Movers and shakers in the business world: the over 50s founders

35% of businesses are started and run by people over 50. Older people, and those returning to the work environment later in life have a huge contribution to make to the small business community.

In our latest insight, we’re taking a look at 10 successful entrepreneurs who were over the age of 50 when they started their businesses, to prove that it’s never too late for success.

  1. Harland Sanders was 62 when he created the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain! A decade after its inception in 1952, the company had grown to hundreds of franchises, and is today valued at $12.6 billion, according to Forbes.
  2. Sticking with fast food, Ray Kroc created the brand McDonalds at the age of 52. Today, McDonald’s makes $21 billion in sales, and is one of the most easily recognised brands in the world.
  3. Arianna Huffington launched the Huffington Post back in 2005 at the age of 55, naming herself as editor in chief. Today, it remains one of the world’s most popular and well-read commentary news sites.
  4. Bobbi Brown launched her cosmetics brand in 1991, selling to Estee Lauder in 1995 for a reported $74.5 million. When her non-compete agreement had ended, she launched her second beauty brand at age 63, which saw $20 million revenue in its first year.
  5. In 2018, at age 62, Frances Arnold won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for using a process known as directed evolution to create enzymes.
  6. Jody Boyman, aged 60, cofounded the plant-based meat company, Hungry Planet, and is currently the chief purpose officer at the brand.
  7. Mary Lou Jepsen, age 57, is founder and CEO of Openwater, a company aiming to produce innovative wearable medical imaging devices. They raised $22 million in funding over two rounds.
  8. Carl Churchill, founder of Alpha Coffee, became an entrepreneur later in life after serving for many years in the US army. Alongside his wife, they put a great focus on giving back as well as selling top-notch coffee.
  9.  Martha Stewart was a successful businesswoman before becoming a celebrity, but it wasn’t until she was in her 50s that her showbiz career took off, with Martha Stewart Living becoming a favourite on TV.
  10. Although he started his business before the age of 50, it took until his 50th year for Levi Roots to reach his first £1 million in sales, when he was spotted at the World Food Market by a BBC researcher, and he pitched on Dragons’ Den. Reggae Foods became one of the Den’s most successful businesses ever.

We hope you feel inspired by our list of successful business owners and founders who realised their dreams later in life. Years of experience, a solid network and some guidance along the way from the team at Silverpreneurs® will hopefully stand you in good stead to join these ranks one day!

If you’re looking for support in developing your business plan, or growing your young business, please check out our programme details here and get in touch with us to find out more.

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