It is commonly thought that young entrepreneurs have the edge over older ones because of their heightened energy, stamina, and optimism. And while everyone roots for the young man or woman who wants to go out and conquer new worlds, it seems that mature adventurers are either not wanted or not taken seriously. But a recent study is making a strong case that the more mature an entrepreneur is, the better his or her chances are of enduring success.
A paper by Annika Bansal of the Entrepreneur’s Council, Benjamin Jones of the Kellogg School of Technology, and Daniel Kim and Pierre Azoulay of MIT, gives proof that entrepreneurs who are middle-aged and beyond have the most consistent track record of successful enterprises.
Their paper says, in part, that age plays a crucial part in the success of any entrepreneur’s startup — but not because of how young an entrepreneur might be; the experience and insight that come with middle age and the years beyond are greater indicators of success.
Their paper is entitled “Age and High Growth Entrepreneurship” and has been published by MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Taking census data from 1700 new startups, they followed them for a period of one year, and charted the succeed/fail ratio for that time period based on similar background, product, and age groups. The results showed clearly that an entrepreneur 45 years of age and up is much more likely to carry on their business into a second year than those under the age of 45.