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It's Never Too Late to Start a Business – Unretirement Entrepreneurs Prove That Age is Just a Number

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have an age limit, as evidenced by the brand new Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year Award being presented at the Great British Entrepreneurs Awards this November.

55/Redefined is thrilled to partner with Specsavers to sponsor the Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2023 Great British Entrepreneur Awards on November 20th. This prestigious award, jointly presented by 55/Redefined and Specsavers, will recognize founders over the age of 50 who have successfully launched businesses after retirement.

The award category underscores that with passion and perseverance, inspiring new ventures can be started at any age. In fact, research shows older entrepreneurs in their late 40s and beyond are more likely to create successful startups than younger ones. Older entrepreneurs possess valuable professional experience and life lessons that aid practical skills like decision-making, problem-solving and managing staff.

"Age should never limit entrepreneurial success. We created this award to spotlight the drive and creativity that 50+ founders contribute to the world." Lyndsey Simpson, Founder and CEO of 55/Redefined


The 55/Redefined group of companies are on a quest to become the most trusted global platform for over-50s and those looking to engage with them. This mission drives founder and CEO Lyndsey Simpson to continually find new ways to support the over-50s in the workplace and as pioneering entrepreneurs. "55/Redefined was delighted to create this award in partnership with the GBEA and bring the first Unretirement Award into existence", said Lyndsey.


Testament to successful entrepreneurship in midlife is Specsavers co-founder, Dame Mary Perkins, who set up the company in her forties, over forty years ago. Today, Specsavers has optometry, audiology and other healthcare stores in 11 countries and employs more than 38,000 people who work across more than 2,000 businesses, support offices and throughout the supply chain.

Shortlisted Nominees

Together, we have discovered six exceptional nominees for the unretirement entrepreneur award shortlist who uphold our values of challenging the status quo and disrupting societal norms, and the entrepreneurial journeys of our shortlisted candidates demonstrate that age and experience can provide many competitive advantages.

Shortlisted nominees for the Unretirement Entrepreneur Award

Who Will Our Winner Be?

The inaugural Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year winner will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on November 20th. We hope their success story (which we’ll share once announced) will inspire others to unretire and realise their business dreams.

The award is a reminder that entrepreneurship possibilities needn't end after a certain age. With the right mindset and support network, founders can turn dreams into thriving ventures at any stage of life. Age is just a number when it comes to innovation and drive.

It's truly never too late to start something new – our passions don't retire, so why should we? Whatever your age, take inspiration from our shortlisted candidates and consider exploring the world of entrepreneurship. Who knows, you may just become our next Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year!

Great Ideas Have No Age Limit

So, what holds back budding later-in-life entrepreneurs? Nothing, it seems, if you look at the latest statistics. In the UK the average age of a acale-up Director is 52.5 and in the US, 1/3rd of all businesses started in the last decade were by new entrepreneurs aged over 50 according to the Office of National Statistics.

Concerns that one is too old to start a business should be thrown out! Passion, perseverance and practical guidance are proven to beat out youthful energy for sustainable success.

Start a Business with a Tried and Trusted Partner

Setting up on your own doesn’t have to be an isolated venture. Back in 1984, Doug and Mary Perkins realised that for an optical professional to really be part of the business, they had to have a stake in its ownership and profits, and so they developed the ground-breaking joint venture partnership (JVP) mode for self-motivated people. They've supported many unretirement entrepreneurs over the years, helping them thrive in the industry.

Skills and Knowledge Experienced Entrepreneurs Bring to a Partnership

Older entrepreneurs can bring many valuable qualities and experiences to the role of a Specsavers Partnership, making them important and useful in the joint venture industry.

Here are the reasons why Specsavers value business partners with experience who have the wow factor:

1. Experience: Older entrepreneurs often have a wealth of professional and life experience, which can be a significant asset in making informed business decisions and handling various challenges that arise.

2. Networks: Over the years, older workers have likely built a broad network of contacts, which can be invaluable for all areas of running a business such as marketing, legal, and forming strategic partnerships.

3. Financial Stability: Older entrepreneurs may have more financial stability, savings, and access to capital, which can be essential for investing in and growing a joint venture or franchise business.

4. Maturity: Their maturity can lead to better decision-making, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, which are crucial for managing any successful operation.

5. Work Ethic: Many older entrepreneurs possess a strong work ethic and discipline, which are essential for the consistent effort required to run a business.

6. Life Skills: Life skills such as patience, resilience, and adaptability are often honed over time, making older entrepreneurs better equipped to handle the ups and downs of business ownership.

7. Customer Perspective: Having lived longer, older entrepreneurs can often relate better to a broader range of customers, potentially leading to better customer service and market insights.

8. Mentorship: They may serve as mentors to younger employees and franchisees, sharing their knowledge and expertise, which can contribute to the overall success of the partnership.

Start a New Specsavers Business Partnership Today

For those with the drive to make it happen, becoming a partner at Specsavers is a fantastic way to take control of a business while avoiding the many risks of starting up on your own.

"Let's celebrate our over 50s entrepreneurs choosing a different path and proving that you can start and lead a business at any age." — Lyndsey Simpson, 55/Redefined founder and CEO