Things to know if you’re setting up a business in your 40s. You’re not alone!

Things to know if you’re setting up a business in your 40s. You’re not alone!

In fact the average age of an entrepreneur in the UK is 47 (46 for men, 48 for women) the average age in the USA is slightly younger at 40.

And here’s just a few people who became entrepreneurs later in life:

Ray Kroc the founder of McDonalds was selling paper cups and a milkshake mixer until he was 52.

Amancio Ortega founder of Zara was a shirt shop assistant until 30

Vera Wang didn’t become a designer until she was 40, she’d been a journalist and figure skater until then.

Henry Ford set up for the Ford Motor Company aged 40.

And Sam Walton set up Walmart aged 44.

So if you start in your 40s you’re in good company.

So why is 40 a good age to set up in business?

Research points to these winning factors:-

Life experience

Work experience

Greater perspective on life

Better financial security

Better established networks

And for most people who set up their own business they’d been thinking about it for a long time, wondering what else they could be doing to earn money. So had spent some considerable time figuring out what they enjoyed doing and where there could be a gap for their skills. Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes born from creativity and sometimes from doing something better.

Here’s a short tale about one of my best friends Lucinda Ellery – who set up her business in her 40s, a single mum with 3 kids. Her journey began when she lost all her hair when her father died.

“Stress, call it what you will, it affects people differently and, in my case, I lost all my hair. My hair had been long and blonde, but it grew back short, frizzy and black, so I wore wigs to try to replicate what my hair used to look like.

“Then one day I saw the film ‘Splash’ with Daryl Hannah – she was a mermaid with the most beautiful long blonde hair and I just knew I wanted hair like that. I ended up calling the film studios and asking how on earth did she get such amazing hair? Of course, I knew it wasn’t real, it was down to the floor, but it was real-like, nothing like the wigs I was wearing. Anyhow I got through to one of the production assistants who told me it was hair extensions. From that moment on I knew I wanted to learn everything I could about them.

“I started by doing hair extensions on myself, friends and family members in my house. I then got myself a small studio and grew from there. Now 22 years later I have salons in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol, New York and Beverly Hills USA (

“I specialise in working with people who’ve had cancer, burns, scars and operations and give them their hair back and I also work with celebrities and movie stars to give them new looks.

“For me, my adversity and the years spent trying to overcome it became my business. Life’s funny, it has a strange way of throwing up opportunities if only we’re prepared to see that and work towards a solution.”

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