Benefits of Being an Older Entrepreneur
Published on: 07.09.2022
Youthful appearance is highly coveted and those who look younger than their age are considered blessed. Yet such a trait can turn into a disadvantage as soon as a younger-looking person enters a professional work environment. What happens is that many people struggle to be taken seriously because of their baby-face traits even though they have got the required experience and skills.
The correlation between stereotypes of physical appearance and labor market opportunities is a common occurrence all over the world. This puts the spotlight on the different age groups’ perspectives on ageism. Too young to manage others, too old to run an online business, these are common comments people face about what others think they can’t do at a certain age.
When people believe that skills have no gender and equality has no age in the workplace, entrepreneurship is a solution that erases stereotypes.
Reframing our thinking on age and entrepreneurship
It takes more than a garage and a college dropout
One of the winners of the CEC 2021 said that one is never too young or too old to have a new dream. Success has no age. Stories of outstanding entrepreneurs bringing positive change to the world are the same way inspirational, whether they are about teenagers or people in retirement.
Online data show that the age of billion-dollar company founders varies from 18 to over 65 years old. Findings on the median age of successful founders differ in various research and surveys depending on the industry. Yet the common finding is the same, age doesn’t matter. This means that older people can be as successful as younger entrepreneurs, and vice-versa.
Anyone can identify themselves with the opportunity that entrepreneurship offers
Many are convinced that age is only a state of mind. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how young or old one is when one feels like that time has arrived to start working on a specific goal. Specifically, after a huge unexpected event like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that life doesn’t follow well-defined scenarios. It’s naïve to think that a successful life means to have ticked all boxes in a list of achievements before a certain age.
Probably children would say that success is something that people magically find somewhere around the ‘antique’ age of 30. But what would be the fun of achieving the peak of success at 30? Then what?
Things like COVID-19 might happen. They affect people of all ages and social backgrounds.
Millions of people lost their jobs in the COVID recession. Some were too young to retire, and others were a couple of years from retirement age. While many older workers struggled to find a solution or to adapt to new technologies to carry on with their tasks, others found a silver lining in the pandemic situation. They launched their own businesses. Either forced to do something or considering it as a long waited opportunity to follow their own goals. Just like for young people, entrepreneurship has many benefits for older people too.
Older entrepreneurs are seasoned businesspersons
Success doesn’t happen overnight but all the life experience, skills, knowledge, network, social connections, and other factors can make it sure that it happens. These are among those benefits that come with age and time. People at certain age know more about markets, or how to manage people and finances. These are all skills that require some experience. A younger startup founder might feel overwhelmed when learning to do almost a little of everything at the same time.
Even though the Venture Capital industry can be biased towards older founders or female founders, the people who already have gained a certain capital or make up the majority of the population are over 35 (the elderly in the tech industry). Due to their experience and expertise, it can be easier for older foulders to gain the trust of customers and creditors.
More time and energy?
Maybe older founders might not have more energy than younger people, but they can win in terms of time availability. Young startup founders are coveted because they don’t tend to have obligations such as family or children. The same can apply to older founders who have already taken care of their children’s education and other personal responsibilities.
Moreover, older people tend to have a better life-work balance. They budget more towards leisure and know the importance of dividing the time spent at work and the time spent with their families.
Although some might require more time to perform certain tasks, they do it more accurately.
Pursuing a passion and turning it into a career
When asked about their biggest regrets, older people rank:
Not following their passions
Worrying too much in general
Caring too much about what others think
Being afraid to do the things they liked
Partnership with junior/senior for a great combination
Every company or startup can benefit from a diverse workforce in terms of age, culture, gender, education, etc. Such combinations can help against discrimination in the workplace while providing meaningful work for everyone.
The likelihood of entrepreneurial success rises with age
No matter at what age one gets started with entrepreneurship, research has shown that they get better and better with age.
If you have an idea or project that can’t wait for you to get a certain experience or education, submit it to the Citizen entrepreneurship Competition 2022. Entries are welcomed both in the youth and adult categories. You are still in time to apply. The deadline for entries is September 15th. In the meantime, you can give a boost to your knowledge and skills, with our free online entrepreneurship training. You can learn while increasing your network of like-minded change makers from different regions of the world.
Read also: What Makes Someone a Good Entrepreneur?