Time to embrace the older, more experienced entrepreneur

Angela de Souza makes the case for the business world to acknowledge the skills, competence and influence of women over the age of 50

Time to embrace the older, more experienced entrepreneur

In a world where youth is often equated with innovation and success, the notion of entrepreneurship has long been associated with young, ambitious individuals. However, recent research by Penn State University challenges this conventional wisdom. This research shed light on the remarkable potential of 50-year-old entrepreneurs. 

According to the study, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is 1.8 times more likely to achieve entrepreneurial success than a founder in their 30s. This ground-breaking revelation not only underscores the untapped potential of older entrepreneurs, but it also suggests there needs to be a critical re-evaluation of age bias in the business world.

For far too long, women in their 50s and above have been marginalised and overlooked in entrepreneurial circles. This group of people have tended to be overshadowed by younger counterparts who are perceived as more dynamic and adaptable. 

Yet, the Penn State study disrupts and disputes this narrative. Instead, it illuminates the invaluable experience, wisdom and resilience that mature women bring to the entrepreneurial landscape.  Therefore, it’s time for the business world to recognise and celebrate the immense contributions made by older entrepreneurial women – and embrace their strengths.

One of the most significant advantages that a 50-year-old entrepreneur offers is their wealth of experience. After decades in the workforce, they have amassed a treasure trove of knowledge and skills across various domains: From leadership and decision-making, to problem-solving and risk management. These seasoned professionals possess a depth of expertise that is totally unparalleled. 

Their extensive professional networks, along with industry insights, also provide invaluable resources for navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship. In other words, they are better placed than most to secure funding and forge strategic partnerships.

Moreover, older women bring a level of maturity and emotional intelligence that is indispensable in today’s fast-paced business environment. Years of ‘life experience’ have honed their ability to navigate challenges with grace and resilience. This group of people have weathered storms and overcome setbacks with unwavering determination. 

Their seasoned perspectives have enabled them to approach entrepreneurship with a strategic mindset. They possess knowledge and experience in abundance, making it easier to weigh-up risks and opportunities.

In an era marked by volatility and uncertainty, these qualities are invaluable assets for driving sustainable growth and long-term success. Furthermore, women over 50 have a sense of purpose and passion that transcends the chase to make mere profits.

Many embark on entrepreneurial ventures driven by a desire to make a meaningful impact on society. And this can be achieved by adopting their skills and resources to address important social and environmental challenges. 

Whether it’s launching a sustainable fashion brand, or developing innovative healthcare solutions, or empowering under-served communities; these trailblazing women are redefining the role of business. These women view their entrepreneurial work as being a force for positive change. 

Their commitment to purpose-driven entrepreneurship fosters a culture of social responsibility within the business community. Despite their undeniable potential, older entrepreneurs continue to face barriers and biases, based on age and gender. From funding disparities, to limited access to mentorship and support networks, this group of people encounter obstacles that hinder their entrepreneurial journey. 

The myth of youth, often regarded as the epitome of innovation, is a culture that remains in force today within the world of business. This tends to marginalise older entrepreneurs, particularly women, which ultimately deprives society of their invaluable contributions. It’s time for this to change, and time for business to value the power of 50-year-old women entrepreneurs. 

Instead of viewing age as a liability, we must recognise it as being a distinct advantage. Age and experience = wisdom and resilience. Businesses, investors and policymakers must actively challenge age and gender bias. They need to create inclusive ecosystems that support the diverse talents and aspirations of women of all ages.

In conclusion, the recent research undertaken by Penn State University underscores the immense potential of women entrepreneurs in driving innovation and economic growth.

It’s time for business to start showing respect to older women. The moment has arrived to recognise their invaluable assets. By embracing their unique strengths, experiences and perspectives, we can unleash a new era of entrepreneurial excellence on the world of business. It’s time for a more equitable and inclusive future.

Angela De Souza
Angela De Souza

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