We TALK WITH COMPANIES Who Started Companies RATHER THAN Retiring


After working for the majority of their lives, those close to pension could be forgiven for attempting to relax in their golden years. But rather than taking it easy, a growing number of over-50s are actually delaying retirement by starting their own firm, fuelling a ‘grey business’ boom. Challenging the theory that entrepreneurship is the conserve of younger people, new research suggests the over-50s are now responsible for one in nine small businesses. Many may be hesitant about starting their own venture, fearing lack of expertise but it’s been found that many ‘olderpreneurs’ aren’t expert at managing firms at all.

Four in five over-50s who do start a business are doing so for the first time, relating to mobile payment firm Square – demonstrating that it’s never too late to be your own boss. That is Money talks to seven older business owners who open up about how they began their own businesses and the issues they have get over.

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Looking for a better bank or investment company? Jean’s business specialises in offering customers quality vaping products. Just how much start-up capital do you need? I asked my boy to develop an e-commerce website and we began the business with an initial investment of £1,500 (I later invested another £2,000). What drove you to begin the business at age group 50 (or over)? I started a small business in my mid-50s completely unintentionally.

I’d been much smoker for many years and this properly fulfilled my needs for nicotine. Just how much is the carrying on business making now? The continuing business now has a turnover of £7million without exterior investment or borrowings. What’s your advice for other people who want to do the same? I’d suggest being open to help on new technologies. For example, how you sell and market online now could be very different to ten years ago, let alone when we first began our careers or launched our first business. What business challenges perhaps you have overcome?

In the first days of selling electronic cigarettes, one of the biggest business challenges was that people had never heard of them. You can’t rely on ranking high in the various search engines if no-one has heard about your product. To overcome this, we bought a vintage caravan, got on the road and went to a large number of occasions and shows, introducing people to the device and gaining repeat custom through our website.

Changing Health offers a behavioural change programme aimed at helping people who have type 2 diabetes to make lifestyle choices that last a lifetime. John co-founded the continuing business at age group 50 with Professor Mike Trenell, one of the UK’s leading lifestyle medicine researchers and practitioners. How much start-up capital did you need? I acquired £1million seed round financing. What drove you to start the business at age 50 (or higher)?

Having worked in a number of successful consumer facing businesses and coping with type 1 diabetes myself, I’ve witnessed first-hand the huge distance between how my care is delivered and exactly how I live my daily life. I was at a diabetes conference some years debating the spaces in the market with my now co-founder back, Professor Mike Trenell, and it dawned upon us both that this is the right thing to do in our lives. Just how much is the business making now? Our current financials are private. What’s your advice for other people who want to do the same?