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

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend -infographic

A ‘greypreneur’ is an older person embarking on an entrepreneur journey later in life. This article, What is a Greypreneur and Why is this a Growing Trend Among Seniors? will shed light on the increasing prevalence of greypreneurship and the unique advantages this demographic brings to the business world.

Here’s a word from Julian Sage about the best remote jobs for seniors that you can check out after reading:

The Growing Impact of Greypreneurs in the Workforce

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend

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 growth of greypreneurs can be attributed to several factors, with longer life expectancy playing a pivotal role. As life expectancy has nearly doubled in the last century, the dynamics of retirement and work are undergoing significant changes.

Here are some key factors driving the growth of greypreneurs, including the role of technology in facilitating their entrepreneurial endeavors:

Increased Life Expectancy

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend - person writing the word life expectancy with green marker on a clear board

One of the primary drivers of the greypreneurship trend is the remarkable increase in life expectancy. Today, people are living almost twice as long as they did just a century ago. With longer life spans, seniors are redefining what it means to age and are embracing the idea of staying active in the workforce.

Multiple Careers

Longer life expectancies mean that individuals are not just settling for one career throughout their working lives. The traditional concept of working in a single profession for decades is evolving. Seniors are exploring multiple careers and seizing opportunities to pursue their passions, leveraging the wisdom and experience they’ve accumulated over the years.

Retirement Redefined

The traditional notion of retiring at the age of 65 is gradually fading away. Many seniors no longer see retirement as the end goal; instead, they want to continue working, contributing, and remaining productive well beyond their supposed retirement age. They find fulfillment in staying engaged with their careers, businesses, or other meaningful pursuits.

Personal Freedom

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend - senior on a yacht enjoying freedom

Planning well for later in life has become more accessible, allowing individuals to have greater control over their post-retirement years. This newfound personal freedom empowers greypreneurs to choose how they want to spend their time and resources. They can pursue their passions without the constraints and pressures associated with early career development.

Contributing to Society

Greypreneurs often seek opportunities to make a meaningful impact on society. They want to use their skills, knowledge, and experience to contribute positively to their communities and industries. This drive to give back and leave a lasting legacy motivates many seniors to continue working and starting their businesses.

Financial Considerations

While some seniors choose to work for the sheer joy of it, others continue working out of financial necessity. The rising cost of living and healthcare, coupled with economic uncertainties, have led many seniors to extend their working years to secure their financial futures.

Leveraging Technology

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend - senior man and wife using a tablet

Technology has played a crucial role in enabling greypreneurs to launch and grow businesses. It has lowered barriers to entry, providing access to online tools, platforms, and resources that simplify tasks like marketing, communication, and financial management. Seniors can leverage technology to reach wider audiences, connect with customers, and operate their businesses efficiently.

Embracing the Gig Economy

Older workers are increasingly embracing the gig economy, where they can take on flexible, short-term jobs and projects. This trend is driven by the desire for independence and the ability to leverage their expertise on their terms. Many older greypreneurs find the gig economy to be a perfect fit, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of self-employment while maintaining a work-life balance that suits their needs.

Takeaways from the Infographic

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

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. Plus, 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. It also means having a nest egg most of the time. Both of which make it much easier to get a loan to start 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?

Tips for Working for Yourself

what is a greypreneur and why is this a growing trend

Let’s finish this out with some tips gleaned from the infographic to help greypreneurs work for themselves:

ConceptualizeDefine Your GoalsClarify what you want from your work, whether it's business ownership or freelance work with established companies.
ResearchMarket ResearchStudy your chosen field or market to understand competitors and identify opportunities for differentiation.
Competitive AnalysisAnalyze what your potential competitors are doing and pinpoint strategies to make yourself stand out in the marketplace.
Make your markEstablish Online PresenceCreate a professional website for your business or utilize platforms like Fiverr or TaskRabbit to enhance your visibility.
Marketing and NetworkingDevelop marketing strategies and build a network of clients or customers to grow your presence and secure work opportunities.

Image: Best Master Programs

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He 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.