The women of the Baby Boomer generation, the youngest of whom are turning 50 this year, haven’t been the first group who come to mind when thinking about emerging entrepreneurs.
In fact, some marketers and investors make the mistake of believing that Women 50+ don’t want to work especially hard or are slightly out of sync with business trends. But here are the facts: at 50-65 years old, when many men are planning for retirement from full-time work and looking forward to taking on a less demanding vocation or spending time on a hobby, many women — often empty nesters – who have renewed energy for passions and interests are looking for something new to do in the business world.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports a growing number of what it calls “Encore Entrepreneurs” – adults 50+ who are nearing retirement and exploring new opportunities. A large percentage of these are women.
These Boomer women – many of whom had scaled back or sidelined their business careers to focus on raising children and running households — are waking up to renewed energy and interests; and they are polishing up their skills to pour into a new business.
This is great news for marketers in sectors such as Office Supplies, Business Technology, Distance Learning, Financial Services and a host of other product and service categories. Brands that understand the unique values of this newly emergent cohort of entrepreneurial Women 50+ and act decisively to deliver messages and solutions that it values will discover that The Age of Aging presents many such opportunities for fast growth.
The rise of women as entrepreneurs is a shot in the arm for the overall economy, too. According to The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, increased workplace and management diversity leads to more creative products and teams … which in turn leads to healthier businesses that employ more people. Women have emerged as a key driver of this diversity.
There is an “Old Rush” to new businesses led by women; and marketers should pay close attention now. The youngest Baby Boomers turn 50 this year and they are healthier, wealthier and more optimistically entrepreneurial than any previous generation. They are just getting started, again.
“Susan Sandler is a Senior Contributor to BoomAgers. This post first appeared in Media Post’s Engage Boomers column on May 23, 2014.