by Claire Collins

Latest quantitive study

The second research report by Isabella Moore CBE examines the impact of accumulated entrepreneurial capitals among both men and women in later life considering business creation. The report presents an analysis of the findings of a wider quantitative survey that has aimed to validate the findings of the initial interview led qualitative study, which explored the gendered aspects of setting up in business in later life and why women are twice less likely to consider this option compared to their male counterparts.

Read the full report – Female Entrepreneurship in later life: The next chapter (pdf)

Our findings clearly demonstrate that there is a willingness amongst women to consider entrepreneurship as an option in later life, that they have a wide range of under-utilised experience and skills and a financial incentive to exploit opportunities to unlock their potential. Yet, confidence in their abilities to set up a business and a reluctance to deviate against societal norms and attitudes, create for them both real and perceived barriers.

We recommend a review of existing business support services to cater more for the needs of women in
later life, government to invest in the development of specialist business support services and for financial institutions to be more welcoming to potential venture creation in later life. Lastly, we need to change the narrative around women in later life through positive role models.

Initial qualitative study

A research report by Isabella Moore CBE shows that more and more people aged 50 and older are finding new opportunities and ways to express themselves through entrepreneurship.

Read the full report – Older Female Entrepreneurship (pdf)

The aim of this initial research has been to identify key issues and themes affecting older women’s ability or inclination to start up and run a business. It explores the main factors that trigger the intention to set up in business and the associated motivators, enablers and barriers that influence entrepreneurship among women aged over 50.

These findings will now be used to inform the next stage – a wider survey which will be circulated to several thousand men and women over the age of 50. The resulting data will then be analysed statistically, to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the key issues facing older female entrepreneurs and how best to support them. In the meantime, it is hoped that these initial findings in this report will spark debate engaging older women, policy makers and practitioners involved in the design of business support programmes.

Fundamental changes are needed in business support services if the untapped potential of older women is released. Only then can we hope to fully harness the skills, talents and wealth-creating potential of these older women for the benefit of the UK economy.

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