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This paper studies the relationship between senior entrepreneurship propensity (entrepreneurship of the elderly) and national entrepreneurial context, in the European countries that exhibit either high or low levels of senior entrepreneurship. We focus on European countries that participated in Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in 2013. We use GEM data as the main data source for our analysis. Firstly, we analyse the propensity of senior entrepreneurship on the national level, in order to create two clusters (high and low ones) based on the senior entrepreneurial activity. These clusters are then studied separately, compared and analysed based on their entrepreneurial environment. In order to assess the state of the national entrepreneurial environment, we use the GEM evaluation of key Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions, which are evaluated by GEM National Expert Survey. We thereafter compare the quality and profile of entrepreneurial environment based on the framework conditions in each of the created clusters and study similarities and differences both within the clusters and between them. In the further analysis, we investigate which of the entrepreneurial conditions and to what extent might play the role in influencing the senior entrepreneurial activity propensity in both high-activity and low-activity clusters.
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Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
Available online at
2212-5671 © 2014 Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of ECE 2014
doi: 10.1016/S2212-5671(14)00375-X
Enterprise and the Competitive Environment 2014 conference, ECE 2014, 6–7 March 2014, Brno,
Czech Republic
Senior entrepreneurship in the perspective of European
entrepreneurial environment
Anna Pilkovaa, Marian Holienkaa, Jan Rehaka,
aFaculty of management, Comenius University, Bratislava, Odbojárov 10, 82005
This paper studies the relationship between senior entrepreneurship propensity (entrepreneurship of the elderly) and national
entrepreneurial context, in the European countries that exhibit either high or low levels of senior entrepreneurship. We focus on
European countries that participated in Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in 2013. We use GEM data as the main data
source for our analysis. Firstly, we analyse the propensity of senior entrepreneurship on the national level, in order to create two
clusters (high and low ones) based on the senior entrepreneurial activity. These clusters are then studied separately, compared
and analysed based on their entrepreneurial environment. In order to assess the state of the national entrepreneurial environ ment,
we use the GEM evaluation of key Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions, which are evaluated by GEM National Expert
Survey. We thereafter compare the quality and profile of entrepreneurial environment based on the framework conditions in each
of the created clusters and study similarities and differences both within the clusters and between them. In the further analysis,
we investigate which of the entrepreneurial conditions and to what extent might play the role in influencing the senior
entrepreneurial activity propensity in both high-activity and low-activity clusters.
© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of ECE 2014.
Keywords: Senior entrepreneurship; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; Entrepreneurial environment;
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +421-949-805225
E-mail address:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of ECE 2014
524 Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
1. Introduction
In the recent years, mainly due to the socio-demographic changes, rising unemployment and aging population in
Europe, an increased attention is paid to the issue of inclusive entrepreneurship. Inclusive entrepreneurship support
is aimed at underprivileged groups of population, such as women, youth, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities,
and seniors, thus aiding them to participate in entrepreneurial activities. The common goal of inclusive
entrepreneurship initiatives is to ensure that all people, regardless of their characteristics and socio-economic
background, have an equal opportunity to start and manage their own business (OECD/European Commission,
2013). On one hand there are various policies and initiatives aimed at promotion and support of inclusive
entrepreneurship on national as well as on European level. On the other hand, these issues are raising the attention of
researchers, who try to explain specific aspects of the above mentioned groups of potential entrepreneurs, as well as
understand what drives them to start businesses, and which factors play key roles in influencing the propensity of
entrepreneurship in these groups. Our research objective is to study senior entrepreneurship and national
institutional frameworks in European countries to identify differences between two clusters of countries with high
and low senior entrepreneurial activities.
