What is the average age of a successful entrepreneur?

Successful entrepreneur in his office

Researchers state young entrepreneurs may face disadvantages; some may lack experience in running companies, marketing, finance, human resources, and culture. Older entrepreneurs might access greater human capital, social capital, or financial capital.

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Dulce Potanza / TecReview

The process involved in being entrepreneurial is different for everyone. The challenges that each entrepreneur faces on the road to success vary according to the capital, market, customers, among other factors. However, what is the average age at which entrepreneurs can reap the benefits of their work?

A study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed that the average age of a successful entrepreneur in the United States is 45 years.

The researchers examined an extensive database with information from the United States Census Bureau and analyzed data regarding companies histories, as well as the age of their founders.

The data showed that the founders' profiles relate to the industry in which they succeed. For example, those fruitful ventures focused on software development average a 40-year-old founder. On the other hand, in less common markets such as biotechnology, gas or oil the age of success is 47 years.

The researchers state that work experience also plays an important role. Founders with at least three years of experience are 85 percent more likely to succeed than those without relevant previous job experience.

What about the success stories of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? These top tech moguls began their entrepreneurial journey long before the age of 40. The study indicates that entrepreneurs in their early twenties and thirties are not typical examples of success. 

Researchers sustain young entrepreneurs may face disadvantages; some may lack experience in running companies, marketing, finance, human resources, and culture. Older entrepreneurs might access greater human capital, social capital, or financial capital.