What’s the optimal age to become an entrepreneur?


By Lisa Charles

  • 56% of Brits are ready to become an entrepreneur at 45
  • 8 in 10 want to give up their day job
  • 49% of us have little or no interest in our careers and 41% can image becoming an entrepreneur
  • 9 in 10 want to simply enjoy life (87%) and see entrepreneurialism as facilitating this.
  • 50% see being independent from boss as most appealing

business man and womanNew research out today show Brits fall out of love with their career aged 45. With nearly half of us confessing to having little to no interest in our current career and an equally large percentage of us can imagine starting up our own business.

Findings from the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER) are of no surprise based on the current climate of job dissatisfaction, low wages, job uncertainty and poor work life balance.

Attitudes towards entrepreneurship are overwhelmingly positive at 85% with 75% of us believing that Britain is entrepreneur-friendly. Interestingly, only a small amount of us, 16%, were concerned about a potential economic crisis.

No surprise that the age old buzz kill ‘fear’, remains as a caveat to us achieving our dreams; it was found that fear of failure worries 67% of workers in their 20s and 64% in their 30s; decreasing to 57% when we hit our forties.

65% believe our 40s is the time that we feel most confident and comfortable to take that leap of faith and go it alone as an entrepreneur.

Commissioned by the world’s leading direct selling business, Amway, the findings further revealed three main areas surrounding fear that stops us starting an entrepreneurial journey; lack of money (67%), confidence (42%) and business knowledge (42%).

Motivating factors that encourage us to go it alone saw income potential being one of the lowest reasons at only 16%. The biggest motivator was the want to simply enjoy life, with 9 in 10 of us believing entrepreneurialism is a step towards achieving this. Independence from an employer and being the boss is an appealing factor for 50% of us, with self fulfilment coming in at 39% and more family and leisure time also an attractive prospect at 30%.

The study also looked at the traits and essential qualities required to be an entrepreneur.

Traits of an entrepreneur:

  • 69% are inherently assertive
  • 73% are extroverts, and 82% are risk takers
  • 4 in 10 (45%) are so determined as to not drop their dream of starting their own business even when family or friends stand in their way

Essential qualities required to be an entrepreneur:

  • Passion 64%,
  • Determination 51%
  • Self-discipline 45%
  • Energy and stamina 44%,
  • Business knowledge 39%

Commenting on the findings is Chris Coleridge, Director, MSc Technology Entrepreneurship in the School of Management at UCL says:  “It’s a positive message to see that nearly eight in ten see Britain as entrepreneur-friendly.  With that belief, aspiring entrepreneurs now need that the confidence to convert a brilliant idea into a successful business enterprise.

“It doesn’t surprise me that entrepreneurs classed as extroverted characters who are assertive and focused.  A successful businessperson is active, forming new business relationships, raising their profile, and making themselves heard above the noise of the competition.   This is why ‘passion’ and ‘determination’ are often cited as essential qualities.”

Michael Meissner, VP Corporate Affairs, Amway Europe says:   “The Amway Global Entrepreneurship report, now in its sixth year, uncovers the nation’s attitude towards self-employment. The aim is to see if entrepreneurship is alive and thriving on a local and global level, with the UK results demonstrating a positive trend.  There have been many challenges that SMEs have had to overcome in recent years, but it is reassuring that the view is that the UK is entrepreneurship-friendly.  Secondly, we wanted to see what prevents aspiring entrepreneurs from taking the leap and going solo.  Fear of failure remains a trend with those under 30, and this tells us that more needs to be done to build confidence and business knowledge with the younger generation.”

AGER  2015 infographic



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