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Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman: Old(er) = Entrepreneur

Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman: Old(er) = Entrepreneur  

The archetypal entrepreneur is a strapping 20-something. But we shouldn’t count out Baby Boomers as the next innovators.

Dane Stangler, senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation, uncovered these facts in some recent Kauffman Foundation research:

  • In every year from 1996 to 2007, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than those aged 20-34.
  • The 20-34 age bracket has the lowest rate of entrepreneurial activity.
  • With longer life expectancies and greater health in later life, older generations might continue to start new firms or mentor young entrepreneurs.
  • Since the first internet-era recession, transaction costs and barriers to entry have fallen for entrepreneurs of every age.

This should be affirming news for life science entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs in healthcare are usually older because of the advanced degrees required for researchers and physicians who will be among those to launch new medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Stangler’s study, meanwhile, showed that many of these new entrepreneurs are starting companies due to the effects of the economic recession, the decline of lifetime employment, longer lifespans, and the experience and knowledge of the age group.

Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman is a regular feature on eMed highlighting insightful research from the Kauffman Foundation. Do you have a favorite Kauffman research insight that could help life science entrepreneurs? Send it to

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