The Trend of Older Entrepreneurs
Updated: Jun 2, 2018
Having supported a wide age-range of entrepreneurs from every generation in the US, Canada and abroad, I can honestly say that I love it all. But there’s something extra satisfying in helping the older and wiser visionaries get their work out into the world.
From Life Coaches and keynote speakers, academy and community organization founders, to instructors and show hosts, the older generation has decades of experience and skill to contribute to the world in a new way; their way.
The Entrepreneurial bug can indeed hit later in life with gusto, allowing retirees the opportunity to turn their hobby into a business or explore their true passions in their “Third Act of Life” (queue Jane Fonda). As this inspiring video explains, the last three decades of life are now being recognized as a developmental stage of life, filled with potential.
Whether by financial necessity to offset pensions and the rising cost of living, or by sheer inspiration to finally explore their deeper purpose, I can’t help but be inspired by the older generation rock’n it with their biz.
Life’s Third Act – Older Entrepreneurs with a Purpose
People are living, and working longer. If a recent article published on the Global Wellness Institute by Economist Thierry Malleret has anything to say about it, working beyond 80 will be “the new normal.” (read here).
I’m not sure whether to feel depressed or inspired by that prediction, but it certainly has become the “norm” to see folks in their 70’s going full tilt with a purpose-fuelled business and laughing at the ridiculous notion of “retirement”. I personally know several movers and shakers in their senior years who, as retired real estate agents or corporate executives, are putting incredible work out into the world that they didn’t have time for in their earlier careers.
In the article by Roger St. Pierre on Entrepreneur.com titled How Older Entrepreneurs Can Turn Age to Their Advantage, it states “Nearly a quarter of new entrepreneurs are boomers aged 55 to 64. They have experience, financial stability and extensive networks.”
And here in Canada, it’s no different. Ceric’s article entitled "New Research Will Seek to Understand “Senior Entrepreneur” Trend in Canada, talks about their research project , “A Study on the Status of Senior Entrepreneurship in Canada: Training Implications for Career Counsellors” which seeks a better understanding of this rapidly emerging area of the workforce. It says “With the country’s demographic shift to an aging workforce well underway, increasing numbers of older Canadians are turning to entrepreneurship...” and “A 2012 CIBC study found that individuals 50+ made up the fastest growing age group for start-ups in Canada, accounting for approximately 30% of the total number of start-ups in the country. Since 1990, the rate of entrepreneurs 50+ more than doubled, and the trend continues to rise”.
Virtual Assistants on the Ready
And….. what does this all mean for VA’s? The natural conclusion is these folks need flexible and modern support, since many of them operate their business from their homes. What better solution is there for them? Expect to see more virtual handshakes between this cohort of entrepreneurs and the VA industry.
And I anticipate my work with older entrepreneurs will continue to expand, and I couldn’t be happier.