Monday, April 15, 2013

Entrepreneurship ain't just for the young...

It's not exactly a new revelation, but more studies are showing that the average age of entrepreneurs is rising (FT):

But while teenagers make good newspaper headlines, what usually gets ignored is that it is actually their parents’ generation – or people such as Crippen – who are the most active in terms of creating new companies in the US today. Take a look at the data. The Kaufman Foundation (which is dedicated to tracking entrepreneurship) recently analysed the age profile of entrepreneurs and discovered that 34 per cent of them were aged between 35 and 44 and 29 per cent between 45 and 54. Just 18 per cent were under the age of 34 – the same proportion as those over 55. “Entrepreneurship is concentrated among individuals in mid-career, ie between 35 and 44 years of age,” writes Dane Stangler, a researcher at Kaufman.

Admittedly, in some sub-sectors the profile is younger: an MIT study of its graduates, for example, suggests that there are a lot of Zuckerberg wannabes in the computing world; the majority of IT entrepreneurs tend to be in their twenties, and overwhelmingly men. However, what is really notable is that if you look at all sectors of the economy, the age of entrepreneurs seems to be rising, not falling. Back in 2004, a study from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics found that the “bulge” age for entrepreneurs was 25-34, and this was echoed by other research in the 1990s.

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