Ten entrepreneurs who have shown age is just a number!

It's never too late to start your own business. Here we look at ten entrepreneurs who all found success after 50.

‘Age is just a number’ – this may be seen as a tired cliché, but when it comes to finding success, there’s evidence that its never too late to start.

The UK Domain have created a new interactive compilation of some of the most distinguished entrepreneurs, inventors and artists in history. While all of them are highly regarded within their respective fields of work, the age at which they actually ‘made it’ occurred at completely different points in their lives. You are able to view the groups by ages, or enter your own age to see where you place in the various timelines of successful people.

You can see “Success Through the Ages” right here

The story I’m sharing with you focuses specifically on those who waited longer than most to achieve their dreams. It may be tempting to forget about starting a business or pursuing our passions by the time we reach the age of 50, but the following examples prove that success may still be waiting around the corner, if we’re willing to keep looking for it…

I’ve listed them below along with the age of their success, what they did, and some words about their career, usable photos for each of them can be downloaded here:

Entrepreneurs over 50

  • Taikichiro Mori, 51, founded Mori Building Co.

Taikichiro Mori worked as a teacher and university professor of economics until he was in his 50s, when he founded the Mori Building Co. After starting off with two buildings he had inherited from his father, he was named the richest man of the world in 1992 – a title he held twice in his life.

  • Erling Persson, 51, founded H&M.

What we know today as H&M started off in 1968, with the acquisition of a hunting apparel retailer by Persson. His plan was to use them as the production company for his menswear collections, when he passed away in 2002, H&M was one of the most recognisable and accessible clothing brands in the world.

  • Ray Kroc, 52, franchised McDonalds into rapid expansion.

A story recently told in ‘The Founder’, Kroc worked as a real-estate agent, paper cup salesman, and ambulance driver before he met the McDonald brothers. After he purchased McDonald’s in 1954, the company expanded rapidly and successfully. Today, it’s one of the world’s most recognisable brands.

  • Martha Stewart, 56, founded Martha Stewart Living.

Having previously been a stockbroker, caterer, and celebrity chef, Stewart decided to set up an all-in-one media conglomerate to maximise her potential. In 1997 she founded Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the media and merchandising company which is now embraced by more than 100 milion consumers worldwide.

  • Arianna Huffington, 58, founder of ‘Huffington Post’ named the most powerful blog in the world during the noughties.

Arianna Huffington rose to fame as a journalist and political commentator, before setting up the eponymous website in 2005. In 2008 the Huffington Post was named the most powerful blog in the world by the Observer, and now has become one of the most visited websites in the world.

  • Lynn Brooks, 59, founded the Big Apple Greeter, now a highly successful, international volunteer programme.

She switched careers to found the Big Apple Greeter voluntary programme which has become a worldwide organisation. This earned her a US award in the Center for Productive Longevity’s Later Life Story contest.

  • William Knox D’Arcy, 60, became director of APOCC (which would become British Petroleum).

A self-made man who originally made his wealth in mining, in April 1909 D’Arcy was made a director of the newly founded Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) which would later become British Petroleum.

  • Charles Ranlett Flint, 61, founded pioneering company now known as IBM.

Although having some success in other fields prior to his biggest business legacy, In 1911 he founded the pioneering Computer-Tabulating-Recording Company company which we know today as the more manageable name of IBM.

  • Harland ‘Colonel’ Sanders, 62, opened his first KFC franchise.

After having worked as a lawyer, insurance salesman, lamp salesman and even tyre salesman, the man now recognised worldwide as the Colonel opened his first KFC franchise in 1930.


Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for SmallBusiness.co.uk. He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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