“Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year” is watching everyone’s backs…

The very first “Unretirement Entrepreneur of the Year” has been crowned at the Great British Entrepreneur Award’s gala ceremony at the London Grosvenor Hilton Hotel.

The new category, awarded by AAA members 55 Redefined together with Specsavers, is designed to celebrate inspiring and ingenious founders, aged 50 or over, who have launched successful businesses in their later years.

The inaugural winner was octogenarian Martin Lewis from Swansea, who set up “Homeglow”, and whose “B-warm” heated armchair cover has been developed for those who suffer with the cold – the frail and elderly, discharged patients from hospital, or those with mobility problems and suffering from rheumatism – but has many benefits for everyone as an economical way to stay warm cost effectively and promote wellbeing.

This year’s shortlist also included:

• Sheila Hogan, a former Dragon’s Den contestant from Scotland who is reinventing how end-of-life administration is handled with her ‘digital legacy vault’ Biscuit Tin.

• Lord Robert Newborough, who turned his family estate in North Wales into a premium organic produce export business with a skincare range to boot.

• Stella Waterhouse, a retired mental health worker who set up a social enterprise and a travel business to help families cope with autism.

• Shashi Aggarwal, founder of Spice Kitchen, who has featured on The Hairy Bikers TV show.

• Colin Spencer Halsey, who turned a failing traditional wool yarn company in Cornwall around into an award-winning natural fibre business.

The number of older entrepreneurs in the UK is rising. The 2022 Scale Up Index by Beauhurst reveals that 22% of directors at scaleups are over 60, while the average age of scaleup directors is 52.5 years. When 55/Redefined’s Lyndsey Simpson sat down with Sir Richard Branson earlier this year, he identified that the over-50s were one of the fastest growing segments in his Virgin StartUp programme.

Presenting the award were 55/Redefined’s CEO & Founder, Lyndsey Simpson and Specsavers co-founder, Dame Mary Perkins – both women have founded new businesses in their forties and are testament to the success this award celebrates.

As a leading promoter of age diversity in the workplace, 55/Redefined celebrates workers and businesses like Specsavers, who are championing age-inclusivity, and also the increasing number of 50-somethings who have made it on their own.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Specsavers and celebrating inspiring unretirement entrepreneurs,” said Lyndsey Simpson, CEO and Founder of 55/Redefined. “Age is not and should never be a barrier to entrepreneurial success. Together, we have founded this award to showcase the talent, drive and innovation that over-50s can bring to starting their own business, with the hope that it will inspire others to be bold and take that first step.”

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