There’s hope for us baby-boomers yet, according to a survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported in Business Insider. According to the study, people over 35 made up 80 per cent of the total entrepreneurship activity in 2009.
A 2009 Kauffman Foundation survey of 549 startups operating in “high-growth” industries – including aerospace, defence, health care, IT and electronics – and found that people over 55 are nearly twice as likely to launch startups in these sectors.
So it’s not just about youthful energy. The lessons seem to be:
- Utilise your experience of how to succeed, compete effectively in the marketplace and learn from past failures
- Use your broad networks built up over the years – build a team with people whose strengths you know
- Use your (hopefully) greater financial stability and acumen to raise finance and manage the business effectively
In my world of engineering and instrumentation, there are vast stores of knowledge and practical experience built by people who have ‘been there, done that’. Engineering is part learning and part experiential. It’s an important lesson in a rapidly changing economy that we can use this experience to increase our own chances of business success in a new venture.