2. Literature Review
Senior entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurship of the elderly population, forms an integral part of inclusive
entrepreneurship, since seniors (in the entrepreneurship literature usually aged 5564 years old) are considered to be
underprivileged mainly due to age discrimination (Loretto and White, 2006). The reasons to support seniors in order
to consider entrepreneurship as an option before and during retirement are abundant. The untapped potential situated
in the senior cohort, and the possibilities to shift pressure from social and retirement funds are just the tip of the
iceberg (OECD/European Commission, 2013, Wainwright and Kibler, 2013). The analysis of Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS, 2011) calculated that if every adult in Britain worked for one more year,
delaying retirement, it would contribute an extra £13bn to the economy. Economic effects of senior entrepreneurship
are the subject of analysis in a number of studies. The main conclusion is that senior entrepreneurship brings both
social and economic benefits not only to the senior cohort but to the society as such (Curran and Blackburn, 2001;
Singh and DeNoble, 2003; Weber and Schaper, 2004; Halabinsky, Potter and Kautonen, 2012). Even though senior
entrepreneurship is not necessarily creating innovative and high growth businesses that has the potential to affect
economic growth, this kind of entrepreneurship is still valid in the alleviation of the negative pressure on the
retirement funds and social security funds, creates job opportunities for unemployed (Kautonen, Down and South,
2008). On the other hand, there has been found a positive relationship between the economic growth as well as
surplus in the social security funds and senior entrepreneurship among the states in the USA. Also a pattern was
discovered that senior entrepreneurs tend to retire later than senior employees (Ting Zhang, 2008).
In the literature senior entrepreneurship is studied from many perspectives. Firstly, seniors are studied not only
as potential entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurship in this age group is seen as a way to retain seniors in active work
force (Curran and Blackburn 2001; Sing and De Noble 2003; Weber and Schaper 2004; Kautonen et al. 2008).
Entrepreneurial experience provides seniors with skills and attitudes, which can help them find employment
opportunities even if the enterprise fails in the long term (OECD/European Commission 2013).
Seniors are in general less disposed to engage in the entrepreneurial activity due to health issues, time allocation
preferences, and various other reasons (Curran and Blackburn 2001; Singh and DeNoble 2003, Levesque
and Minniti, 2006), and the percentage of seniors starting a new business is about the half of the amount of young
people starting a business (Hart et al. 2004; Kautonen 2008). Recent research (Kautonen et al. 2013) suggests that
the relationship between the age and the tendency to engage in entrepreneurial activity depends to a great extent on
the heterogeneous preferences of an individual regarding his work life. In the group of individuals with the
preferences to run and invest in own business (owner-managers), the effect of age on entrepreneurial propensity is
described by an inverse U-shape, culminating at 48 years of age, which corresponds with the traditional view on the
declining propensity in senior entrepreneurship. On the contrary, in the group, where individuals aspire to become
self-employed, or do not anticipate hiring employees, the tendency to become entrepreneurial increases with age
Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
almost linearly. In the group of reluctant entrepreneurs (those pushed in the entrepreneurship by necessity), the
effect of age on their entrepreneurial activity is marginal.
Senior entrepreneurs can benefit from accumulated human capital through work experience (Botham and Graves,
2009), but the relevance of former work experience for entrepreneurial predispositions depends on the nature of the
experience (Weber and Schaper, 2004), since former entrepreneurial or managerial experience has naturally a higher
impact than industrial worker experience (Kautonen, Down and South, 2008; Kautonen et al., 2010). Based on this
distinction, a study by the Age UK (2012) suggests that 5 years after the business foundation, 70 % of ventures
established by senior entrepreneurs were still in operation compared to 28 % of enterprises established by younger
entrepreneurs. We must add that the relationship between age and the survival of the started businesses is studied
from various points of view and studies reveal slightly different possible explanations (Patel and Grey, 2006; Green
et al. 2008). This can be due to the fact that unemployment negatively affects the quality of human capital, and
therefore the seniors that are in the pre-retirement age, and find themselves unemployed have lower probability to
start a successful business (Hart et al. 2004, Kautonen et al. 2008). Another area of study regarding the senior
entrepreneurs is social capital, where seniors are expected to have broader networks personal contacts that might
facilitate the start and operation of a venture (Bacus and Human 1994; Alizadeh, 2000; De Bruin and Firkin, 2001),
but the reach of such networks declines with age and the relevance of network depends on the former work
experience of the individual (Botham and Graves, 2009).
Accumulated financial capital can have both positive and negative effect on the propensity of senior
entrepreneurship. On one hand it can facilitate the start of a new venture, but can have a negative effect on the
motivation, since the individual is no longer dependent on revenue stream (Webster and Walker 2005; Singh
and DeNoble 2003; Kilber et al. 2011). The entrepreneurial motivations in the senior cohort can be described by the
“push” and “pull” motives (McClelland et al. 2005; Webster and Walker 2005; Kautonen 2008). In this age group,
the motives can vary from the realization of own ideas, work flexibility and independence to the need of financial
security and self-sufficiency (Kautonen et al. 2008; McKay 2001, Kautonen, Luoto and Tornikoski, 2010). The
financial concern in relation to senior entrepreneurship is also connected to opportunity costs of time (Lévesque and
Minniti, 2006). In deciding whether to pursue the entrepreneurial path or not, time is treated as a scarce resource
whose availability is decreasing hand in hand with aging, in contrast to decrease of the present value of a stream of
potential future payments possibly gained after starting up. The opportunity costs of choosing the entrepreneurial
path therefore generally increase with the increasing age of an individual.
