The Myth of the Young Entrepreneur

Are there as many tech-savvy youths starting their own businesses as we think?

Written by Staff

Changes in technology seem to be creating a wave of younger entrepreneurs in the business world. The idea that everyone has the potential to become the next Mark Zuckerberg if they have a great idea is sustaining many an underemployed youth.

But according to a new study from the Kauffman Foundation, older entrepreneurs (aged 35 to 44) are now 30% more common than younger ones in (aged 20 to 34) in the United States.

The research and policy centre’s data shows that the youngest age group (20 to 34) experienced large decreases in entrepreneurial activity from 2011 to 2012, as did those ages 45 to 54. Apparently the latest wave in entrepreneurial activity in the States is coming from the 55 to 64 age group. This age group represented 14.5% of new entrepreneurs in 1996 and is up to 23.4% as of 2012.

The report measured the rate of individuals creating incorporated and unincorporated businesses each month as a percentage of adult, non-business owners at the start of that month. The Kauffman Foundation has an interactive infographic of all the latest data, including a handful of demographics, age included.

The report doesn’t include any data for Canada, and Statistics Canada’s numbers only go up to 2007. Those stats show 3% of small business owners were under 30 in 2007.

What has happened since? At least in Ontario, “youth” are currently entering the marketplace (just in that province) at three times the rate of entrepreneurs over 45. That’s according to the  Ontario’s ministry of economic development, trade and employment.

On last year’s ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, 38 CEOs were aged 35 and under—nearly one-fifth of the total. And, on last year’s PROFIT HOT 50 ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies, 18 of the 50 CEOs—more than one-third—were aged 35 and under.

What do you think? Are there as many young, enterprising individuals in Canada as we think? Leave your comments below or send us an email.

Read The Start-Up Decade

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com