“They want to be their own boss,” said Bill Zinke, co-founder of Center for Productive Longevity, a Boulder-based nonprofit. His organization is hosting “Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers” Nov. 15 in Denver.
Lots of factors contribute to the idea that Baby Boomers could start a second career as entrepreneurs, Zinke said. People are living longer – 20 to 30 years longer than just a few decades ago. The economy stinks, making it difficult for Boomers to either stay on at their jobs or find new jobs. Colorado is one of the most entrepreneurial states in the country and small businesses have created 60 percent of all new jobs in the past 20 years.
It’s like a perfect Baby Boomer entrepreneurial storm, Zinke said.
“Entrepreneurship is one way for older people to remain productively engaged,” he said.
In 2010, 26 percent of new businesses were started by people ages 20 to 34; people ages 55 to 64 made up 39 percent of all new business starts. Meanwhile, some of the largest organizations in the country that provide small business services had nothing specific for the older entrepreneur, Zinke said.
Participants of the Boomer entrepreneurial day-long seminar can expect to learn about risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur; strategies for identifying/selecting potential business opportunities; desirability of taking skills/aptitude tests to ascertain how your skills/abilities could be best applied; developing a business plan or business concept statement; and evaluating a business concept.
Boomers are serious about starting their own business, Zinke said. About 70 percent of the 120 participants from the last Boomer entrepreneur meeting said they were very likely or likely to start their own business.
“It’s good for their employment and it’s good for economic growth,” he said.