Baby Boomers Fastest Growing Startup Group in Canada

Canada is experiencing a boom in business startups, and guess what demographic is the fastest growing?

The over-55 Baby Boomer crowd. And they are better educated than ever before, too:

New entrepreneurs are both more educated and older than in the past. Almost one in four of those who have started a business in the past two years have a university degree, double the rate seen in 1990. At the same time, the share of startups with less than high school education fell from 38% in 1990 to 21% in 2003.

The fastest-growing segment of the startup market is the 55-and-over age group, which now accounts for 15% of total startups, compared to 11% in 1990. This reflects not only an aging Canadian society, but an increased tendency toward early retirement. With computers and the Internet, it’s now easier for older Canadians to provide consulting services from home. They can also make use of their well-developed skills and wide business network.

Canadian Startups

I have written quite frequently about this phenomenon of Baby Boomers who start businesses after leaving a career elsewhere. It seems we Baby Boomers just do not want to go off to a retirement of golf or shuffleboard.

More of us are continuing to work after retirement, and a significant percentage of Baby Boomers are choosing to start a business instead of get a job.

And it turns out that the same holds true not just for the United States, but also for Canada.

Read the full story in CA Magazine. Download the five-page research report from CIBC World Markets (PDF).

Hat tip to Greg Balanko-Dickson of Small Biz Unplugged, for highlighting this article. Small Biz Unplugged is a new small business blog focusing on Canada and Canadian small business owners.

Read also my recent article over at BNET outlining tips on how to reach the Baby Boomer entrepreneur if you sell business-to-business.


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.

6 Reactions
  1. I am a baby boomer and I have often felt ‘funny’ trying new things at my advanced age (ha!) of 48. These kinds of stories make me feel great.

  2. This article confirms what I have been preaching for some time – that boomers are “the next big thing” in startups. See my article on titled “Engage Boomers in your Startup” for specific recommendations where they can best fit and be productive.

    Marty Zwilling, Founder & CEO, Startup Professionals, Inc.

  3. I’m not surprised to hear that the Boomer is the fastest growing startup segment, Anita. Those Boomers just can’t let go of the limelight… 😉

    Before the Boomers in this audience come unglued, I’m a wannabe Boomer… Just at the edge of the boom and married to one… Probably doesn’t save me with my smart-aleck comment.

    However, I’m not surprised for the real reasons that I’ve researched (for our research section here: ) but also because a company I made a small investment in targets the baby boomer that has rolled out of a traditional job, has a large 401k, and wants to tap those funds for a new business venture (many IRS rules apply, of course. He is a fully credentialed CPA and has done this sort of Solo 401K plan for 15+ years. His biggest customer? The Baby Boomer looking to invest in real estate, or a franchise, or a venture where he/she does not have control of the company.

    Most CPAs don’t want to mess with this sort of plan, and some are outright against it, but as I’ve written here before — I did it myself because I wanted to control my own retirement funds. Some of it went into traditional investment type account stuff and some went into a startup. It isn’t for everyone, but it is worth researching. I can post a handful of useful research links, if you want. Just let me know: