More Older Americans Take On Entrepreneurship Ventures, According To U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

by January 8, 2010

Older just may be wiser when it comes to U.S. entrepreneurs. New research shows that entrepreneurial behavior among older Americans (44-99) rose significantly in 2008. Younger adults in the 18-44 age range–traditionally the hotbed of US entrepreneurial activity–reduced their entrepreneurial activity in 2008. This shifting pattern is a key finding in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2008 National Entrepreneurial Assessment for the United States of America, produced by Babson College and Baruch College.

Babson College Entrepreneurship Professor and GEM author Julio O. de Castro, believes the increase in entrepreneurial activity by older Americans presents some interesting questions to consider in the next GEM report. “Is this a temporary or permanent trend? Or just a reaction to the economic recession?” asks de Castro.

U.S. GEM found that:

There was a marked decrease in Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) for the 18-24 age group (10.5% vs. 14% in 2007), but TEA in the older age groups (45-99) increased 7.8% in 2008.

The share distribution of the established business owner decreased a total 9.6% for the 18-44 age group while it increased 9.6% for the 45-99 age group in 2008 compared to 2007.

Younger adults in the 18-44 age range have higher prevalence rates in early stage activity, while older adults in the 45-99 age range have higher prevalence rates in established business activity.

To view the report, visit or

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