This is the Best Age to Start a Business
Money

This is the Best Age to Start a Business

by Kit Warchol
Photos Jenn Anibal | March 24, 2016

IF YOU’RE DREAMING OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS OR COMPANY BUT HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START, DON’T WORRY, YOU HAVE TIME.

We all love the stories about women who reached entrepreneurial domination status in their twenties. Lauren started Career Contessa at 27, and last week we published an interview with Toni Ko, who made her first million from NYX Cosmetics at the ripe age of 25.

That can feel a bit daunting if you dream of owning your own business, but are still just trying to make rent. We bring good news: if you’re still getting there (whether that means you’re running a humble side hustle or that you’re still working for someone else), your twenties aren’t necessarily the ideal time to start a venture.

A recent study shows that women tend to start businesses most often in their early- to mid-careers, meaning that you’ve got a window of ages 24-44 to work with if you’re trying to keep up with the solopreneurs. In fact, most entrepreneurs (men and women) launch their businesses after age 35. {click to tweet}

WHY 35?

Because beginning then, we’re confident, connected, and in control—at least, we think we are. And that’s the key.

According to the study, this is the age when people tend to start mostly “opportunity-driven,” rather than “necessity-driven,” businesses. In real talk terms, that means more people are carefully planning passion projects—and executing them more —once they’ve hit 35 than they are at, say, 22 or 24. That’s thanks in large part to personal perception.

The study also found that (big surprise) women tend to believe in their own capabilities less than men do.

Between the ages of 35 and 44, there’s a steady uptick in positive vibes. Really. Those polled in that age group believed they had more opportunities available to them and that they were more capable of landing those opportunities when they found them compared to younger groups. Evidently, it’s about who you know, but it’s also about who you think you could know. {click to tweet}

WHY 35 CAN ACTUALLY HAPPEN ANYTIME

Confidence comes through experience so it makes sense that starting a business when you’re slightly older is on trend. You’re probably bolder and, in certain ways, less risk averse since you're more aware of your capabilities—and that confidence propels you forward. You’ve also grown a network and feel more connected and supported. But in the end, age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

The study also found that (big surprise) women tend to believe in their own capabilities less than men do. In fact, “men are nearly one-third more likely to believe that they have the ability to start a business than women” and “[that] difference among the genders is similar across all age groups.”  If we were as optimistic about our chances as our male counterparts, starting a company at a younger (or older!) age would be less of a daunting possibility.  

 [35] is the age when people tend to start mostly “opportunity-driven,” rather than “necessity-driven,” businesses.

We’ll leave you with another interesting fact: the study found a dramatic drop in men starting businesses at age 44, but that drop isn’t as significant for women, who start businesses at a higher rate (proportionally speaking) later in life. Guess Martha Stewart isn’t the only one starting an empire at 49.  

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What do you think about the breakdown of ages when it comes to starting a business? Fact or fiction?