The face of the typical startup entrepreneur these days is a bit wrinkly, sporting some gray hair, and having the wisdom that comes with age. But is it a good financial move to start a business late in life?

According to recent research, these days those 55 and over are more likely than young people to be starting businesses, says Professor Scott Shane, writing in BusinessWeek.

He cites research by Dane Stangler of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that showed in every year from 1996 to 2007, Americans aged 55 to 64 had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than those aged 20 to 34.

Corroborating this data, the 2008 U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report released recently showed that from 2007 to 2008, the rate of entrepreneurial activity (that is, people actively starting businesses and people owning established businesses) among senior Americans increased while the rate among younger Americans declined.

Shane also assessed November 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics data on unincorporated self-employment, and found that it increased substantially with age. He also assessed data on incorporated self-employment. Shane found, “The incorporated self-employment rate is four times higher among those aged 65 to 69 than among those aged 25 to 34—and a whopping 25 times higher than among those aged 20 to 24.”

To read full article by Anita Campbell (Small Business Trends), click here.

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