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More Baby Boomers Than Millennials Describe Themselves as Entrepreneurs

If anyone knows about the times a-changin’, it’s baby boomers, who are using the Internet to pursue encore careers

| BY Donald Liebenson

Baby boomers, who pride themselves on being the generation that thinks out of the box, is not letting age dim their entrepreneurial spirit.

According to a recent survey by and Millennial Branding of 2,828 randomly selected users of the job hunt site, boomers are more entrepreneurial and are less risk-averse than their younger cohorts. Almost half (45 percent) of boomers described themselves as entrepreneurial, compared with 41 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of Millennials. Similarly, 43 percent of boomers identified their risk tolerance as high, compared with 40 percent of Gen Xers and 28 percent of Millennials

Boomers, characteristically, are not going quietly into retirement. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 60 percent of workers ages 60 and over intend to look for a new job after they retire from their current company. Read about it here.

This mondset undoubtably reflects economic realities that are forcing millions to keep working. Read about the obstacles that impede saving for retirement here.

But it also reflects a need among boomers to stay vital and remain productive. Younger workers tend to be drawn to start-ups and smaller companies in order to have more creative freedom and decision making ability, but if anyone knows about the times a-changin’, it’s boomers, and they are utilizing 21st century technology that this generation pioneered to extend and expand their career horizons. 

"The Internet has created unique entrepreneurial opportunities…for all generations of workers," said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, in a statement. "We don’t see the same barriers to entry to starting a new business as we saw 10 years ago. Everyone has the technology to connect and now all you need is an innovative idea and a website to create a startup."

Boomers have other advantages over Millennials is going the entrepreneurial route, namely experience, freer time, and more savings. Revelatory research by Vivek Wadhwa has challenges conventional wisdom of the modern-day entrepreneur. In 2008, the number of business founders over the age of 50 as well as the number of founders over the age of 60 was double the number of founders younger than 20.

The highest rate of entrepreneurial activity, Wadhwa found, had shifted to boomers in the 55-64 age group. That trend continued through 2009, according to a 2012 Kaufmann Foundation study.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.