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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...

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.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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