"Once dominated by young, highly-driven, technology-oriented entrepreneurs, startup activity is quickly being taken over by individuals who, while still driven and tech-savvy, happen to be in their 50s, 60s and 70s." This quote is from an article in HispanicBusiness.com. The article, originally published in Franchising World, cites unpublished U.S. government figures which show the numbers of the self-employed over the age of 45 growing, with those 55 and older growing at the strongest pace: "Unpublished government data obtained by Challenger researchers show that the number of Americans 55 and older categorized as self-employed in non-agricultural industries has increased 22 percent from 2,136,000 in May, 2000 to 2,598,000 as of May, 2005. These senior entrepreneurs now represent nearly 27 percent of all self-employed workers, which is second only to 45- to 54-year-olds who make up more than 27 percent of the self-employed." Of course, this comes as no surprise. Last year we noted the "Graying of Small Business" as one of the nine major trends in the small business market today. It stands to reason that older individuals are starting their own businesses. People tend to retire earlier -- and, paradoxically, they continue to work after retirement. Since many Americans these days are knowledge workers, starting their own businesses makes sense. They can sell their considerable expertise by becoming consultants, authors, speakers, or freelancers.