Finally, besides all the above mentioned individual level factors, we expect that also entrepreneurial context as a
national-level characteristic plays an important role in determining senior entrepreneurship in an economy (Krueger
et al., 2000, Mrva and Stachova, 2014, Pilkova et al., 2012, Stenholm et al., 2013). The understanding of
entrepreneurial environment concept nowadays builds mainly on the institutional theory that is traditionally
concerned with how individuals, groups or organizations better secure their positions and legitimacy by conforming
to the rules of institutional environment (Bruton et al., 2010). The institutional theory introduces the concept of
institutions that according to North (1990) represent the rules of the game in a society or, more formally, are the
humanly devised constraints that shape human action. Their influence directs the behaviour of subjects to reach
legitimacy and survive in the environment rather than to keep the efficiency-seeking focus only (Bruton et al.,
2010). Institutions can be generally divided into two main categories: formal institutions and informal institutions
(North, 1990). The first category represents the formalized rules, laws and entire legal framework shaping the
behaviour of different society members, while the latter represents the constraints originated in socially transferred
information that are part of the culture (Okruhlica, 2013). Informal institutions as well as the effect of
entrepreneurial culture are important factors affecting senior entrepreneurship propensity in Europe as well as in the
United States. Various studies on cultural openness and attitudes towards senior citizens confirm that the acceptance
of seniors and cultural openness as such have a strong positive influence on entrepreneurship, whereas ageism and
rejection of seniors in the culture have negative effects (Ting Zhang 2008; Weber and Schaper 2004; Kautonen et al.
2008, 2009, 2011). Negative perception of age as well as age discrimination itself can also have a positive effect on
entrepreneurial activity, since the overcoming of this barrier can motivate seniors to engage in entrepreneurial
activity (Kilber et al. 2011). Saul Estrin and Tomas Mickiewicz (2011) build on the institutional theory and study
the effect of both formal and informal institutions of entrepreneurial propensity as such. They discover that both
formal and informal institutions have a high impact on entrepreneurship, but also a generation effect, where in the
526 Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
transitional economies (CEE and post-soviet union), the underdeveloped informal institutions of the previous era
have a high negative impact on seniors causing a low senior entrepreneurial activity, and a generation gap in
entrepreneurial propensity.
Literature on senior entrepreneurship focuses on a variety of factors influencing the entrepreneurial activity. This
paper extends the body of knowledge on the topic of senior entrepreneurship literature by exploring the following
research question: Which conditions are different (if any) in institutional frameworks in high rate senior
entrepreneurship countries in comparison to low rate ones? Are they any similarities between these two groups of
3. Data and methods
We based our analysis on Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 data. GEM is the largest academic
study in the world focused on entrepreneurship. It collects data every year for each participating country using two
survey instruments. Adult population survey (APS) collects data on entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspirations
from representative adult population samples (18 to 64 years). National expert survey (NES) collects data from a
sample of expert respondents with different relations to entrepreneurship that assess the state of the entrepreneurial
framework conditions in their country. In our analysis we employed the 2013 national level data for 28 European
countries participating in GEM, that are built on 91,904 APS respondents (adult population individuals) and 1,005
NES respondents (experts).
