15 Over 50 | Leading UK Startup Entrepreneurs


Within the UK’s high-growth ecosystem, we often focus on the success of younger entrepreneurs, leaving older entrepreneurs with little airtime. Although they may have more business experience than their younger counterparts, older age groups still undertake a huge amount of risk by pursuing entrepreneurship later in life—something we should celebrate far more. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the entrepreneurs that started up ambitious UK businesses aged 50+.

What's the Best Age to Start a Business?

Previously, we found that the average age of founders at incorporation (across all high-growth UK companies) is 36, and that the average age of unicorn company founders at incorporation is 34.

Recent research from Penn State, however, finds that a 50-year-oldentrepreneur is 1.8 times more likely to have entrepreneurial success than a founder in their 30s. It suggests that older people actively generate creative business ideas and turn them into innovative activities or artefacts.

Indeed, a number of older entrepreneurs have achieved great business success, including Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), Ray Kroc (McDonald’s) and Harland Sanders (KFC), all of whom were aged 50+ when they founded these ventures.

But what about entrepreneurs leading early-stage startups in the UK? Using age data from Companies House and company position data from the Beauhurst platform, we’ve compiled a list of founders who were over the age of 50 when they incorporated their now high-growth companies. From over 3,500 people, we handpicked a list of 15 successful entrepreneurs, showcasing a range of regions and sectors, proving it’s never too late to start a new business.