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Encore Entrepreneurs

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Did you know...

The average age of entrepreneur is 42. And the average age of high growth one is 45. 


About 9-10% of adult Americans are starting new business ideas. the period in life when one has completed an education, has an experience base and often has preliminary seed capital to invest in a new venture idea.

In fact, Encore Entrepreneurs are now the largest segment creating new start-up companies, according to The Kaufman Index and also the Small Business Administration.

According to nonprofit group Project Equity, individuals born between 1946 and 1964 own over 2.34 million small businesses, employing almost 25 million people nationwide.

“Older entrepreneurs comprise an overlooked demographic group and require more resources and support services, said Jonathan Bowles, the executive director of the Center for an Urban Future.” Bowles went on to mention that New York City should create an incubator program that is tailored form them, including with start-up funds because often, although older prospective entrepreneurs have ideas and the desire, they lack the resources and even the confidence to do it.

Nonetheless, they face a mix of opportunity and challenge.


Older entrepreneurs often enjoy the advantages of professional and personal experience. One study, in fact, noted that a background in a specific industry predicts greater entrepreneurial success.

Using U.S. Census Bureau data to investigate the link between age and high-growth entrepreneurship, researchers found middle-aged entrepreneurs the most likely to succeed, even though many investors seem to favor youthful founders.

Among the findings, researchers calculated a mean age of 45 among the 1,700 founders of the fastest-growing new ventures examined, or the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing firms. Results were similar for high-tech sectors, entrepreneurial hubs and successful firm exits.


The silver lining is that established business rates increase with age, peaking among 55 to 64 year olds, reflecting the quality and survivability of businesses undertaken by the mature population. As people grow older, they feel that they have accumulated the knowledge, experience and capability to start a new venture is prepared and has what it takes to start a business. It relates to perceived self-efficacy and competence to control outcomes and processes in a situation, especially where persistence is required.

These aspiring entrepreneurs have an average of 31 years of work experience and 12 years of community involvement. Five out of six (85 percent) report significant management experience – 15 years on average. In the US, Total Entrepreneurial Activity there are about 7 women entrepreneurs for every 10 men.

Necessary, because a new business startup is directly linked to human capital resources: which include education, experience, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions. These qualifications make up the knowledge and skills that lead to useful advantages for an older entrepreneur. The confidence in one’s ability to start a business, hinges on what they bring to the table as well as their beliefs about the attractiveness of an opportunity, and their motivations to pursue it. 

"Fear of failure drops as age increases, indicating that older people perceive they have less to lose or that have a cushion to absorb risk with their skillset and knowledge."


More than 12 million of these aspiring entrepreneurs are potential encore entrepreneurs who want to make a positive social impact as well as a living.




Many encore entrepreneurs launch a business in the same industry that they’ve worked in for years. As employees of other companies, they often discover an inefficiency or market need that no one is adequately addressing.


But, getting up to speed in the many competencies required to run a business is one of the most challenging aspects of being an entrepreneur, especially when many are running their businesses by themselves.  Having access to easy, inexpensive educational classes in finance and accounting, marketing, people management, and business planning is important to improve their chances for success. 


Also, there are not enough peer-level role models, community or professional networks, or mentors available to help guide them through entrepreneurship.

Mentors are invaluable sources of guidance and confidence building.

Some even provide real commercial impact by facilitating introductions to potential customers and helping them build business networks in new markets.

Knowing an entrepreneur has been shown to have a positive influence on aspiring ones  own ambitions: offering examples, role models, advisors and collaborators to inspire and support their efforts. Unfortunately, older entrepreneurs are less exposed to others like them or network opportunities that could help them with future startup activities.

You are among other great entrepreneurs ready to get started.

  • In a study from MetLife Foundation, one in four Americans ages 44 to 70 expressed interest in starting their own business or nonprofit in the next five to 10 years.

  • Encore entrepreneurs make great founders because they have experience, connections, and valuable business skills. In fact, the respondents in the MetLife study who were interested in launching a business had an average of three decades of work experience and more than a decade of management experience.

  • Arming yourself with information is the key to success as an encore entrepreneur. We’ll cover all of the steps to starting a business as a second career, plus you’ll hear from others, like you, who have already forged the path and made their dreams of entrepreneurship a reality.  

  • Encore entrepreneurs may struggle with learning the operational side of their business. If you are starting a new business in the same industry that you’ve worked in for many years, then you have built up a huge repository of knowledge and experience. But there are a lot of other responsibilities that come with running a business that you’ll have to master as well.

  • To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to constantly exercise the learning side of your brain. Expect to invest a lot of time upfront taking courses and learning new things: you’ll find that this is a never-ending process.


  • Becoming an entrepreneur can be both the biggest opportunity and challenge of a lifetime. If you are launching a business later in life, there are several things working in your favor. You have more experience and knowledge to draw from, more connections to help you get going, and more money stocked away to help you achieve your goals.

You just need someone beside you, reminding you of that; while giving you additional support and tools to get you where you want to go just a little faster.


That's what The Encore Initiative is all about.

It is a strategy and planning platform for early stage startups; focusing on putting together game plan strategies, business modeling, brand development and market launches. We help healthy startups grow from the ground... up!


We love navigating the arc of entrepreneurism. We enjoy challenging you to see your business from all sides, to rearrange and rebundle it if necessary, to reconnect your thinking in new ways so your idea today can thrive tomorrow. When you are ready to write your story, we will start with a blank piece of paper.

We have helped build technology businesses, launch publications, develop products, raise financing, map out strategic plans, craft impactful narratives, establish partnerships, manage editorial pipelines, design apps, set research priorities, roll out innovation programs, earn audiences, and inspire teams to challenge the status quo.

An “encore” entrepreneur — or a second-career entrepreneur — is someone who has run businesses for others and now building their own business from the ground up.


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