The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom

This research indicated the United States might be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom—not in spite of an aging population but because of it.

Several facts have emerged in the course of Kauffman Foundation research that indicate the United States might be on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom—not in spite of an aging population but because of it. This study shows that as the economic recession plagues the job market, more and more "baby-boomers" are becoming entrepreneurs. The decline of lifetime employment, the experience and knowledge of the age group, longer lifespan, and the effect of the current recession are all factors contributing to the increase in entrepreneurial activity in the baby boom generation. The study was conducted by Dane Stangler, senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation.

Key findings: In every single 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, averaging a rate of entrepreneurial activity roughly one-third larger than their youngest counterparts.

  • The 20-34 age bracket has the lowest rate of entrepreneurial activity.
  • Long-term employment has fallen dramatically for people ages 35-64 over the past fifty years.
  • With longer life expectancies and greater health in later life, older generations may 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.