Unemployment and redundancy has fuelled almost a third of UK start-ups

More people are starting up businesses "in the face of adversity" while number of 'grey entrepreneurs' (those aged 55 to 65) continues to grow...

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Direct to your inbox
Startups.co.uk Email Newsletter viewed on a phone

Sign up to the Startups Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed on the top business stories with Startups.co.uk’s weekly email newsletter


Up to 30% of small businesses founded in the UK in the last five years were started in response to redundancy or long-term unemployment, according to research from AXA.

The survey found that disability, age and caring duties are increasingly cited as reasons for becoming self employed, with 17% of new businesses having been founded by parents to deal with the rising cost of childcare.

So called ‘grey entrepreneurs’ – founders aged between 55 to 65 – are also beginning to play a bigger role in the UK economy with 25% of thse new businesses started by grey entrepreneurs and 7% founded by those of state age pension.

In addition, the research revealed that the number of people who turn their hobby into a business has doubled to 30% in the last five years. 80% of respondents claimed that a life crisis such as financial disaster (15%), accident or illness (17%) business failure (9%), depression or breakdown (16%) and even heartbreak (11%) had taught them the survival skills needed for business.

Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, said of the research:

“Entrepreneurs are coming from a wider diversity of backgrounds than ever before. Mums-at-home, people approaching pensionable age, and those living with disabilities are all starting up in greater numbers.

“They’re giving our economy a huge shot in the arm, bringing fresh ideas, creativity and life experience to business. And with the majority telling us they are a success, even at an early-stage, we can certainly see the new style of doing business works.”

Written by:

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top