When people think of startups, they often envision small groups of ambitious, idealistic, risk-taking young adults with bright futures and little to lose. They’re based in a loft, shared workspace, or incubator with ping pong tables and a fully stocked bar or cappuccino maker. None of the employees wear ties and several are walking around in flip-flops.
However, this perception is not the reality. Our blog, Aging in the Workforce, demonstrated this by providing key information from a special report issued by the US Senate Special Committee. The study found that the number of workers over 65 is increasing a higher rate than the growth of the overall workforce. In many cases, older adults are turning to entrepreneurship rather than retirement.
In fact, baby boomers are twice as likely to launch a business than millennials. Wise.com reports that seniors – not millennials – are the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs IN THE WORLD.
Initially, this trend may seem counter-intuitive, but it makes sense. Retirement is changing. Many baby boomers love the challenge of starting something new. Some are pursuing a life-long passion; others are looking to create a legacy, and some just want to remain active to experience retirement differently than prior generations.
Regardless of the reason, the economic and social impact of this trend cannot be ignored and is a call to embrace, support and create avenues for older Americans to launch new businesses. Fortunately, several resources exist for senior entrepreneurs to access capital and receive guidance and support.
Here are just a few:
Encore.org – An innovation hub that provides resources to enable adults over 50 to launch “encore” careers.
Small Business Administration – The SBA supplies a wealth of resources to guide individuals to plan, launch, manage, grow, and finance a small business.
SCORE – This organization, in partnership with the SBA, gives entrepreneurs access to free mentorships and educational networks.
Please share this article with a senior you know.
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Concordia University Chicago | Gerontology