Monday, February 22, 2010

Entrepreneurship--Another Way for the Older Worker?

The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College has released a fact sheet on Entreprenuership and the Older Worker, reporting that workers aged 50 and over are more likely than their younger counterparts to be self-employed or small business owners. From 2007–2008 workers ages 54-64 experienced the largest increase in entrepreneurial activity, making it the age group with the highest entrepreneurial activity rate.

Additional findings include that 17% of older workers are independent, self employed workers, as opposed to 12 % of younger workers, and that 74% of older workers are wage and salaried employees who work for someone else, versus 83% of younger workers.

Supporting evidence for a rise in entrepreneurship among older workers may be found in the "The Babson College/Baruch College U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report 2008", which reported a marked reduction (around 8% to 9%) in entrepreneurial activity for individuals in the 18-44 age group and an increase of a similar amount in the 45-98 age group. In fact, this was the first year that GEM looked at entrepreneurial activity for those in the 18-99 age group, instead of just the 18-64 age group because there is growing evidence of entrepreneurial behavior past the age of 64.

Sources: Sloan Center on Aging & Work Fact Sheet (February 2010); Wall St. Journal "Older Entrepreneurs Target Peers" (February 16, 2010); New York Times "Starting Over at 55" (March 3, 2010)

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