If we consider the standard age bracket, we have the dependent and the independent age. The young, teenagers and the very old ones fall into the dependent age bracket. No need to second guess why the very old ones are classified in the dependent bracket.
They depend on the independent bracket; therefore, they are not expected to be entrepreneurs.
Recently, elderly persons, these days, are seen to be embarking on an entrepreneurial journey in the latter part of their life. They appear to be the new entrepreneurs in town and they are called greypreneurs.
Predictions are coming in, on what to expect in the future of the workforce and it is also coming with challenges that greypreneurs would face, as they would be in fierce competition with the younger and more virile entrepreneurs.
In the United States, estimates indicate that 4 in 5, in the generation of baby boomers, would keep on working in old age because of financial needs. At that age bracket, they are expected to have retired or got prepared to retire, but indications show otherwise.
The challenges that a greypreneur would face, cannot be discounted, but opportunities appear to be open for those who can seize the moment.
Note that senior citizens have some comparative advantage over young entrepreneurs, in terms of skills required to pull sales through, knowledge about the industry and to cap it all, reliable credit, to obtain a loan.
Brian Wallace, CEO of Nowsourcing noted that “Staying ahead of the curve, doesn’t necessarily mean learning a whole new skill set — quite the contrary, in fact. For older workers with industry seniority, these years of experience, go a long way and though short-sighted employers would rather ignore the benefits of this experience, it is possible to make it work on your own terms instead.”
What has been the drive for the greypreneur movement? In advanced countries, life expectancy appears high, which is an indication that has shown that people might live longer. Long life awareness might have seen the upsurge in the drive.
Here in Africa, the retirement age of between 60 and 65, are receiving negative nudges, from the people concerned. Senior citizens feel the need to be productive and contribute positively to the output of their respective economies. This will not make many of these senior citizens retire soon.
Some of them have worked as non-entrepreneurs throughout their time in the service, as employees, but they have plans to pursue what appears to be a new found career path. This hidden passion can, however, be wholly expressed, as the dream of becoming a greypreneur is realized.
Do not be surprised that, these greypreneurs are forming a group, to commence their own small businesses, engaging in some freelance jobs, while using their large network to make gainful connections.