Rise of grey entrepreneurs: 1 in 10 Brits would like to start their own business in retirement

Aviva’s Retirement Reality Report claims that for some people retirement is a time when they would like to travel (47 percent), take up a new hobby or continue with old ones (29 percent). However, many think retirement is also a good time to start their own business. That’s according to a survey of 2,010 UK employed adults, aged 22-65 years, conducted on behalf of Aviva by Censuswide.

The results claim that:

  • 1 in 10 Brits would like to start their own business in retirement
  • Londoners tend to be most entrepreneurial with 19 percent expressing interest in starting their own business in retirement; their example is least likely to be followed in Norwich (2 percent)
  • The interest in becoming your own boss in retirement is higher in men (12 percent) than in women (8 percent)

The table below shows that after London, the rise of the so-called grey entrepreneurs is most likely to be expected in Glasgow, where 11 percent of survey respondents think retirement is a good time to start a business, followed by Manchester (8 percent) and Leeds (8 percent). After Norwich, the thought of becoming your own boss tends to be the least appealing in Edinburgh (4 percent), Bristol (5 percent) and Sheffield (5 percent).

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Some are working through necessity – to pay for their lives in retirement – and some through choice – with an enthusiasm to keep going. [/perfectpullquote]

Rank City Percentage
1. London 19
2. Glasgow 11
3. Manchester 8
4. Leeds 8
5. Newcastle 7
6. Southampton 6
7. Birmingham 6
8. Nottingham 6
9. Cardiff 6
10. Liverpool 6
11. Sheffield 5
12. Bristol 5
13. Edinburgh 4
14. Norwich 2


There is considerable difference in the interest in “grey entrepreneurship” among different age groups with people who are closer to retirement being less fond of the idea of starting a business. The interest in starting a business in retirement was found to be the highest among respondents aged 22 to 30 years (15 percent), followed by those aged 31 to 45 years (13 percent). Only 5 percent of people aged 46 to 55 years expressed interest in setting up a business, while for respondents aged 56 to 65 years interest was even lower (4 percent).