This guide will help you find the spark for choosing to become an entrepreneur at this stage of your life. Learn about social and individual motivations that drive people like yourself to become entrepreneurs. As you explore this page, you will discover questions you might have been asking yourself, and learn how you may be part of a greater community searching for similar answers.
Senior Entrepreneurs are Essential for a Healthy Economy
We have moved from a predominantly mass production economy (Fordist economy) to a knowledge based economy. The knowledge and experience of senior entrepreneurs thrives in such an economy. (“Older Entrepreneurs as The New Economic Frontier,” The Gerontologist Advance Access published November 4, 2010)
Am I part of a Growing Group?
- This figure represents a twenty-three percent jump since 1990.
- If you are considering your own business, the financial crisis should not be a consideration.
Let opportunity be your guide.
(Survey from the Kauffman Foundation, the Sloan Center on Aging &Work at Boston College, 2009)
Are Baby Boomers Senior Entrepreneurs?
(The State of Independence in America)
Am I Making a Difference in My Community?
Senior entrepreneurship often crosses paths with yet a third later-life trend — the urge to give back.
Research shows that half of those who want to become midlife entrepreneurs —
more than 12 million people ages 44 to 70 — also want to meet community needs or solve a critical social problem at the same time.
(Marc Friedman, “Why Older Entrepreneurs Have an Edge,” HBR Blog, Harvard Business Review, April 20, 2012)
Do I have a better alternative?
Age bias has been demonstrated in both lab and field studies, and a recent meta-analysis demonstrated that older job applicants and employees were evaluated less favorably (Gordon & Arvey, 2004).
In the technology industry, a majority of companies surveyed admitted that they would not hire anyone over the age of 40.
(Lohr, 2008). (Working Knowledge: An Intervention to Facilitate the Re-employment of Mature Workers)
Are You Frustrated by a Job that Does Not Utilize Your Skills?
For individuals previously employed as professionals, executives, or managers, accepting a job in which they feel “underemployed,” that is, employed in a job that does not utilize their skills and experience to the same degree as previous jobs, will likely lead to a new set of negative outcomes, including diminished job and life satisfaction, and reduced well-being.
(Feldman, 1996; Feldman, Leana, & Bolina, 2002; Friedland & Price, 2003; Leana & Feldman, 1995).
Am I making the Best Use of My Professional Network?
In a qualitative study comprising 22 older entrepreneurs in London, Kilbeler et al (2012) found that older entrepreneurs that used existing social capital gained from previous job experience had fewer difficulties in starting and running their enterprise. (OECD Senior Entrepreneurship Report, 2012)
Is Entrepreneurship in Me? Let’s Test it
Technically speaking, there is no such thing as an entrepreneurial prototype.
Different businesses require different (and sometimes opposing) temperaments.
For example, a dealer who sells antiques on a home computer needs a different set of secretarial and social skills than a person who sells the same items at flea markets every weekend.Such differences notwithstanding, there are still a number of general skills
that are valuable for all types of entrepreneurial enterprises.
The Lawrence N. Field Center is now offering a four-part workshop series to address entrepreneurial issues relevant to senior entrepreneurs. Each workshop will be taught by industry experts and allows for questions, discussions and community-building. All workshops are offered at absolutely no cost to the attendees. Registration in advance is requested.