Older women lead in start-up rates

Experts predict surge in female entrepreneurs

Women entering middle age are more likely than all other age brackets to start their own business, a new study has revealed.

Research by Everywoman and Orange shows that youthful enthusiasm is only a spark compared to the torch carried by women in their 40s and 50s.

Of the 17% of women who set started up a business in the last year, the highest proportion are those over the age of 40.

The study found that over half of independent businesswomen in their mid-40s set up their companies after they had hit age 40. In fact, just 8% of so-called “one-woman bands” over age 55 started up when they were in their 20s.

“It can be said that 50 really is the new 30 – an age group that is a rising business force to be reckoned with,” said Debbie Morris, head of SME Marketing at Orange UK.

“Age and gender are no longer obstacles to setting up an enterprise and the fact that so many younger women have stated their desire to undertake their own business strongly suggests a new wave of entrepreneurs around the corner.”

The study suggested that the UK will see a sharp increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in the years to come, as a staggering 65% of young women between the ages of 16 and 24 state they would like to set up their own business.

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Just 3% of those women aged over 45 who currently run their own business admitted they had considered starting their own company when they were younger, the study found.

Family did not prove to be a major barrier to starting up in the survey. As with their male counterparts, the majority of respondents said that raising finance was their number one obstacle.


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