A report on the older entrepreneur, alive and well.

Given that we know that people are going to have to work for longer under the impacts of increased longevity and inadequate pension provision, this report delves into whether entrepreneurship could be a valid continuing career option for those approaching state retirement age.

The inadequacy of saving and the poor returns available at retirement mean that an impoverished “retirement” will await many in future generations. The policy response to these impacts include the rise in the state pension age, automatic enrolment into pension saving and the proposed abolition of the Default Retirement Age

Malcolm Small, Managing Director of Lyncombe Consultancy conducted an e-mail survey, providing findings both “quantitative” and “qualitative” in nature. The report offers findings based on three initial questions:

1. Tell us about WHEN you became an entrepreneur and WHAT event(s) catalysed the transition?
2. Tell us about the business(es) you started. Were they in a field you had worked in previously?
3. Many of you have told us that you became entrepreneurs because you had always wanted to run your own business. What are the most important lessons you have learned along the way?

The results allow us to review:
• How many older entrepreneurs are there?
• What motivates people to become an entrepreneur?
• What did people do before becoming an (older) entrepreneur?
• What will make older entrepreneurs retire, when they eventually do?
• How many business have (older) entrepreneurs been involved in starting?
• The characteristics that mark out an (older) entrepreneur?

Small writes “We need to recognise that the assumptions that went behind the design of the State pension system in the 1940s can no longer be applied. In other words, the system was simply not designed to cope with today’s circumstances, where most people will get to state retirement age and will live a long time after it.”

A copy of the report is available for download below.

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