Being Over 50 Isn’t Too Old To Be An Entrepeneur

Being Over 50 Isn't Too Old To Be An Entrepeneur

Is Age Just a Number When Starting a Business?

It is not only businesses themselves that change as quickly as the tides, but the way that business is conducted, and this pace can often leave older entrepreneurs of fifty plus, wondering if it is time to step back and hand over the reins to the younger generation. According to the experts, however, they could be missing out on some great opportunities.

Recent studies suggest that not only are over 55’s taking the plunge into new business, but they are actually funding many of their ventures using their retirement funds. As many as 500,000 over 55’s are currently calling themselves “new business owners” after taking the leap with their own funds. So many silver entrepreneurs are taking this leap, in fact, that they are now exceeding those within the 18 – 29 age group, and this number will continue to grow.

Beginning Again after 50

With such a large group of entrepreneurs being made up of over 55’s, many people are asking about what is feeding this desire to start a business this late in life. In the past, most believed it was due to the fact that once individuals got laid off, or retired, they needed another source of income, but this isn’t the case any longer.

According to research, it is their skills that are feeding into a desire to create business, and what is more, many professionals feel they are actually better at keeping their businesses alive. A recent poll by Age UK found that 70% of those businesses started by those over 50 are likely to be active in 5 years, while less than 30% of businesses belonging to younger generations will be alive.

Do Success Rates Increase with Age?

One of the reasons for their higher success rates, say some professionals, is the fact that their businesses aren’t modelled to grow at such high rates, such as those created by younger entrepreneurs. Others believe that it might actually be easier for some to start their businesses when they are older, especially when it comes to getting investors to say “yes”. Investors, according to some professionals, might feel that a 21 year old poses more of a risk, while someone with generations of experience is a safer bet.

This does not mean that it is smooth sailing for over 50’s. There are those that feel that their age puts them at a disadvantage, and it is to these individuals that experienced entrepreneurs are saying “go for it”, after all, if the idea is good, age is most certainly just a number.

8 comments

  • prakash3102

    hey I’m prakash from India..
    my age is just 25 now i became a entrepreneur…age is only in number and physical appearance if our thoughts are young then we will surely shine in out business at any age

  • Diane Lane

    By the time a person has reached his or her 50s, s/he has usually got a pretty good idea of how the world works, what makes people tick, and how to set realistic expectations. It’s true that many in their early 20s have unrealistic expectations. In some cases, that can be a good thing, because otherwise, they may not take the risks needed to do great things. However, sometimes those big dreams need to be tempered with some realistic life experience and patience, hence the more reasonable expectations set by some older entrepreneurs.

    I think it’s a good thing that middle-aged and older folks are starting businesses, because many that age have difficulty obtaining employment, despite laws and regulations against discrimination. I would like to see more our age delving into this situation, and creating opportunities for our peers who may not be in the position to do so, or who may have a lot to offer, but may not want the responsibility of being a business owner.

  • 55andAmbitious

    Realities that entail being IN and AT over 50 years old is a bit daunting. And facts are facts–we’re getting old– we’re not as physically strong as we used to be–which there’s nothing we can do about them.

    But, we may be gray and silver-haired, our minds have not “expired or gone obsolete’ to the point of dimmer in our wit and judgements, and dumb-er in our understanding of life and our point of view of the real world around us. If I were to start a business (which I have been thinking and prospecting for the last few months), NOW is the right time.

    Like you said, older business entrepreneurs have a greater chance of success in terms of experience, trustworthiness and business sensibilities– being older and wiser. :-) .

    Yes. Go for it!

  • Kate

    What an encouraging read this was! While I started my business when still under 50, I feel that I would have been much more in a position to do that now. There were many things I had to learn “the hard way” but luckily nothing backfired and the business remains a success.

    The experience that we have gained at 50 and beyond is invaluable. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be mistakes (but wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were the case?!) :-) but I think it means that we are better equipped to deal with and solve issues that may come up *because* of the life experiences we’ve already plowed through/endured.

    I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that I really *don’t* “know it all” like we think we do when we’re still relatively young. We can gain by listening to the advice from others and seeing which business models and decisions worked and didn’t work for other companies. I’d much rather avoid mistakes from the beginning than have to dig myself out from them after being too stubborn to accept help and advice. :-)

  • amiew

    I was forced into starting my own business when I lost my job during the recession and couldn’t find another one, mostly because of my age. I went online asking friends what I could do to make money and they directed me to some freelance writing information and sites. I started that day and have never looked back. Yes, the work is hard and I don’t make a lot of money, but it’s enough with my SS to get me what I really need.

  • journey

    Going into business is a good idea for 50-something people since it preoccupies them. My mom, for one, has started baking again. She tried her old-tested cake and bread recipes which were sold-out when she used to take orders and sell them in our bakery. Now, she said she was a bit rusty but enjoys every baking time that she has. There were even instances she’d do it with her grandkids. She vows to start selling them when they already taste as good as before.

  • Benoit W

    First оff Соlоnеl Hаrlаn Sаndеrs stаrtеd KFС with his first sосiаl sесurity сhесk аt аgе 65. Jаmеs Саsh Pеnnеy аlsо stаrtеd his businеss аt 65. I didn’t wаit sо lоng. I stаrtеd my businеss аt аgе 50. I didn’t hаvе аny саsh whеn I stаrtеd sо thе first fеw yеаrs wаs quitе а strugglе. Thаt wаs 24 yеаrs аgо. It’s prеtty еаsy gоing nоw. Wе dо sеvеrаl milliоn in sаlеs, prоvidе gооd jоbs fоr а dоzеn pеоplе аnd prоduсе а grеаt prоduсt. It hаs bееn vеry sаtisfying but оf соursе а lоt оf wоrk аs wеll.

    50 is а prеtty gооd аgе tо stаrt а businеss. Yоu hаvе hаd sоmе timе tо dеvеlоp sоmе еxpеriеnсе. Yоu hаvе а littlе mоrе mаturity thаn yоu hаd а fеw dесаdеs аgо. Yоu hаvе еnоugh timе lеft tо еnjоy yоur ассоmplishmеnts.

  • At 55 the message i received from employers was you are over experienced and underqualified I was unable to get a position at the level I had been competently performing at for many years and I was too experienced for positions I was supposedly qualified for. Not wanting to invest $50,000 dollars and at least 3 years of my life to become qualified to the level I was experienced at, the decision to go it alone and start my own business was a no brainer, scary but challenging at the same time. Just what I needed to improve my confidence use the skills I had and learn new ones 6 weeks in and going strong the best decision i ever made

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