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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…OVER 40S ARE LOOKING AT GOING IT ALONEPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
BUSINESS start-up rates in Furness by people over the age of 40 are steadily increasing according to Furness Enterprise, the business support agency for the Furness area.

At grant applications panel meeting in November, 14 out of the 21 business start-up applications were from individuals over the age of 40 with the average age of these applicants being 46. Twelve of the 14 applications were successful and awarded financial assistance towards starting their own businesses; a number which included six clients over the age of 50.

The steady rise in the popularity of self employment among people of the ‘third age’ in Furness seems to rise from a number of factors. Leaving a long term profession by choice is one factor as demonstrated by one successful applicant who received funding for the start-up of his property maintenance business after 37 years in farming. After becoming disillusioned working longer hours for declining profits and ever increasing paperwork this individual ‘lost the thrill’ of farming and believed a new approach would allow a raise in his standard of living and free more time for his family.

Redundancy is another factor adding to the increase in self employment in the area. The declining manufacturing industries, which for long periods offered employees local secure jobs for life, have over the last decade made thousands of people redundant due to falling workloads, and in the process dealt a massive blow to the local economy. Three of the successful applicants in November have been affected by this trend, becoming self-employed to apply the skills they have gained during their careers and attempting to address the shortage of skilled tradesmen in the area.

Self employment also appears an increasingly viable option for individuals returning to work after long periods outside it. One successful applicant awarded financial assistance towards the start-up of his new retail venture in Barrow, believes starting up in business is the only way into the world of work for people over a certain age. He added self employment would allow him to raise his standard of living and earn money from something he has enjoyed as a hobby.

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