Life begins at 55 for a new generation of Cumbrian business owners who are setting up on their own, research has found.

A survey by Barclays Business revealed the number of businesses run by the over-55s has increased 63 per cent in the past decade. The fastest-growing age group of business owners over this period is the over-65s, with a 140 per cent increase.

Over the same ten years, businesses run by those aged between 25 and 34 grew by just 23 per cent.

Now Barclays have brought in 54-year-old Liz Earle, MBE, to help advise it on how best to serve the needs of the growing mature entrepreneur market.

In 1995 Liz co-founded Liz Earle Beauty now owned by EWalgreens (corr) Boots Alliance. she left the company earlier this year to pursue other business ventures including Liz Earle Wellbeing a quarterly magazine focused on food and living well.

She said: "The older generation adds so much value to the workplace in any context – bringing a wealth of experience and industry contacts to the table."