21 November 2011

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers IV

How I began Part I of this series:

All of a sudden every other news article about Baby Boomers is focused on business and entrepreneurs.

That was in September.  Since then, gobs of others have popped up.  Three good ones:

Boomers Look to Create Jobs, Meet Community Needs
imageStudy finds many aspiring ‘encore entrepreneurs’ undeterred by current financial risks
By Michael S. Fischer
A sizable number of American baby boomers are considering starting businesses or nonprofit ventures over the coming decade, according to new research released Tuesday by Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.

But wait … I thought we were selfish thugs. (This written by someone who buys a lot of shoes.)

A post from 2009:

Me vs. We Redux Redux
Today, Baby Boomers are two or three times removed from being a “me” generation. What constitutes self-actualization when you are twenty-five is different than when you are fifty-five. In your twenties a person thinks they are the picture. As you get older, you see yourself more and more as a picture that is part of a bigger picture.

Talk to some folks in their twenties, thirties. They are now in that ‘me’ stage. It’s healthy, smart for them to be so. I was just like them thirty years ago, get a big bang out of them, admire their boundless creativity, energy – and self-obsession. These ‘me generation’ twentysomethings today will become a ‘we generation’ in thirty years.

So The Shoe Girl will grow up eventually (I hope). 

Boomers Lead and Drive the New Wave of Entrepreneurs
By Martin Zwilling
The Boomer demographic is currently the single largest, mainstream pool of experienced talent in the market today (76 million people strong). They have worked with high technology and computers for at least 20 years, are highly educated, and highly motivated. Last year about 40% of the total workforce was Boomers.

Most surprisingly, according to a report from the Kauffman Foundation, the highest rate of entrepreneurship in America has already shifted to the 55–64 age group, with people over 55 almost twice as likely to found successful companies than those between 20 and 34.

I’m not surprised – but it’s great to see some numbers.  Way back in 2005 (updated in 2007) I wrote a book with huge sections dedicated to Baby Boomer entrepreneurs:

Targets Clients and Entrepreneurs

advbbcoverParamount Market Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.
… Chuck Nyren's egalitarian approach to advertising and the creation of campaigns is all-inclusive. A large section of the book is dedicated to helping Baby Boomer entrepreneurs get their marketing and advertising up and running. The author as well gives advice and guidance to the small businessperson on how to fashion a handmade campaign.

And from The New York Times:

Goodbye, Golden Years
Published: November 19, 2011

imageIT’S counterintuitive, but the forever work life of older Americans may turn out to be a good thing for young workers. The “lump of labor fallacy” envisions an economic order in which there is a fixed amount of work to be done. But we can make more or less, buy more or less, and most important, we can create new lines of enterprise. Over time, growth and innovation can create plentiful new work opportunities. If the economy needed only a lump of labor, the spectacular expansion of America’s female work force would have led to vast male unemployment. But it didn’t. In fact, the number of working women rose by 87 percent in the 25 years between 1975 and 2000, during which time total male employment also increased, by 41 percent…

… America desperately needs more entrepreneurship, and by at least one measure, the elderly are often the most entrepreneurial Americans. Self-employment rises significantly with age.

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers I

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers II

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers III