Move over millennials, the boomers are taking over when it comes to entrepreneurship. In 2013, Kaufman reported 20% of all new business ventures in the US were started by entrepreneurs aged 50-59. An additional 15% of startups were started by those 60 years and over, which means 35% of all startups were launched by those over 50 years of age. If you want to start a business, you want to ask a boomer to help you. They are ready!
Gallup just released the results of a survey that identified the reasons why older adults were joining the ranks of entrepreneurs:
- Opportunity to be independent – 32%
- Pursuing my passion – 27%
- Opportunity to increase my income – 24%
- Have an idea for product/service that meets unfilled need – 10%
- No jobs available in the area – 4%
Not only are the sheer numbers of older adults entering the entrepreneur arena impressive, but the track record of startups with boomers at the helm is even more impressive. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor documents that 50% of new businesses launched by 50+ are still in business after 5 years.
Another recent article outlined the reasons why older adults are poised for success:
- Lifetime of business and problem solving skills
- Greater emotional intelligence (getting everyone focused on the vision)
- Savvy talent management (Knowing how to get the right people on the team)
- Networking (its all about managing those external relationships)
The reality is, that having the right skills or experience is not the only critical ingredient for success. Gallup’s recent poll also looked at other critical success factors. The biggest challenges in starting a business for the over 50 entrepreneurs were:
- Access to credit
- Availability of training and other resources
- Coping with regulation.
Gallup identified three critical ways that cities and regions can bolster entrepreneur growth:
- Develop programs that assist entrepreneurial boomers to assess their readiness for their new role as a startup.
- Connect prospective entrepreneurs with existing local resources that can provide training, networking and other valuable information to those considering a startup.
- Provide coaching, mentoring and business advisory services to help navigate the legal regulations as well as to assist individuals along the development path.
Speaking from personal experience as a new social entrepreneur, I can attest that leaving the comfort of a job and skill set of 35 years can be quite intimidating. Connecting with experienced entrepreneurs and organizations helps during those “pivot times” when the negative self-talk takes over. It does make a difference for emerging entrepreneurs to have a positive and approachable ecosystem.
Tampa Bay is creating the environment that will foster entrepreneurial growth and success. We already have a healthy and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, but resources are fragmented and confusing for those new to the field. Encore Tampa Bay is committed to taking this next step to create the right environment for encore entrepreneurs. We are working with fellow entrepreneur groups and individuals and mapping the assets that exist for the encore entrepreneur to be successful and to find the resources and the support they need.
For those who are contemplating this path or even percolating an idea for the next great startup, Tampa Bay has great programs and events to help you get started. Here are just a few:
UPCOMING EVENTS/PROGRAMS FOR PROSPECTIVE ENTREPRENEURS:
- Radio show – February 7, 2015 on 820 am radio from 3:10-4:15- “Encore Entrepreneurs”
- Start Up Quest Program – February 9, 2015
- Entrepreneurial Academy – Starts March 9, 2015
- One Million Cups every Wednesday 9-10 am: Tampa in Ybor City and in St Petersburg at the Greenhouse
There are so many exciting opportunities for you to at least put your toe in the water – the water is fine… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
For more information about Encore Entrepreneurs or if you want to get involved with Encore Tampa Bay – please contact me