The belief that most startups are run by young entrepreneurs pining to build Google-sized companies before the age of 30 seems fairly widespread these days. And while that’s not surprising given the wealth of entrepreneurial talent spawned by younger upstarts in recent times (particularly in the tech arena), it’s also something of a myth.
New figures seem to suggest that older people are leading the entrepreneurial charge as of late. In 2008, the number of new businesses created in the U.S. by individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 topped all other age brackets and made a sizeable leap from the previous year, a new survey by the Kauffman Foundation shows.
In the world of franchising, for instance, more late-blooming entrepreneurs are jumping into the mix after years of clocking hours in a corporate setting.
“These days, the ranks of would-be franchisees are swelled with former corporate types . . . who are propelled by the recession to take a shot at business ownership under the protection of a proven model,” writes Reuters small-business columnist Deborah Cohen in a recent piece.
Indeed, what many small-business consultants seem to agree on is that graying entrepreneurs tend to hold a distinct advantage over their spryer counterparts – namely, experience.