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BLOG - Why its never too late to start a business

05 Sep 2014

I always consider myself very lucky because I went into business at a very early age. I always knew that I wanted to become my own boss and not too many years after leaving school I was living this dream.

The fact that I was out there in the market place as a young age meant that I had a head start and that was a definite advantage. In business there really is no substitute for experience and I was able to learn from my mistakes and successes as I went along.

But that does not mean that it is ever too late to take the plunge and start a new business – no matter how big or small the enterprise.

As chairman of the I can see first hand the appetite for entrepreneurship at all ages, and fortunately we have been able to back many of these people.

For example, one couple who won support from the initiative are married pensioners who are looking to launch a specialist booking agency for hotels and boarding houses

This is a great example for everyone who is considering working for themselves. Age is only a barrier if YOU allow it to be.

The same applies at the other end of the scale. Although youth entrepreneurship is becoming more prominent, there can be a sense of reluctance from some in the business community to trust them. I don't agree with this - young entrepreneurs have a unique drive, as well as being the best at adapting to new technology.

Earlier this year I met two entrepreneurs who had started a fairly successful recruitment business whilst still at University, which from a logistics point of view is quite impressive anyway. Most private equity investors probably would have turned away from them due to their age, but I was more interested in their passion and business acumen than their date of birth. I invested, and they are now firmly established within my Recruitment Entrepreneur group.

The great thing about business is that it does no matter what your background is or what stage you happen to be at in your life. What's more important is the courage and conviction you have to go for it. Look at how old someone like Ray Kroc was when he made such a success out of McDonalds for example.

If you are good at what you do and are completely committed to the cause then the customers will find their way to your door.

There are always plenty of opportunities out there and providing you have the necessary ambition and drive, there really is nothing to stop you making the most of them.

James Caan