A sizable number of American baby boomers are considering starting businesses or nonprofit ventures over the coming decade, according to new research released Tuesday by Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.
Nearly half of the 25 million women and men who expressed such interest want to be encore entrepreneurs, making a living while having a positive social effect. Three-quarters expect to create small, local organizations that employ up to 10 people.
The study, “Encore Entrepreneurs: Creating Jobs, Meeting Needs,” which was funded by MetLife Foundation and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, shows that although potential encore entrepreneurs are daunted by the economic risk in starting ventures now, half are still eager to move forward:
- 58% said the current economic crisis makes them more likely to start their own businesses or nonprofit ventures.
- 54% said they were “very likely” to start their ventures within the next five to 10 years.
- 47% of encore entrepreneurs believed they would not be able to obtain adequate financing. The same percentage expected to tap their personal savings to launch their ventures.
- 52% said they had delayed launching their ventures because they did not feel secure enough financially at present.
Civic Ventures noted in a statement that the findings reinforce consistent research from the Kauffman Foundation, which shows that for 11 of the 15 years between 1996 and 2010, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity of any age group.
The new study included findings in several areas.