Contrary to the popular idea of entrepreneurial success being that of youngsters who are either college dropouts or IVEY league graduates, Forbes reports that most successful entrepreneurs are older, often in their late thirties, forties, fifties, or even later in life.

The belief that young people are especially capable of coming up with big ideas, whether in scientific research, invention, or entrepreneurship, is widespread and long-held. However, there are other areas where the older population may have the upper hand such as greater access to human, social, or financial capital.

According to an MIT study, the average age of startup founders in the United States is 42 years. Even in the high-tech startup world, which one might expect to be dominated by younger generations, the mean age of founders was 43, and that of founders of the rare ultra-fast growth unicorns (the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing ventures) was 45.

Further, the chances of success were found to increase with age until the age of 60. A 50-year-old founder is twice as likely as a 30-year-old founder to build a thriving enterprise that will either go public or be acquired. Most successful founders even work in corporate and other jobs before starting their venture, in contradiction to the common idea that you need to practice as an entrepreneur to become one. As a parting message, Kumar Mehta, a Forbes Journalist and celebrated author, writes “Your stage of life does not dictate entrepreneurial success; your state of mind does.”

Source: Forbes, MIT


The opinions expresses here in the post "Older People are More Successful at Entrepreneurship, Forbes Discovers" are those of the individua's contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Business Info Ethiopia , BIE Intelligence PLC, its publisher, editor, or any of its other contributors.


Hanna is an aspiring economist in her final year at Addis Ababa University. She has written hundreds of insightful daily stories, analyses, and features about the Ethiopian economy and beyond.

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