BIRMINGHAM, England, July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
New trends in entrepreneurial activity have been identified in a key report unveiled today (July 2).
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK 2013 Report has found more people than ever are starting a business beyond the age of 50 - a reversal of historically low entrepreneurial activity in this age bracket.
It also reveals that the UK outperformed European comparison countries such as France and Germany on almost all entrepreneurship indicators in 2013 and, while a dip in activity was recorded following a 2012 peak, levels still remained just above the longer-term trend.
Led by Professor Mark Hart, of Aston Business School, and Professor Jonathan Levie, of the University of Strathclyde, the UK Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report measures and compares activity, attitudes and aspirations throughout the UK as well as France, Germany and the US.
The surge in the number of older entrepreneurs reflects a new trend in the UK's changing economy. From 2002 to 2008, entrepreneurial activity among the over 50s has had a long-run average of just four per cent - much lower than those in the 18-29 and 30-49 age brackets. But from 2008, the rate for over 50s has shown a marked increase - reaching its highest ever level of 6.5 per cent in 2013.
This increase among the over 50s applies to both men and women, although male rates were 'significantly higher'.
Professor Hart said: "The shake-up from the recession has provided the impetus for people over 50 to say that it's time to do something they've always wanted to do and take an opportunistic approach to creating their own business.
"These are not people who are past retirement, but individuals with years of productive activity ahead of them and their move into the ranks of entrepreneurs opens an interesting new aspect within the UK's business culture, both socially and economically.
"However, while the majority of businesses started by the over 50s are driven by opportunity, there is an element of necessity behind this increase in new start-ups.
"That can point to an element of age discrimination, as people in this age group struggle to get into the job market and are forced into launching their own businesses to get back to work."
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SOURCE Aston Business School