From the Albuquerque Journal last week comes a story about a trend.
More seniors than ever are launching “startup” companies. Partly because they are not ready to retire, partly because many cannot afford to retire, partly because they are healthy, partly because the “traditional” jobs seem to no longer be there.
In 2012, people in the 55-64 age group started 23% of U.S. companies (up from 14.3% in 1996). And of the 500 recent applicants to a Florida Entrepreneurship program (funded partly by the U.S. Labor Department), the average age was 50.
Apparently, people over 50 also have more confidence in their abilities than earlier generations. And oddly enough, these “older” startups may help job creation in the U.S.
What is it like in Canada? Well, we’re not known as an entrepreneurial nation to the degree of the U.S. However, a 2004 study by the American researcher Palmore suggests that ageism is less frequent (or at least less frequently reported) in the U.S. than here in Canada. That may lead to the conclusion that entrepreneurship is less common in the elderly in Canada.
I suggest that, as life expectancy and financial uncertainty increase for many Canadians, we should see more Canadians, including older ones, launching their own business ventures. We may learn that creativity is not confined to the young!
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on January 24, 2014.