Baby boomers booming with new businesses

Baby Boomers are at it again – this time, by starting their own businesses.

Baby Boomers are at it again – this time, by starting their own businesses.

In 2012, 23 percent of new businesses launched by people between the ages of 20 and 64 were 55 or older, up from 14 percent in 1996, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which fosters entrepreneurship.

It looks like new ventures blend well with older entrepreneurs, since studies show that more firms started by those aged 45 and older survive for at least four or five years, notes Michele Markey, Kauffman vice president.

Indeed, Markey notes that experience is a good launching pad for an independent business in the same field.

Still, the question, “Is this really a feasible business?” looms large.

Moreover, Boomers who start businesses have some unique considerations, Markey adds. “They need to ask themselves what is their real objective in starting a business, and how long do they foresee operating,” she says.

If, for instance, a Boomer plans to stay in business for just five years, it’s not wise to invest more than can be recouped in that time frame. Or if the hope is to pass a business on to provide an adult child with a livelihood, that child should be involved from the start.

Partnering with the AARP, the Kauffman Foundation now offers 10-week training sessions that address the concerns of the budding Boomer entrepreneur. Markey hopes that many such workshops will be offered annually.

© CTW Features