Businesses Started by 50-Somethings Survive Longer

One of the trends we spotted a few years ago and started writing about is that of the older entrepreneur (read our essay, the Graying of Small Business).

This is a category of older first-time entrepreneur, who is usually someone I call a “refugee from the Corporate world.” These older entrepreneurs may be armed with severance packages or pension buyouts, or otherwise a little better off financially than a younger entrepreneur. They decide that rather than look for another job, they will try their hand at starting or perhaps buying a business.

What characterizes the older first-time entrepreneur is their business savvy and skill. Generally they have a higher level of business expertise than your average 20-something entrepreneur. Often these individuals have received million-dollar educations through their past experiences on the job working for large corporations.

The Sunday Times in an article today points out the advantages of being 50-something and becoming an entrepreneur for the first time. Among them: research by NatWest Bank suggesting that, in the U.K. at least, “businesses that are started up by people in their fifties have double the chance of surviving the first three-and-a-half years than those started by people in their twenties.”

Tags: Business; small business; entrepreneur; startup; trends

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

3 Reactions
  1. What should we gleen from the published comments; that access to capital is more controlling than a unique idea and/or a sustainable competitative advantage?

    If so, will the “blue-hairs” crowd-out the young thinkers with respect to access to capital resulting in a short-term boost at the expense of long-term macro-economic expansion?

  2. Hi Mr. O’Sullivan,

    Access to capital is one benefit older entrepreneurs have. But I think more important than that is the business experience.

    As we both know, starting a business is tough. It’s a long, hard slog to get something off the ground to the point where it has sustainable momentum. And I wish I’d known in my first venture what I know now.


  3. I so agree with both Mr. O’Sullivan and Anita that staring a business is very tough and the knowledge we have now certainly would have made getting started alot easier. Yes! Access to capital is one benefit older entrepreneurs do have.