A growing number of baby boomers are leveraging a career’s worth of contacts and experience and setting up their own businesses, according to Guidant Financial, a small-business financing company.
In a recent nationwide poll, 54% of small-business owners were older than 50, a 10% year-over-year increase.
“Those who decide to start businesses later in life have several advantages over their younger counterparts,” David Nilssen, Guidant Financial’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“Baby boomers often have larger professional networks and years of business experience, and we’re seeing an increasing amount who are leveraging those benefits to launch and grow their own ventures.”
Guidant Financial conducted an email survey in December of some 2,600 male and female small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the U.S. age 18 and older.
Thirty-three percent of the sample were in their 50s, 17% in their 60s and 4% 70 or above. California accounted for the highest volume of boomer entrepreneurs, followed by Florida, Texas, New York and North Carolina.
These later-life businesspeople focused on the business-services, food and restaurant, general retail, health/beauty/fitness and automotive sectors.
Forty-three percent of 50-and-older respondents cited “ready to be my own boss” as their main reason for starting business, while 42% “wanted to pursue my passion.”
Others said an opportunity had presented itself or that they were dissatisfied with corporate America or had lost their job.