Researchers have found that older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs.
Additionally, the study, published in the Journal of Business Venturing showed that age has a positive and significant effect on the success of female entrepreneurs.
"Our findings suggest women should not give up too readily, because their chance of success increases as they move to later life stages, and their perseverance ultimately tends to pay off," said study researcher Hao Zhao from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US.
"Correcting people's negative stereotypes about older entrepreneurs, and encouraging people at later life stages to engage in entrepreneurship, is important," Zhao added.
For the findings, the research team conducted a meta-analysis based on 102 independent samples and determined that the rate of success for people who launch a business in their 20s is the same as for those who become entrepreneurs in their 50s.
According to Zhao, this suggests that, while younger entrepreneurs are generally more adept at inventing new technology and making bold moves, their older counterparts have more wisdom, financial capital, and business connections.
They found that older entrepreneurs have slightly higher satisfaction levels and greater financial success than younger entrepreneurs.
Their only disadvantage is slightly lower growth rates, an artifact of their companies tending to be larger in size.
For those in their 30s and 40s, the prospects aren't quite as good.
The researchers concluded that midlife is a challenging time to start a business. Child care and elder care obligations also require valuable time and financial resources, and entrepreneurs do not have parental leave or daycare benefits.
"Although it is generally commendable to pursue one's entrepreneurial aspiration, we suggest that early mid-life individuals carefully evaluate all of the resources at hand and take a realistic view of this career path before taking the leap," said Zhao.
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