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25 Nov 2015

Pension reforms trigger ‘silver start-ups´ trend

According to a number of case studies and research conducted earlier this year, the pension reforms introduced in April have led to a rise in people over the age of 55 using their savings to set up their own business, the Financial Times reports.

A survey conducted by AXA Wealth in April 2015 found that one in 10 individuals over the age of 55 who are due to retire in the next 18 months were exploring the option of launching a small business or consultancy with their pension pots.

Even last year, in fact, an international study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that more over-50s (6.5%) were involved in ‘entrepreneurial activity´ than those aged 18-29. But this figure is likely to increase further now that the over 55´s can spend their savings as they wish, rather than on annuities.

One example of such a person is Suzanne Noble, a 54-year-old woman who is currently seeking investment for her 12-month-old London events and offers app, Frugl.

Having previously worked as a PR director, Noble had always wanted to start a tech company of her own; but it was only at this point in her life, when her children had left home and she was able to downsize her property, that she was able to find the money to launch Frugl.

After receiving comments about the lack of visibility and support for older entrepreneurs, Sarah Drinkwater – head of Google´s entrepreneurs´ Campus hub in London – has launched an education and networking programme called ‘Founders Over 50.´

Stating that people aged 50 and above make “really interesting founders,” she explained that they “are really able to assess risk, they have decent capital behind them, they often have 25 to 30 years of experience and deep knowledge and contacts in their particular field.”

What´s more, Drinkwater has no time for stereotyped assumptions about older entrepreneurs not being able to use technology: “There´s a slightly outmoded view that older people are not great with technology, but different types of people just use it differently,” she noted.

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2015

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