The most common time for entrepreneurs to set up their first company is around the age of 40, according to new research.

The study found that more than half of current business owners started their first enterprise between the ages of 35 and 44, with the average age being 40.

And women are more likely to start a business at a younger age: 41% of female owner-managers set up a company before turning 35 compared with just 30% of men.

It was also found that among this younger generation of entrepreneurs, most had set up their own company in order to be their own boss and escape life as an employee, while 44% said they were seeking a better work-life balance.

Flexible working hours

The survey showed that two-thirds of entrepreneurs found one of the best things about running their own firm was the flexible working hours, alongside improved work-life balance and more control over their future.

On the downside of self-employment, just over half said they were concerned about the lack of a secure income while almost a quarter complained about extra stress levels. Nevertheless, the research also showed that an overwhelming majority (89%) of business owners thought they had made the right decision in going it alone, while 80% said they were happier running their own firm rather than working for someone else.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, which conducted the survey, said:

“The desire for greater flexibility, combined with the confidence needed to go it alone can be a powerful combination which perhaps explains why younger generations are taking the lead on setting up businesses.

“But being a business owner comes with responsibilities that can’t be avoided and entrepreneurs need to keep on top of new legislation and regulation to avoid unwanted fines and unnecessary stress.”

Does this research tally with your experience of being self-employed? Leave your comments below…

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