Becoming self-employed at 50

Becoming self-employed at 50

Becoming self employed at 50

Although there is increasingly a focus on younger entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship is also an option for older workers, particularly in the current job market. According to Age UK, the number of self-employed people over the age of 65 has doubled in the last five years. One in six new businesses are started by the over-50s. 
Many over-50s are now choosing to work for themselves as they want more autonomy, having spent most or all of their careers working for other people, and the thought of the flexibility available to entrepreneurs is an appealing option. 

So what resources available are there for ‘olderpreneurs’?  

Self employment over 50: what assistance is there?

Who do you go to for support if you are aged over 50 and want help to start a new business? 

  • National Enterprise Network  

The mission of the National Enterprise Network is to represent, unite and support organisations which are passionate about inspiring and encouraging enterprise. Members of the NEN are often not-for-profit enterprise support organisations, enterprise agencies, Chambers of Commerce and local authorities. They can offer support in the form of advice, office space and finance.  

  • Support from government-backed schemes  

Access to finance, business mentoring, advice and guidance is available from a range of government-backed schemes across the UK.  

Training for people over 50

Whether any specific training is required will depend on the type of business you wish to run. Local councils may offer courses in entrepreneurship or business skills, or higher education institutes may have part-time evening classes available. Age UK offers Digital Inclusion Network training for older people who have no computer skills. If you require more general information, please check our calendar of events for opportunities aimed at training within more specific areas and general business opportunities. 

Funding for the self-employed over 50

While there appear to be many grant schemes aimed specifically at younger people who wish to run their own businesses, there are fewer options available only to those over 50.  

Third-age entrepreneurs can always apply for bank loans, or for venture capital, equity finance or angel investment – however, a popular choice for those who have savings and/or good credit is to self-finance as it is generally less risky and lower-cost than other forms of financing, as well as enabling business owners to retain control of their enterprise. See our guide to investing your own money into your business for further details. 

Working over the age of 65

The majority of third-age entrepreneurs say that they aim to continue managing their business for as long as they can. However, those working over the State Pension age (this is currently 67 for people born before 1978 but could change) will be required to pay tax on their State Pension, should they choose to claim it. Those who do not claim their state pension at the age at which their State Pension becomes available may be entitled to a higher State Pension, or a lump sum payment when they do choose to claim their pension.

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