The reason why senior Australians are starting businesses
LaTrobe University Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr Alex Maritz, who was involved with both studies and who is one of the country’s leading authorities on senior entrepreneurship, says that while entrepreneurs may be pulled or pushed into self-employment, their entrepreneurship is often not just an economic phenomenon; with research showing it helps keep them mentally stimulated and stay physically active while also lifting their self-confidence.
With a lifetime of experience behind them, starting a business as a late-career alternative means active seniors have many advantages over their younger cohorts when it comes to founding and then operating their own businesses.
Dr Maritz says active seniors are more capable of starting a business than their younger peers, are also more productive and have more developed networks.
“They have better business experience, superior technical and managerial skills and are in a stronger financial position than younger entrepreneurs.”
Dr Maritz says tech-savvy boomers also add significant impact to emerging technologies on the creative economy.
“Senior entrepreneurs turn their creativity into business value and growth by starting new businesses in their prime of life.”
Dr Maritz cautioned however, that it wasn’t all smooth sailing for those active seniors wishing to launch their own business, arguing that often they faced the same barriers to entry as younger competitors.
His own research into the topic had shown that the types of concerns voiced by active seniors in regards to launching their own start up included:
• complex administrative procedures and government ‘red tape’,
• attitudes and stereotypes others hold of seniors — ‘ageism’,
• a lack of belief in one’s own capabilities,
• a lack of information on how to start a new business,
• a lack of awareness created by government.
Yet despite this, SeniorPreneurs who were prepared to take the plunge found themselves competing in a world of sectors without borders, he says, and are therefore more active in digital reinvention.
“As digital technologies penetrate industries, boomers are at the forefront to continue its advances by launching new start-ups,” he says.
Original article from Chapter Magazine.
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