Volume 3 / Issue 3 / Pages 3-13 - Papers in the same Issue

Understanding the older entrepreneur: Comparing Third Age and Prime Age entrepreneurs in Finland

Kautonen, T.


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Abstract:
This paper responds to the need for more data on the topical issue of older entrepreneurship by comparing Third Age (50+ years) and Prime Age (20-49 years) entrepreneurs in Finland. The data comprises responses from 839 small firms which were established 2000-2006. The fact that 16% of these firms were founded by individuals aged 50 or over indicates that older entrepreneurship is not a marginal issue, even though the start-up rate in the Third Age population was found to be slightly less than half of that in the Prime Age cohort. Further, the findings point to the need for more empirical, especially qualitative, research on issues related to the social and cultural perceptions of old age and gender as well as different 'pull' motivations leading to entrepreneurship at an older age, which were found to clearly dominate over 'push' motives in this context.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, third age, older entrepreneur, ageing, Finland


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