Britain's Top 100 Entrepreneurs 2014: Seven over 70

With businesses in areas as diverse as fashion, motorbikes, and vacuum cleaners, our superstar silvertops show age is no bar to success.

by Philip Beresford

1. Cathie Paver, Pavers Shoes - 86 years old (93)

Cathie Paver, the oldest member of the Top 100 at 86, founded her York-based shoe business in 1971. Initially selling shoes in village halls and at house parties, Paver - known as 'The Maggie Thatcher of the shoe trade' - soon learned how to subdue any suppliers who were unwilling to deal with a female client.

Her shops became fixtures across the north of England, and in 2008 - with son Stuart now MD - Pavers entered the Indian market, setting up an R&D centre in Mumbai and opening its first concessions there. Pavers England (as it's known in India) now has 32 stores, 120 outlets and accounts for 25% of group sales.

Pavers opened its 100th UK store late in 2013, is investing a further £10m in expanding in India and even has its own TV shopping channel, Paversshoes, featuring Paver's daughter Debbie as a presenter. In 2012-13, Pavers' profits hit a record £7m on sales of £65.6m.

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