Startup is a term that can refer to a young movement in the business world, but not every new entrepreneur is the traditional Millennial in his twenties or thirties.
People over 50 are among the most active entrepreneurs in the United States, with a higher start-up rate than younger people.
Gallup, a US research firm, reports that 80% of these businesses are intended to supplement retirement income as well as keep an active mind.
Annamaria Lusardi, a professor at George Washington University School of Business, told Inc. magazine that the Internet was a great facilitator for more Baby Boomers to enter the world of startups.
According to her, the web has made starting and running businesses less physically demanding, allowing more people with declining energy, or other physical limitations, to start businesses.
Freedom and flexibility
Still for Inc., Jeff Williams, founder of BizStarters (Training Service for Older Entrepreneurs) says that 60% of their clients are more interested in time flexibility than in fact getting rich.
According to Williams, enterprising Boomers look for the feeling that after months of work they can take a few weeks off to visit their grandchildren, for example.
He also comments that the average earnings expectations of founders over 60 are between $ 50,000 and $ 75,000 a year, with no interest in competing with Silicon Valley wages.
Boomers Entrepreneur Statistics
According to the CanaGlobal accelerator, Boomers are twice as likely as Millennials to plan a new business.
In addition, they have a greater ability to understand needs or improve products and services based on practical experience.
Other information shared by CanaGlobal about Boomers entrepreneurs:
- 67% of businesses founded by Boomers in the US are profitable.
- 76% of Boomers entrepreneurs rate their own happiness as 8/10
- Boomers make up half of US entrepreneurs
- Boomers-founded startups have grown 50% in number since 2007
- The most popular industry is business services.
Reasons for the rise
According to CanaGlobal, some factors are driving the rise of startups founded by Boomers in recent years. Among them, the six main ones are:
- Gig economy: in 2018 there was a $ 1.4 trillion increase in the economy of freelancers in the United States, and the tendency is for self-employment to continue to grow in the interest of the population.
- Unemployment: Unemployment rates among workers over the age of 40 are rising, and starting a business itself becomes a viable income option.
- Happiness x income: If the focus of older generations was to get rich, now the dream is to find a job that brings happiness and fulfillment rather than just money.
- Professional Frictions: With professional teams packed with young people in business, some people from older generations choose to work alone and avoid tensions over how each generation does its work.
- Something bigger: Most Boomers feel that they should do something bigger than what they are doing in life, having much greater utility in society. This comes as a motivation for many people to start their own business.
- The “American Dream”: Some Boomers still want to live the so-called “American Dream”: a life without debt and with the perfect balance of work, family and personal affairs. Entrepreneurship emerges as an alternative to the realization of this dream.