To quantify the level of senior entrepreneurial activity we created an index based on two GEM APS variables:
total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA percentage of adult population involved in the process of actively
starting a business or running a new business less than 3.5 years old) and TEA in age category 5564 (percentage of
55–64 years population involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity). These variables evaluate the
entrepreneurial activity on a national level, i.e. they are calculated for each country. The country’s senior
entrepreneurial activity index was then calculated by dividing TEA in age category 5564 by the overall TEA. This
index shows the height of senior entrepreneurship relative to overall entrepreneurship, and therefore indicates the
inclusion of senior population (in our case 5564 population) in entrepreneurial activity in an economy. Considering
the desirability of inclusive entrepreneurship as far as age is concerned, the index has positive polarity by nature. It
has a greater explanatory power than senior TEA itself, as the isolated view would provide no insights on the role of
senior entrepreneurship in the context of overall entrepreneurial activity. To measure the state of entrepreneurial
framework we have utilized the GEM NES variables evaluating the key entrepreneurial framework conditions
(EFCs). These variables represent mean values of latent variables calculated according to experts’ evaluation of the
various entrepreneurial environment dimensions. In particular, the key EFCs reflected by the variables used in our
analysis are entrepreneurial finance, government policy (both general as well as specific policies regarding
bureaucracy and taxes), government entrepreneurship programs, entrepreneurship education (both primary and
secondary as well as higher education), R&D transfer, commercial and legal infrastructure, market dynamics,
market openness, physical infrastructure and cultural and social norms. Each variable represents an assessment on
Likert-type scale from 1 (worst state) to 5 (best state).
Regarding the methods of our analysis, we have first calculated the senior entrepreneurial activity index for each
of the analysed countries. Secondly, the countries were grouped in three groups according to the rate of senior
entrepreneurial activity expressed by the index. We have classified the countries with index value greater than 0.66
as having high rate of senior entrepreneurship, and accordingly countries showing index value lower than 0.33 as
having low senior entrepreneurship rate. Thirdly, for both groups we have calculated the average values of variables
assessing different key EFCs to obtain their institutional framework profiles. Finally, we have compared the
institutional environment profiles of countries with high and low senior entrepreneurial activity and used descriptive
statistics to identify the differences.
4. Results
Results of our analysis are presented in two steps. First we present the visualization of senior entrepreneurial
activity index for each of the analysed countries. The countries are ranked according to the index values and both
Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
high and low senior entrepreneurship groups are indicated. The visualization is presented in Figure 1. For further
details, data table containing overall TEA, 5564 age category TEA and senior entrepreneurial activity index are
presented in Appendix 1.
As can be seen on Figure 1, the senior entrepreneurial activity in European countries included in our analysis
varied considerably, with index value from 0.90 in Sweden (suggesting that early-stage entrepreneurial activity of
senior Swedes is very similar to those of overall adult population) to as little as 0.21 in case of Slovakia (showing
that early-stage entrepreneurial activity of seniors in Slovakia is only one fifth of the activity of the overall adult
population). On average, the value of senior entrepreneurial activity index in European countries is 0.49, meaning
that the entrepreneurial activity of seniors is the half of the overall activity of adult population.
Fig. 1. Senior entrepreneurial activity index values for analysed countries, 2013
Fig. 2. Institutional profiles: high and low senior entrepreneurship clusters, 2013
United Kingdom
Czech Republic
Senior entrepreneurial activity index (2013)
High and low senior entrepreneurship clusters - institutional profiles
528 Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
Applying the classification criteria on the analysed countries, the high senior entrepreneurship cluster consists of
four countries showing index values from 0.67 to 0.90 (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Luxembourg), while the
opposite cluster grouping the low senior entrepreneurship economies comprises six countries with index values from
0.21 to 0.32 (Poland, Croatia, France, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia). Even in the remaining European countries,
those with neither exceptionally high nor low senior entrepreneurial activity index, a tendency of developed
European countries towards higher senior inclusiveness is visible. On the other hand the former eastern bloc
countries seem to be drawn towards lower senior inclusivity in entrepreneurial endeavour. In the second step of the
analysis, we present the results of the institutional framework evaluation and comparison between high and low
senior entrepreneurship clusters. The entrepreneurial environment profiles created by assessing the key
entrepreneurial framework conditions are displayed on Figure 2, respective data are also presented in Table 1 below.
As can be seen on Figure 2 and in Table 1, institutional profiles of high and low senior entrepreneurship clusters
have certain differences as well as certain similarities. As far as differences are concerned, countries with high
senior entrepreneurship rates outperform those lacking senior entrepreneurship in government policies related to
entrepreneurship (both in terms of concrete policies, priorities and support towards entrepreneurship B1, but
especially in terms of bureaucratic and tax burdens B2), primary and secondary education support towards
entrepreneurship (D1), as well as in research and development transfer (E). On the other hand, low senior
entrepreneurship countries show higher evaluation of market dynamics (G1) than the high senior entrepreneurship
cluster. In case of the remaining EFCs, the two analysed clusters show less considerable differences, all of which
were in favour of high senior entrepreneurship cluster. Moreover, in evaluations of entrepreneurial financing (A)
and especially in the case of vocational, professional and university education (D2), we observed no differences
between high and low senior entrepreneurship countries.
Table 1. Institutional profiles: high and low senior entrepreneurship clusters, 2013
Entrepreneurial finance
Government policies (concrete policies, priority, support)
Government policies (bureaucracy, taxes)
Government programs
Education (elementary, secondary)
Education (higher education)
R&D Transfer
Commercial and legal infrastructure
Market dynamics
Market openness
Physical infrastructure
Cultural and social norms
Source: GEM 2013, authors
5. Discussion
From the classification of countries into two clusters, based on the entrepreneurial activity of their seniors, there
are some observations that can be made even without analysing further their entrepreneurial environment. On one
hand there are countries from northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Finland) and Luxembourg, which are highly
developed, with long tradition and experience with open market economy, and where even the cultural environment
is different from the rest of the Europe, and the standard of living is also considerably high. On the other hand,
countries with low entrepreneurial activity in the senior cohort are predominantly from the former eastern bloc, with
the exception of France, which is in a way traditionally a leftish country. The reasons for this division might be
partially caused by lower predispositions of seniors to be entrepreneurial in former eastern bloc countries. The
Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
propensity of senior entrepreneurship depends on individual’s entrepreneurial mind-set, skills and other factors such
as individual’s preference towards employment, but the factor of institutional environment is non-the-less important.
The reason for the different inclusiveness of senior entrepreneurs in the age 5564 in European countries could be
caused by both the different attitudes towards entrepreneurship in these countries, but also by different
entrepreneurial environment.
In our study we focused on the differences in entrepreneurial environment measured by assessing the key
entrepreneurial framework conditions (EFCs) analysed in GEM research (Pilkova et al., 2013), and compared the
profiles of mentioned two clusters based on the average levels of EFCs evaluation in the groups. The results of our
analysis suggest that the countries with a high senior entrepreneurial activity index outperform those with low senior
entrepreneurship rates in quality of entrepreneurial framework conditions throughout almost the whole institutional
profile, with the exception of two framework conditions that are similar for both groups, namely entrepreneurial
finance (A) and higher education (D2). Only one EFC showed assessment in favour of the low senior
entrepreneurship cluster market dynamics (G1).
Government policies, both when it comes to concrete policies aimed at the support of entrepreneurship (B1) and
bureaucracy and taxes (B2) were found to be the most differentiating factors between the two clusters. This shows
that well established and most of all consistently entrepreneurship-supportive government policies shape
entrepreneurial environment by encouraging senior population to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour, thus fostering
inclusive entrepreneurship and social cohesion in an economy. Furthermore we suggest that high administrative and
tax burden might have a stronger effect in discouraging seniors from entrepreneurial activity than it has on the
younger population. This can be caused by a lower ability of seniors to adapt to changing and demanding
circumstances and overcoming these barriers (Ting Zhang 2008; Weber and Schaper 2004). Also, high tax burden
might even strengthen the decrease of the present value of potential future payments from a business, when payback
of investment to new entrepreneurial activity by senior individual is concerned.
Noticeable differences between high and low senior entrepreneurship clusters were found in education on
primary and secondary level and its support towards entrepreneurship (D1). The main effect of this factor regarding
senior entrepreneurship may not be directly the knowledge transferred in educational process, but rather an
entrepreneurial mind-set it has provided to individuals, thus shaping their entrepreneurial behaviour and personal
qualities. This factor influences also the generations of children and grandchildren of the senior population (i.e. the
entire population in the country) by fostering entrepreneurship-friendliness in the national culture. This may in turn
create a supportive environment that encourages senior population to engage in entrepreneurship.
Higher R&D transfer (E) seems to be a common feature of the countries with high senior inclusivity in
entrepreneurship. Transfer of R&D into business in general is a sign of well-developed economies and a positive
factor fostering the quantity but mainly the quality entrepreneurship. The relationship between inclusivity of seniors
in entrepreneurship and the transfer of R&D is a question that should be further studied, mainly on individual level.
One possible explanation may be that in the countries with high R&D transfer, support in relation to
entrepreneurship includes senior professionals, scientists or researchers, who are encouraged to commercialize their
ideas through entrepreneurial activity.
