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Entrepreneurship Is “Boom-ing”

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

“Economists know that entrepreneurship will drive the economy back to health, but many people may be surprised to learn that the baby boom generation is behind the wheel, according to a new study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.”

As detailed in this recent Kauffman Foundation press release, the findings of our latest study, "The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom," show that the most active segment of our population – entrepreneurially speaking – is the Baby Boomer segment.  While the common perception of today’s “new entrepreneur” is typically a 20-something wünderkind, dropping out of college, and dropping in on the business world – think of headline-makers like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – the reality is actually probably best described as “that kid’s dad.”

With many (and I use this term reluctantly, painfully) “older” adults finding themselves directionless, at the crossroads of their career and our uncertain economy, they’re turning to entrepreneurship – and leveraging their lifetime of business experience to achieve success.  As one expert put it, entrepreneurship is booming, “not in spite of an aging population, but because of it.”

And that’s potentially good news for the nation, the economy and the “E=R: Entrepreneurs = Recovery” Campaign.  According to Kauffman’s Vice President of Research and Policy, Robert E. Litan, "the fact that the largest age group of our population is also the most entrepreneurial bodes well for the United States' economic future."  So while the bright young minds behind iTunes and Napster may be getting all the front page ink (or “home page pixels,” if that metaphor is too outdated for you), it appears that when it comes to entrepreneurship, there’s still a thing or two they can learn from the Woodstock generation.

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