The Boomer Business is Booming

The baby-boomer generation – those born between the end of World War II and the British Invasion of the mid-1960s – are nearing or have reached full retirement age. Many boomers, however, are unwilling to take up the rocking chair. Boomer small businesses are a big business.

According to, the 2018 Small Business Trends for Baby Boomers survey of more than 2,600 small-business owners and entrepreneurs held surprises. Retirement age aside, the 50-plus entrepreneur is tapping into work experience, a wide-ranging professional network and financial stability to become business owners.

Here are the findings:

  • Entrepreneurs over age 50 make up more than half of America’s small-business owners; one-third of all small-business owners are between 50 and 59 years old.
  • Forty-two percent of boomers surveyed opened a business to pursue their passion, 36 percent because “the opportunity presented itself” and 22 percent because they were dissatisfied with corporate America.
  • More than two-thirds of business owners over 50 say their companies are profitable.
  • The survey showed the greatest challenge for small-business boomers is lack of capital, with 68 percent identifying this as a problem.
  • More than half of entrepreneurs financed their startups with cash, the survey reports, with more than 25 percent using their 401(k) plans as capital. That put boomers, with healthier retirement funds, at an advantage.

Baby boomers certainly face some challenges, but more experience, more time and more financial resources give the over-50 an edge on younger counterparts when it comes to small-business success stories.


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