Actor Ed O'Neill plays a successful, older entrepreneur on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family"
Think every entrepreneur is a 25-something recent grad or college dropout with a brilliant idea? There is more evidence to the contrary: the majority of entrepreneurs are baby boomers. And it makes sense.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reported in a SmartMoney article that individuals between the ages of 54 and 64 represented 22.9% of the entrepreneurs who launched businesses in 2010 – up from 14.5% in 1996. Since 2007 that age group has created new businesses at a higher rate than any other.
The data, writes Kauffman’s research director Dane Stangler, indicates “the United States might be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom—not in spite of an aging population but because of it.”
So while it may be true that the older you get, the more risk-averse you become, the recession changed it up a little. Older workers who lost their jobs have decided it was finally time to launch the business they've been thinking about. And, in most cases older entrepreneurs have a larger network of sources (i.e., relatives and friends), more wealth, and a better credit history, than their Gen Y counterparts. Those things aren’t always required to start a business if you have a great idea, but it certainly helps.
So if you have the goods, go for that hot dog stand on the beach, start a puppetry school, or design an app - whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do.