Senior Australians are becoming the fastest growing segment of new business owners.
Research conducted at Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology interviewed more than 400 people aged over 50 and found they were the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs of all new firms in Australia. The average age of such seniorpreneurs is 57 and more than a third are likely to have started multiple business ventures.
But the study also found that senior Australians becoming new business owners face significant barriers, including ageism, declining health and financial disincentives. The researchers found Australia lacks entrepreneurship polices and initiatives in the 50-plus market, finding that governments tend to focus on younger entrepreneurs.
One of the authors of the report, Dr Rosemary Fisher of Swinburne University recommended, “If we can create an environment to support senior entrepreneurs … then Australia will be better off because less will be needing to draw on pensions, it will help people stay fit and happier into mature years.”
“People do assume entrepreneurship is only a young person’s game,” she says. But Fisher says it’s a narrative that has to change. “Older people are not ‘beyond it’,” she says.
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