The over 55s were the fastest growing age group on the online freelancer marketplace website, PeoplePerHour, with an 88 per cent rise in new micro and small business owners registering on the website in the past year.
For many this was a new venture in every sense as almost two thirds of those older small business owners said that it was the first business they had set up.
Although the range of businesses was varied, the top three sectors in terms of numbers were internet-based businesses, retail and property.
The survey by PeoplePerHour also asked small business owners across all age demographics how they felt about running a business, especially in the current climate. More than one third (38 per cent) said it was challenging and that the next six months would be make or break.
But there was a positive attitude among these entrepreneurs, as almost half said they would start another business if their current one failed.
There was also a feel good factor about freelancing as almost nine out of ten said they were happy or very happy with being in control of their own destiny and more than two thirds said they were never or unlikely to consider working for someone else again.
Asked why they started a business in the first place, a third of those business owners questioned said they started working for themselves for a better work life balance, more than a quarter wanted to pursue a hobby or passion, while 12 per cent said it was for financial freedom.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, said: “The barriers to starting a business have never been lower, and this could be one of the main reasons we’re seeing such a big rise in the baby boomer generation choosing to take the self employment route later in life.
“The key to this growing trend of new small business owners, not just amongst the baby boomers, but across generations, is how easy and cheap it is now to set up a business and build a client base from scratch. The emergence of online platforms like PeoplePerHour that provide access to a global pool of potential customers, just a mouse click away, as well as providing easy access to expert advice, means starting your own business is not as daunting as it once was.
“And our research shows that despite the stresses and money worries that are often associated with starting and growing a business, the rewards and overall satisfaction that people get from being their own boss, clearly helps overcome many of the obstacles put in their way. The dream of being an entrepreneur is no longer just that.”
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2013