From pensions to profits: over-65s turn to self-employment

As household budgets tighten, the over-65s are seeking out new income streams.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics?show that 332,000 Britons over the age of 65 founded businesses in the past 12 months???up from 224,000 a year ago.

That makes them the fastest-growing age group for self-employment.

Take Peter Wall, 66. After retiring from Wragge & Co, a ?100m-turnover law firm with more than 1,000 employees, Wall helped his son Nick to launch Tails, a premium cocktail brand.

They started the business with ?200,000 in funding, around half of it from government grants. Tails now turns over ?1.5m and the brand’s?luxury ?shakers? are sold in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Ocado. The father-and-son team also export their cocktails to Ibiza.

?I didn?t want to spend the rest of my life on a golf course,? says Wall.

The Parliamentary Small Business Group Entrepreneurship Inquiry this month heard that older entrepreneurs were disproportionately affected by the reluctance of banks to lend:?62 per cent of founders aged over 65 found access to finance a problem compared with 41 per cent of those aged 18 to 30.

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