wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Older Founders are More Successful (Episode 97)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff discusses a recent study conducted by the Census Bureau and two MIT professors, which found that the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be those in their 40s and 50s and then older.

The researchers compiled a list of 2.7 million company founders who hired at least one employee between 2007 and 2014 and found that the average startup founder was 45 years old when he or she founded the most successful companies.

Even more encouraging, they found that a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company versus a 30-year-old founder, and almost three times more likely than a 25-year-old founder to create a successful company. Additionally, a 60-year-old startup founder is more than three times as likely to find success with his or her startup than a company founded by a 30-year-old.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about the study’s findings:


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WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

To close out our week, I’ve got some good news for us more seasoned, experienced demographic of aspiring entrepreneurs. While we always tend to think of starting a business as an activity in which a mostly younger demographic engages, think again. There’s hope for us, Paul, a recent study of 2.7 million startups found that the ideal age to start a business is much older than you think.

A recent study conducted by the Census Bureau and two MIT professors found that the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be those in their 40s and 50s and then older. The researchers compiled a list of 2.7 million company founders who hired at least one employee between 2007 and 2014 and found that the average startup founder was 45 years old when he or she founded the most successful companies.

Even more encouraging, Paul, they found that a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company versus a 30-year-old founder, and almost three times more likely than a 25-year-old founder to create a successful company.

But the best, Paul, a 60-year-old startup founder is more than three times as likely to find success with his or her startup than a company founded by a 30-year-old.

So, the obvious question is “why?” Well, the study found that while ideas are great, it’s the level of execution that is the primary factor in determining successful outcomes.

Likewise, strategy is great, but it’s the tactics actually deployed that matters most. And it’s the experience base, so the more seasoned demographic is proven to lead to better execution. So, no excuses based on age.

The bottom line, regardless of age, get out there and start it up. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat, brought to you by Dell Technologies, on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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