Financing (A) and higher and professional education (D2) seem to have no significant relation with senior
entrepreneurship rates of European countries. The negligible role of finance in senior entrepreneurship that our
results suggest may be caused by higher savings of senior population at the end of their professional career that can
be used as a start-up capital, thus diminishing the effect of the external financing possibilities on seniors in
particular. Authors in other studies suggest that own finances as a source for starting an enterprise are often the case
regarding senior entrepreneurs, and even seem to be an advantage in this age cohort (Singh a DeNoble 2003, Weber
a Schaper 2004). The quality of higher and professional education (D2) according to our results does not play an
important role in the support of the inclusiveness of seniors in the entrepreneurship. We suggest that seniors aspiring
to start a new business may be building more on their expertise and experience, rather than on knowledge and skills
obtained through educational schemes.
When it comes to the assessment of market dynamics (G1), the countries with low senior inclusivity have
markedly higher results in this EFC. We suggest that this difference might be caused by the fact that high senior
entrepreneurship countries in our sample are all highly developed countries with saturated markets with lower
market dynamics. The countries with low senior entrepreneurship are predominantly in the stage of market
530 Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
development as transitional economies from efficiency-driven to innovation-driven stage. This leads to a higher
market dynamics in the developing markets causing considerable changes. Such a development is a common feature
for most of the countries belonging to this group.
The results of our study show that the senior entrepreneurship propensity in comparison to total early stage
entrepreneurial activity, or in other words, the inclusivity of seniors in entrepreneurial activity, is markedly higher in
northern Europe and Luxembourg, whereas in the former eastern bloc countries and in France this inclusiveness is
the lowest among European countries. A tendency of developed countries towards higher inclusiveness of senior
entrepreneurship contrasts the lower inclusiveness inclination of transitional economies. These results to a certain
extent support the argument of Saul Estrin and Tomas Mickiewicz (2011) who claim that in the transitional
economies, generation gap between young entrepreneurs and senior entrepreneurs is caused partially by
underdeveloped informal institutions. The entrepreneurial conditions in our study proved to be lower evaluated in
most of the analysed areas for the countries with low senior inclusiveness. The possible effect of previous historical
and political background on the senior entrepreneurship inclusiveness remains an interesting topic for further
research, since there are some inconsistencies in this tendency in our analysis (Russia and Hungary with above
average senior entrepreneurial activity index, and France, Spain and Portugal with below the average inclusivity of
seniors in entrepreneurship). We also have to account for the limitations of our research (we only used the data for
the year 2013), and in Estrin’s and Mickiewicz study (based on data from the period of 20002005). An analysis
with broader time scope or with focus on relation between senior entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial environment
development is therefore encouraged for future research.
6. Conclusion
Population aging is nowadays a serious and complex issue not only for European countries but worldwide. One
aspect immediately connected with this issue is also the phenomenon of senior entrepreneurship. In spite of the fact
that entrepreneurial activities are generally declining with age, there are significant differences among countries as
far as the level of senior entrepreneurship is concerned. There is no doubt that an important driver of these
differences is the national entrepreneurial environment. In our paper we found out that the highest differences
among developed European countries with high level of senior entrepreneurial activity and developing eastern
European countries with low level of senior entrepreneurship rate are in government policies, both when it comes to
concrete policies aimed at the support of entrepreneurship as well as in the area of bureaucracy and taxes. This
finding suggests that there is a need for prioritisation in terms of initiatives leading to the improvement of senior
entrepreneurship rate in countries lacking in senior inclusion in the entrepreneurial activity. In this paper our
ambition was not to study the level of policies focused on senior entrepreneurship support in these two clusters, but
we believe, that the policies in countries with the highest levels of senior entrepreneurship are worth further research
as they are important sources of information and insight for policy makers in developing countries. In addition, our
findings suggest that also education on primary and secondary level and R & D transfer as conditions differentiating
high and low senior entrepreneurship clusters, and deserve further attention as potential enhancers of senior
entrepreneurship inclusivity.
Anna Pilkova et al. / Procedia Economics and Finance 12 ( 2014 ) 523 – 532
Appendix A. Main entrepreneurial activity indicators in European countries, 2013
TEA (%)
(5564 population, %)
Senior entrepreneurship index
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
Source: GEM 2013, authors
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... Weber and Schaper (2004) state that senior entrepreneurs usually have a lower level of education than other segments of the population, which may be because higher levels of education are perceived to a greater extent as a recruitment tool for large companies than for developing entrepreneurial activity (Kautonen, 2008). Other authors, such as Pilkova et al. (2014), state that older entrepreneurs rely less on knowledge and skills acquired through formal education than on their previous professional experience. Martin and Omrani (2019) also conclude that education is not a relevant factor for senior entrepreneurs in a study covering eleven European countries. ...
