There Is a Certain Age To Start a Business?

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The elderly population of the world is increasing, which poses a challenge on the generation of working opportunities for people over 60 years old. Entrepreneurship is an option since age should not be a barrier when it comes to pursuing dreams.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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In the developed world, life expectancy is significantly increasing, which is at the same time creating a large elderly population. In countries such as Spain or Italy, life expectancy is above 80 years and the mean age of the population is over 45 years. The World Bank and United Nations have confirmed that the elderly population is augmenting, especially for women above 60, whose life expectancy is growing gradually. It is no secret that the aging process of the population, and particularly for women, remains a social and economic challenge that not only affects families but various sectors of the economy.

One of the effects of the rising older population relates to the increasing demand for goods and services destined for people over 60. This demand will surely create opportunities for those businesses that focus on Smart cities, such as transport, housing, or health. Nowadays,  40% of the total world consumption is made by people over 65. The financial and labor system will also need to adjust to the growing older population. But what about those who want to become entrepreneurs?

According to a recent study, businesses are more likely to succeed as the age of their founders increases. Some clear examples, are Gordon Bowker, who founded Starbucks when he was 50, or Vera Wang who decided to become a fashion designer at the age of 40. Harland David Sanders worked at a service station and became popular for his chicken recipe. When he was 62, he franchised his Kentucky Fried Chicken for the first time. It is worth highlighting that today KFC has more than 18,800 outlets in 118 countries.


Other relevant examples, include Robert Noyce who finished his doctorate in physics at MIT, and in 1957 founded the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation. Years later he left with Gordon Moore and they created Intel together when Noyce was 41. Reid Hoffman graduated from Stanford and had doubts about what to do. He first created a Social net which was not very successful, but later on, when he was 35 he created LinkedIn and 43 when it went public.

There is increasing evidence that older entrepreneurs own some of the fastest-growing new businesses. A recent study calculated a mean age of 45 from the 1700 founders of the fastest-growing new ventures. According to the mentioned study, a 50-year-old business founder is 1.8 times more likely upper-tail growth than a 30 year old one. If you are wondering the reason for this, the authors of "Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship" have mentioned that there are a few reasons why older entrepreneurs may beat younger ones when it comes to succeeding with their ideas. These reasons include marketing and finance experience, management skills, and more profound knowledge of the industry.

So if you’re not happy at your job, or sometimes wonder how it would be like to start a business, keep in mind it is never too late to do so!