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Think you’re too old to be an entrepreneur?

There’s the stereotype of the kid in jeans and a hoodie selling his start-up to Google for a couple of billion dollars – that entrepreneurs are young things in their 20s.

Not so.

Successful entrepreneurs have an idea, a bit of capital and a whole lot of motivation. Youth is by no means the norm.

“The average age of a successful entrepreneur in high-growth industries such as computers, health care, and aerospace is 40. Twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 as under 25. The vast majority — 75 per cent — have more than six years of industry experience and half have more than 10 years when they create their start-up,” Vivek Wadhwa, a Duke University academic found.

Wadhwa’s research also identified that some 70 per cent of entrepreneurs start their companies to capitalise on business ideas that they have as a result of their industry experience.

They have seen a gap in the market, a product idea that would benefit their industry, and in turn – a way to build wealth.

Another study conducted by the Kauffman Foundation in 2009, a US-based foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, surveyed 549 start-ups operating in ‘high-growth’ industries such as aerospace, defense, health care, and computer and electronics.

It found that people over 55 are nearly twice as likely to launch successful start-ups in these industries than their younger counterparts aged between 20 and 34.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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