Retirees as Entrepreneurs

The aging global population is a trend occupying the minds of many entrepreneurs. This article, though, instead of recognizing ways that entrepreneurs can cater to older generations, talks about the older generations as the entrepreneurs.

The article recognizes that individuals over 60 today are “healthier and more capable than ever.” This resonated with me as I thought of my 90 year-old Grandfather who is still the delinquent tax collector in his small town. However, although older individuals may be capable of working as employees, they may also be the first to be laid off in difficult times and can be the casualties of age discrimination.

Thus, entrepreneurship has become an attractive path for aging employees. The article pointed to a study out of Duke stating that “there are twice as many successful entrepreneurs over age 50 as there are under age 25.” This may run counter to our conception of the entrepreneur as the young, energized, college dropout. Why might older individuals be more successful as entrepreneurs? The article cites to financial strength, personal stability, and increased self-awareness. To me, the key might be whether an older individual can embrace the concepts that we have been learning about throughout the semester. Can an older person recognize when an industry has reached the point of creative destruction? According to this article, the answer is yes.

2 thoughts on “Retirees as Entrepreneurs

  1. Very interesting article that includes some fascinating facts. I encountered an article on a similar topic:

    This article points out, for example, that the average age for startup founders is around 40, and for those behind the most successful exit strategies, it’s 47. I was quite surprised to hear that, since it contradicted dramatically my picture of a typical entrepreneur, which was primarily shaped by the success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Furthermore, the article even goes as far as to argue that this (wrong) picture of the typical entrepreneur might even harm the economy, since it discourages elderly people from becoming entrepreneurs and, thus, leads to a lot of untapped potential.

  2. Awesome article, thanks for sharing. I love the idea of empowering retirees to become entrepreneurs and think that as the baby boomer generation sets to retire, the idea of shuffleboard and bridge club is not going to cut it. This generation of retirees is more connected and “with it” than any before it, they are unique in that they began work before the advent of the Internet but had to adapt to it throughout their careers. I don’t see them going quietly off to a retirement home – I certainly know my parents won’t!