... Our results show that formal education plays an important role for seniors in discovering potential businesses in the market in Latin America since higher levels of education are associated with entrepreneurial activity by opportunity, which is in line with some authors (Block and Sandner, 2009;Coduras et al., 2018). However, other authors suggest that formal education is only relevant in some Latin American countries (Torres-Marin et al., 2020) or not relevant at all (Weber and Schaper, 2004;Kautonen, 2008;Pilkova et al., 2014;Martin and Omrani, 2019). This is one important finding of our research: education (social capital) and economic resources are incentives to engage in opportunity entrepreneurship in our studied sample. ...
... Institutional theory studies how the environment and institutions affect the decisions of individuals to create a new firm. There are several elements to consider, such as the moment of the economic cycle(Biehl et al., 2013), the existence of institutions that encourage entrepreneurial activity(Pilkova et al., 2014), the immediate social environment(Kautonen et al., 2011) or the entrepreneurial culture(Weber and Schaper, 2004).Dove (2020) concludes that countries with well-defined formal institutions enjoy greater entrepreneurial activity, while Saavedra Leyva and Texis Flores(2019)establish the existence of a direct relationship between several institutional variables (accountability, control of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption) and entrepreneurial activity by opportunity in Latin American and Caribbean countries. Many other authors have followed similar lines of research. ...
Purpose The main objective of this research is to exploratorily analyse different factors that influence the decision of the senior population (+50 years) to engage in entrepreneurship activities in a group of Latin American countries. This study considers the motivations for entrepreneurship (opportunity and necessity) and the level of development of the countries. Design/methodology/approach The authors used data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) with a sample of 22,139 observations of senior individuals in seven Latin American countries surveyed between 2013 and 2017. The authors also used the Human Development Index to capture the relevance of the level of development. The authors employed a multilevel logistic regression model to test the study hypotheses. Findings The study results show that individual factors such as personal income, education and occupation have a significant influence on the probability of entrepreneurship of senior individuals. Related to contextual factors, the level of human development of a country has a negative influence mainly on opportunity-based entrepreneurs. Originality/value Because of the rapidly ageing population in Latin America, understanding senior entrepreneurs and their motivations is very relevant not only in terms of theoretical development but also for policy and practical implications, primarily those related to labour markets and social protection.
... The experiences accumulated over time may provide senior entrepreneurs with such skills. Pilková et al. (2014) found that the knowledge acquired through the formal education system has less value for senior entrepreneurs than the work experience accumulated during their life. Weber and Schaper (2004) pointed out that the level of education of senior entrepreneurs is often lower than that of other groups (Kautonen, 2008;Parker, 2004). ...
... Social capital and social networks can be considered a major element for the development of entrepreneurial initiatives (Pilková et al., 2014). ...
... Thus, significance is lost in the entrepreneurial skills variable and For the studies that have already been completed, we can only confirm that not having an education negatively and significantly affects the probability of being a senior technology entrepreneur. This is consistent with previous studies that have pointed out that the level of education of senior entrepreneurs is often lower than that of other groups (Weber & Schaper, 2004) and that education is an unimportant variable (Martin & Omrani, 2019;Pilková et al., 2014). ...
Aging of the population has created a direct effect on economies and tension on social security systems. Policymakers have been senior entrepreneurship as an option to reduce unemployment and delay the age of retirement. The positive effects, of creating a firm increase when is operating in technology‐based sectors. This paper explores the technological and senior entrepreneurship relations, analyzing if age influences technological entrepreneurship and if determining factors for senior and non‐senior groups are different. By using a sample of 8637 entrepreneurs in 22 OECD countries based on Global Entrepreneurial Monitor 2018 data, the results firstly show a negative effect of being a senior entrepreneur, understood as an entrepreneur aged 50+ years, on technological entrepreneurship. Secondly, it has been detected that in some way senior entrepreneurship follows a different pattern of the probability of entrepreneurship in technology sectors than the sample of the non‐senior entrepreneurs.
... In the literature, elderly entrepreneurship is explained in the same meaning as senior entrepreneurship (Pilkova, Holienka, & Rehak, 2014). Senior entrepreneurship is about entrepreneurial actions of postretirement or elderly individuals (Isele & Rogoff, 2014). ...
