Sunday, May 17, 2009

Boomer Entrepreneurship Renaissance

A short post this weekend, but something near and dear to my heart.

If we boomers are going to have to work longer, why not work at something we love through our own small businesses?

The most recent Kauffman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity found that the highest rates of entrepreneurship came from people age 55 to 64. Boomers had the highest rate of business creation of any age group in 2008. The only other demographic with higher startup rates were immigrants. Both good stories needing attention.

The Kauffman story breaks down new business startups into high and low income types of businesses. However, I would posit that many boomer startups are not intended to be high growth, big money operations.

Boomer businesses are typically small enterprises based on work the entrepreneur loves and skills and knowledge the boomer entrepreneur has developed over decades. They are typically self-funded and are designed to produce an income or two or three. If it grows from there all the better, but if it reaches these plateaus and can contribute financially in this awful market, good on 'em.

In my work as an economic developer and when I teach startups, I see the boomer demographic most strongly represented as the emerging power in new business creation. They have subject expertise. They have love for a niche. Most importantly they have wide ranging contacts in their field they can turn to as peers.

If we're going to have to work longer, why not be passionate about the work? Why not design the work to fit into our lives rather than vice versa? Why not put those years of hard work to use for ourselves for a change?

Whether you want to do it or need to do it or just are looking for an enriching challenge, you can do it, my boomer friends. There has never been a better time. This is the Renaissance Age of Entrepreneurship and it's just beginning.

We boomers are perfectly positioned to take advantage of it to help ourselves and help the planet. More on this specific subject in upcoming posts….

Kauffman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity highlighting boomer entrepreneurship

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