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Don’t Be Deterred by Age: Study Suggests Middle-Aged Entrepreneurs Are Most Likely to Be Successful

  • Study suggests that older entrepreneurs are more likely than younger ones to be successful
  • Average successful tech startup founder between 2007 and 2014 was 45 years old
  • Other research suggests similar success rates due to differing qualities benefiting younger and older entrepreneurs

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Age is no impediment to entrepreneurialism, according to a recent study by the Census Bureau and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study found that middle-aged and older company founders were considerably more likely than younger ones to succeed.

The study analyzed 2.7 million company founders who established a business with at least one employee between 2007 and 2014. Findings included:

  • The average successful tech startup founder was 45 years old
  • 50-year-olds were twice as likely as 30-year-olds to be successful
  • 60-year-olds were three times as likely as 30-year-olds to be successful, and 1.7 times as likely to found a company that landed in the top 0.1 percent of all businesses
  • Other research suggests a roughly equal success rate between age groups, with younger entrepreneurs benefiting from qualities such as tech experience and willingness to take on risk while older entrepreneurs have more experience and better access to capital

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