What is a Greypreneur and Why is this a Growing Trend?

What is a Greypreneur?

A greypreneur is an older person embarking on an entrepreneur journey late in life.

A new infographic commissioned by Best Masters Program and created by Nowsourcing has revealed 25% of the US workforce will be 55 years of age and older by 2024. It also says 4 in 5 baby boomers expect to keep working rather than retire due to financial need.

Titled, “Re-imagining Your Career Past 50,” the infographic offers a glimpse of things to come in the workforce. It also provides valuable insight into the challenges this demographic will face as more young individuals enter the workplace.

While there are challenges facing this demographic, there are also opportunities for those willing to seize it.

In a blog written on Hackernoon, the CEO of Nowsourcing, Brian Wallace said older people have a distinct advantage when it comes to pursuing their own business. This includes everything from communication skills to sales, industry know how, and even reliable credit to get loans.

Wallace goes on to say they should go out on their own if companies can’t see the benefit they offer an organization. Adding, “Staying ahead of the curve doesn’t necessarily mean learning a whole new skillset — quite the contrary, in fact. For older workers with industry seniority, these years of experience go a long way and though short-sighted employers would rather ignore the benefits of this experience, it’s possible to make it work on your own terms instead.”

What is Driving the Growth of Greypreneurs?

The answer is longer life expectancy. Life expectancy is almost twice what it was just 100 years ago, and living longer means people will have to work more and they will have multiple careers.

The days of retiring at 65 is falling by the wayside because seniors want to continue working, contributing, and being productive.


For those who plan well for later in life, it means they can choose what to do and really go after their passion without the trappings of early career development.

Takeaways from the Infographic

One of the biggest challenges older workers are facing and will continue to face is ageism. According to the report, 60% of workers over 45 have experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace.

A disturbing example of this trend is forcing older employees to take early retirement. The report says IBM has forced more than 20,000 older employees 40 years or older out of the workforce in order to correct the seniority mix in the organization since 2013.

Workers in the US have also experienced age discrimination as 19% said they were not hired for a position they were qualified for, 12% were passed over for a promotion, and 8% were laid off or fired for unclear reasons.
So what is a person to do? The answer according to Jane Jackson, career management coach and author, “I believe that rather than waiting for an employer to ‘pick you’, you should ‘pick yourself’.”

Picking Yourself Up

The fact of the matter is older Americans are already picking themselves up. Baby boomers make up 49% of self-employed workers, and this number is growing.

This group is starting their own small business, doing freelance work and using technology to optimize their experience.  Older workers are also using their extensive network to connect with other businesses. And as the number of older Americans continues to grow, these networks will deliver more tangible results.

The infographic says 57% of all small business owners are over 50 and they are ready to be their own boss (43%) and pursue their passion (42%).

Benefits of Age

Growing older means more experience, but it also holds other advantages. For many older Americans it means better credit and a nest egg which makes it much easier to get a loan for starting a business.

If you plan carefully and use your experience to start a business later in life, you can take control of your own destiny. You won’t have to worry about age discrimination, get fired for the right “seniority mix”, or any other reason you are not in control of.

Take a look at the rest of the data in the infographic.

What is a Greypreneur?

Image: Best Master Programs


Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

3 Reactions
  1. I guess this is because more and more older people are now becoming entrepreneurial and that is actually a good thing.

  2. Being someone who is going to be hitting the big 50 this year, this article really resonates with me. What hit home for me is the stat that 22% are unhappy with their corporate position. Having been in the corporate world for over 30 years now, and experiencing the ups and downs and being passed over for promotions, has finally led me to start creating something that I can call my own. It certainly, is not an easy journey, but the satisfaction I get by helping other small business owners is extremely gratifying. The 30 plus years in the corporate world has certainly helped me with HR, sales presentations and being resilient to the struggles most entrepreneurs experience. I’m not ready to retire in 15 years as I feel a second career coming on with this new found passion.

    • Hello Trevor,
      Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

      I am sure others in your situation will find your words encouraging. The fact that you said, “I’m not ready to retire in 15 years as I feel a second career coming on with this new found passion” is prove positive you can keep going as long as you have something to offer and the drive to make it happen.

      Good luck with all your future ventures Trevor.