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It's Never Too Late to Start Up

17/02/2014 22:37 GMT | Updated 19/04/2014 10:59 BST

You absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks. Anything to the contrary is nonsense. There'll always be those who point to age as a reason not to try something new, but this is terrible advice. When the entrepreneurial bug bites, age should be no barrier.

Some people suggest that entrepreneurs are marked out for success from birth. Entrepreneurs are often portrayed as youthful go-getters, full of the drive and enthusiasm that's necessary to weather the hardships that will undoubtedly be faced.

In a similar way, there seems to be a misplaced idea that owning and running a business is a privilege reserved for the select few born to do it. Wrong - with the right know-how, and support anyone can make a go of it.

Mature entrepreneurs often have an edge over their more youthful counterparts. Many find their age works to their advantage, allowing them to draw on the life skills, expertise and experience accumulated over the course of previous careers.

Of all the myths out there, one of the most infuriating is the suggestion that older people are risk-averse and reluctant to embrace new ideas. Not only is this offensive - it's not true.

Take Niklas Zennstromm. He was a 37-year-old tech-head who'd been sued after fronting file-sharing network Kazaa, before hitting it big. In 2005 he sold his former start-up for some $2.6bn. Then there's Evan Williams, who co-founded Twitter at the age of 35, not to mention Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, who was 54 when she set up in 2005.

At School for Startups we've helped entrepreneurs of all shapes and stripes from their late 60s to mother and daughter teams. Our Launcher Programme offers an unrivalled combination of Start Up Loans wrapped within a full year's worth of mentoring, live-teaching and round-the-clock support. Why is this good news for maturepreneurs? There is no longer an age cap of 30 for Start Up Loans, enabling a whole new generation of previously discriminated against entrepreneurs to be properly supported to kick-start their enterprises.

More people are starting businesses today than ever before. Whether they've been made redundant as a result of the unforgiving economy, are retired individuals looking for a new challenge, or simply someone that wants a greater control over their life, there have never been more people wanting to take the plunge and go for it.

While there's nothing wrong with being a latecomer to the start-up party, why wait? While it's not for the faint-hearted, if you have a sense of adventure why not go for it?

I strongly believe that Britain has all the ingredients it needs to become a hotbed for entrepreneurs. As always, the main challenge holding people back is getting access to start up funding. In my experience this is as true for the 35-year-old looking to get out of the rat race as it is for the 18-year-old fresh from school.

There are numerous options out there, and with the age cap gone, now is the time - don't hesitate.