Entrepreneurship, Like Love, May Be Wasted on the Young


Contrary to popular belief, creating a start-up is not just for the young.

As the headline for a May 2017 article in CNBC suggests: “Boomer entrepreneurs are making it big by doing what they love.”

Referring to research data from the Kauffman Foundation, CNBC reporter Kate Rogers notes that “boomers were nearly twice as likely to plan to launch businesses than their millennial counterparts.”

And their numbers have grown; the Kauffman Foundation’s 2016 Index of Startup Activity indicates a 24% increase in new entrepreneurs aged 55 to 64 last year, compared to a 14.8% increase in 1996.

As consultant George Deeb points out in Forbes: “… people over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth start-up.”

While we all know that Silicon Valley is the purview of the young, research shows that tech entrepreneurship among seniors is an emerging reality – a reality that can be seriously profitable.

As Roya Wolverson writes in Time magazine: “There’s no question that starting a business is easier when you’re younger,” but, she adds, “… start-ups in some industries, such as biotech and business software, gain an edge from the experience that comes with a founder’s age.”

Many boomers are returning to the workforce out of pure passion for an idea they believe in. Some go back when they identify a problem for which they believe they have an innovative solution. And others return simply for the paycheck. Whether for necessity or invention, the number of older entrepreneurs is on the rise.