The financial crisis of 2008 drastically changed the employment landscape of America. As a result, many seniors quit their retirement plans and reentered the workforce. But in doing so, they did something quite interesting.

Instead of returning to their old jobs, seniors opened their own businesses. Seniors have since become the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the world.

The U.S. Small Business Administration found that 5.4 percent of seniors are now self-employed, growing from 4.2 percent in 1988. This ran inverse to the rate of the rest of America, which shrank from 7.2 percent in 1988 to 6 percent in 2015.

Why Do Seniors Make Great Entrepreneurs?

One major reason for this business boom is that seniors can be their own boss. In the autonomy of “retirement,” you can set your own hours and work around your own schedule.

With the rise of technology, it’s even become possible to run your business from home. And that’s exactly what most seniors are doing.

Ownership allows seniors to call on their “lifetime of experience” to run their business their way. After a career of hard work, the freedom to make their own calls is a breath of fresh air. With this insight, many are running efficient, successful companies.

Ownership allows seniors to call on their lifetime of experience to run their business their way.

The growth in technology makes it much easier to run a small business. Using the internet, you can contact business partners, share files, and even hold face-to-face meetings.

Websites like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, provide small business owners a virtual storefront. The hurdles for ownership are rarely this low.

Seniors also tend to have greater access to capital than younger Americans, providing the means to set out on their own. It also gives an advantage over younger entrepreneurs in the same industry.

The growth in technology, a lifetime of experience, and access to funding gives seniors an advantage in entrepreneurship.

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Looking at these factors, it’s likely that the wave of entrepreneurship in the 65 and over crowd won’t slow down. As more seniors leave their traditional careers, the trend can and will continue to grow. What a way to retire!

Further Reading

NextAvenue — 10 Tips for ‘Senior’ Entrepreneurs
Senior Planet — Starting Over: The Rise of the Older Entrepreneur
U.S. Small Business Administration — The Ascent of the Senior Entrepreneur