Ideal age to start a business, according to science

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By Our Special Correspondent

Growth prospects for the economy remains weak with businesses citing impact high cost of living. Recently, I stumbled upon a social media video in which an individual was berating folks in their mid-thirties and above for daring to seek employment. Being a science enthusiast who thrives on facts, I wanted to find out if there is a right age for starting a successful business. In this digital age, where trends change faster than seasons, it is easy to get caught up in the notion that youth is the sole currency of innovation. But let us not be too hasty in dismissing the wisdom and experience that comes with a few extra trips around the sun.

The vital elements for a successful business endeavour are the same: passion, persistence, and being innovative. While these qualities are essential, scientific studies have shed light on the significance of age and experience in achieving success. Accumulated knowledge and wisdom gained over time provide a solid foundation upon which to build your business empire.

Experience equips you with the ability to make informed decisions, anticipate potential pitfalls, and navigate complex situations with finesse. Imagine a world without Colonel Sanders, who launched his finger-licking KFC Empire into his 60s. Sanders defied the conventional notion that success is solely for the young. In the realm of entrepreneurship, a question that often arises is the age at which startup founders attain success.

According to, a study of 2.7 million startups showed that entrepreneurs in their 40s and 50s are more inclined to establish successful businesses compared to their younger counterparts. At the same time a 60-year-old start-up founder is three times as likely to found a successful start-up as a 30-year-old! These findings challenge the common perception that youth is a prerequisite for entrepreneurial success. The study suggests that experience and wisdom play a crucial role in the triumph of middle-aged entrepreneurs. With a deeper understanding of industry dynamics and a vast network of professional connections, individuals in their 40s and 50s are better equipped to navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, starting a business knows no age boundaries. The age range of 25 to 34 years is the most popular for beginning a business, followed by 35 to 44 years old. This tendency is in various economies, including Sub-Saharan Africa. The GEM report also indicated that starting a business later in life can bring unique advantages, such as a wealth of experience, strong network, and clearer sense of purpose. However, according to some study, 18 to 28 year-olds may not be the optimum age bracket for establishing enterprises, hence business mentorship is critical.

According to the Founder Institute, 28 and above is a decent age to start a firm, with 35 being the optimal age. Their argument is that 28 to 50 year-olds have some expertise in management, project completion, and company operations. The same study shows that the most productive entrepreneurs start enterprises in industries where they have previously worked or have some expertise. According to various studies, the best age range for starting a business is often between 34 and 45 because they have a wealth of experience and expertise, making them well-equipped to navigate the challenges of running a business.

The optimal age for starting a startup business varies based on personal circumstances, risk tolerance, and experience, as success is on individual merit. Rather than fixating on a specific age, it is more prudent to focus on the qualities and skills that contribute to entrepreneurial triumph. Vision, determination, adaptability, and resilience are just a few of the traits that can propel founders towards success, regardless of their age.

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