THEY’RE called greypreneurs and they are a force to be reckoned with in business circles.
Older Australians are leading the nation’s growth in business ownership across all sectors – easily outstripping many of their younger counterparts, according to the Bankwest Business Trends report.
Dick Durrant runs Dick’s CV Joint Repairs in the Mandurah industrial area. He describes himself as a drive-shaft specialist and has been in the industry for more than 20 years.
“My memory sometimes fails me,” he said.
“But age isn’t what concerns me, it’s all the Chinese imports that are affecting my business.”
Bankwest business banking executive general manager Sinead Taylor said there was a 6.6 per cent increase in the number of business owners aged 65 years and older in the 12 months to February, equating to 7400 extra business owners.
“You could say we’re seeing the emergence of a formidable new force: the ‘greypreneur’ – older Australians who are swapping retirement for business ownership,” she said.
“There is certainly a strong element of financial necessity – Australians are living longer than ever before, the cost of living has never been higher, returns on savings have been low and in order to maintain the lifestyle they have become accustomed to, many people need to work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.”
The report found middle-aged business owners (those aged between 45-54 years) had the highest growth in business ownership – up 6.7 per cent, which equated to 18,800 business owners. The only other age group that recorded an increase was the 15-24s, with a rise of 2.5 per cent over the same period.