How old is too old to be an entrepreneur? The stereotype that people take fewer risks as they age does not bear out in a report by the entrepreneur-supporting Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Titled “THE COMING ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOM“, the report shows that the average age of entrepreneurs is higher than many would expect.
“It turns out that over the past decade or so, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to the 55-64 age group. The 20-34 age bracket, meanwhile, which we usually identify with swashbuckling and risk-taking youth (think Facebook and Google), has the lowest rate.”
Since the U.S. population is aging quickly, the number of people 55 and older is increasing dramatically. Because of increasing (healthy, productive) life expectancies and a decline in lifetime employment by large companies, the Kauffman Foundation is expecting that we’re “on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom”. Download the fairly brief “pdf” of the report.
Some of you may be wondering if the “older, wiser start-up founder” picture holds for technology companies as well, and it does. The average age of the founders of U.S. technology companies is 39—with twice as many over age 50 as under age 25.
If you want to geek-out on statistics about U.S. entrepreneurs, download the 36-page report “Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 1996-2008“.