It’s an interesting question: Who’s starting more business? Your kids or their grandparents? If you guessed their grandparents, you were right. Surprising research by the Kauffman Foundation found that between 1996 and 2013, Americans between ages 55 and 64 started companies at a higher rate than those 20 to 34. During that time period business creation by older Americans grew by over 60%. In fact 55- to 64-year-olds accounted for a quarter of all new ventures in 2013.
Why is this? As baby boomers who were hit by the recession are unable to compete with today’s recent graduates, they’ve decided that opening their own business has more appeal than a pay cut. Some of them watched their retirement accounts dwindle during the Great Recession and realized they needed income to help support them through their gold years.
The advantage over younger entrepreneurs? They bring with them the priceless resources of experienced career professionals; a network of contacts, strong management and office skills, industry knowledge and the intuitive feel for what works based on years of testing their “gut feelings.”
I found the research by the Kauffman Foundation truly fascinating and more than a little inspiring. For those of us not looking forward to years of golf or life in the slow lane, maybe we get a second chance at all this in retirement!
- On April 9, 2015