Good News for Everbloomers: Research Says Age and Gender are In Your Favor

If you’re a woman 45 or older and want to start a business, research shows that your age and your gender are in your favor. Yes, you read that right. In your favor.

A 2018 study conducted by the Census Bureau, in collaboration with Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged--even in the tech sector. And in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old.

In another study, the Kauffman Foundation discovered that the average and median age of U.S.-born tech founders was 39 when they started their companies, yet twice as many were older than 50 as were younger than 25.

A few additional fun facts regarding age:

  • A 50-year-old startup founder is 2.2 times more likely to found a successful startup as a 30-year-old.

  • A 40-year-old startup founder is 2.1 times more likely to found a successful startup as a 25-year-old.

  • A 50-year-old startup founder is 2.8 times more likely to found a successful startup as a 25-year-old founder.

  • A 60-year-old startup founder is 3 times as likely to found a successful startup as a 30-year-old startup founder--and is 1.7 times as likely to found a startup that winds up in the top 0.1 percent of all companies.

When comparing men and women, a study published by the Centre of Entrepreneurs think tank with the support of Barclays Bank revealed some interesting findings. Compared to men, women are better risk takers, less prone to over-confidence and more ambitious. The study also stated that women are better at taking a long-term view and succeed despite facing more barriers than their male counterparts. This led them to conclude that women-run companies may be a better investment than male-run companies.

None of this research existed when I launched Prosper for Purpose in January 2013. But I had a desire to create a business that enabled me to do well by doing good. I had wisdom and skills formed and sharpened by 30 years of experience. I had relationships with people who gave me advice, and then referrals.

I could (and probably will) write blog articles on how each of those contributed to my success, but for now, let me say this: if you want to start business, the only thing holding you back is you.