – only a slightly higher proportion of registrations were received from Capricorns than from any other zodiac sign.

There was little doubt though that entrepreneurship is on the rise in the UK, with more companies founded in 2010 than 2009, and the figures for 2011 expected to exceed 385,000.

Howard Graham, founder of the Made Simple Group, says: “We have built up a fascinating picture of the people starting businesses in the UK.

“As the leading company formation agent in the UK, we have a wealth of data available to us…We can also look at changing trends in areas such as directors’ ages, gender, occupation and nationality.”

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