The last decade and a half has seen the number of self-employed individuals increase exponentially, but according to the Bank of England, the millennials are not to be credited for that.
Even though the self-employed workforce features a significant number of young people, the bulk of this workforce is comprised of people aged 55 years and older.
More and more retirees are switching to self-employment after their careers, using their pensions as capital and their decades of working experience as the driving force to seek out more years of productivity and accept new, stimulating challenges before they finally call time on their working lives.
Dubbed the silver entrepreneurs, this demographic refuse to give in to the traditional retirement age; they are generally fitter and healthier than previous generations and they are instead opting to use their knowledge and experience in making the most of the remainder of their lives.
The number of ‘senior citizens’ that are throwing themselves back into the workforce is increasing annually, and according to the Bank of England, silver entrepreneurs are the force behind Britain’s self-employment boom over the last decade and a half.
But what has caused these over 55s to abandon the retirement tradition and return to form part of the workforce?
- Necessity. The numerous redundancies since the financial crash in 2008 resulted in many senior company executives finding themselves out of work for the first time in their careers. With few companies recruiting senior people at this time, many set up their own businesses.
- The availability of capital in the form of pension is making it possible for silver entrepreneurs to launch businesses after they retire.
- The Internet Opportunity. The internet has created access to a global market, something that we thought of as inconceivable just two decades ago. Access to high-speed internet has presented the opportunity for silver to continue working in a way that would previously have been more challenging.
- Success. Research indicates that the older entrepreneurs are enjoying a much higher success rate than their younger counterparts. 70 percent of start-ups launched by silver entrepreneurs make it to the 5-year mark. In comparison, only 28 percent of the younger entrepreneurs who own start-ups get to reach the 5-year mark.
This success rate can be chalked down to the fact that silver entrepreneurs have made their mistakes in business and learned from such experience to be aware of potential issues and avoid them. Their younger equivalents will still need to go through that learning process.
However, the Silver Entrepreneurs still lag behind when it comes to technology. This will be their steep learning curve as today’s business landscape demands that entrepreneurs are both tech-savvy and business-minded, and though the UK’s silver entrepreneurs have one of those attributes in abundance, many fall short when it comes to the tech side of the business.
This means that the demand for knowledge of services to provide Cloud – based processes, SEO, Web Design, Social Media and Digital Marketing is constantly growing.
The silver entrepreneur trend might have started out of necessity after the 2008 global recession, but now more and more retirees are turning to business to supplement their pension and enjoy a good standard of living.
Though many of these silver entrepreneurs missed the advent of technology, they are determined to learn, or outsource, as much as is necessary to boost their businesses.
With the life expectancy in the UK now at 81.5 years, someone setting up a business aged 55 can, health and fitness permitting, look forward to a new career of over 20 years if they choose to. Not only is this a means to boost cash flow and gain financial freedom, some silver entrepreneurs are revelling in the opportunity to do something meaningful and pass on their knowledge in their golden years.
For further details as to how we can support Silver Entrepreneurs and help fill any skills gap they may have please ring Chris on 07742 664662 who will be happy to help.