... Elderly entrepreneurship has been researched in the context of economics (Ting, 2008;Pilkova, Holienka, & Rehak, 2014), public sector service entrepreneurship (Windrum & Koch, 2008), social entrepreneurship (Wong & Tang, 2006), and senior entrepreneurship (de Bruin & Firkin, 2003). Other studies are related to entrepreneurship actions of the elderly after retirement (Jamil, Nasah, & Hassan, 2014;Weber & Schaper, 2004;Gimmon, Yitshaki, & Hantman, 2018;Pilková & Rehák, 2017). ...
The purposes of this study are to address elderly entrepreneurship in the context of corporate entrepreneurship, to determine its dimensions, and to make suggestions with the results obtained. The systematic review method was adopted in the study. According to the findings, it has been determined that corporate elderly entrepreneurship includes innovative risk and opportunity management, innovative elderly initiative, innovative proactivity, competition management, and resource management. It is recommended to meet the needs arising due to the social, psychological, cognitive, physical, and health-related decline of elderly consumers through corporate social entrepreneurship. This type of entrepreneurship is an important approach added to the literature to meet the consumer needs that differ with the increasing elderly population. Providing the needs and satisfaction of the elderly is possible with corporate entrepreneurship. Determining the future needs of the elderly living in a nursing home or with their families requires management in innovation.
... Further, he discussed how these skills could be improved and suggested that emphasis should be on the development of entrepreneurial skills in universities besides concentrating on the traditional courses. Pilkova et al. (2014) studied the relationship between the entrepreneurial context and senior entrepreneurship propensity for countries in Europe that exhibited low or high levels of senior entrepreneurship. The data was collected from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2013. ...
The Coronavirus caused severe losses, many owner-managers lost their businesses, and many employees lost their jobs. This raises the question of whether such losses were a push into traumatic resignation or a push to start a business? And what are the main factors that influence responses? This chapter aims to answer these questions by drawing on the Theory of Planned Behaviour in order to help advance the scarce literature on entrepreneurial intentions under adverse conditions. We build and test a model of entrepreneurial intention highlighting entrepreneurial mindset (self-efficacy and opportunity perception) and social capital as core determinants of entrepreneurial intention. Using a sample of 1777 owner-managers and employees in Egypt surveyed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), results of logistic regression reveal that former owner-managers, who had just lost their business, were less entrepreneurially minded and networked less than their continuing counterparts. Former employees, who had just lost their job, were no more entrepreneurially minded than their continuing counterparts. Results also show that self-efficacy and opportunity perception play a key role in promoting people’s entrepreneurial intention. The findings contribute to the debate on predictors of entrepreneurial intention in hostile environments and developing countries; and pave the way for studies on whether disadvantages such as the COVID-19 pandemic prompt a new type of entrepreneurship where necessity aligns with opportunity.
... Further, he discussed how these skills could be improved and suggested that emphasis should be on the development of entrepreneurial skills in universities besides concentrating on the traditional courses. Pilkova et al. (2014) studied the relationship between the entrepreneurial context and senior entrepreneurship propensity for countries in Europe that exhibited low or high levels of senior entrepreneurship. The data was collected from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2013. ...
Creating the proper conditions to change the attitude and mentality of those with disabilities towards creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Iran is classified as one of the general and specific issues, accompanied by concerns over solving the challenges in entrepreneurship and startups shaped by people with disabilities (PWDs). The study tried to examine the opportunities available in Iran to identify the entrepreneurial challenges of the disabled and provide strategies to create and develop startups launched by the disabled. The study used the grand theory method to determine the entrepreneurial challenges of the disabled and five relevant basic factors (institutional, environmental, developmental, social, and personal factors) as causal conditions. Furthermore, effective intervention and context for identifying strategies and presenting outcomes have been conducted according to the library studies and analysing and reviewing interviews with six active and top disabled entrepreneurs in the field of startups and businesses. Among the findings were attention to the role of government and reforming social attitudes to increase the economic activities of the disabled by prescribing four indigenous propositions to reduce the challenges in the process of creating startups shaped by the disabled, firstly to their presence in the economic cycle and social influence, and secondly, for developing entrepreneurs with disabilities and creating self-employment, sharing knowledge and experiences among them.
... There is little difference in the entrepreneurial activity rates (thinking about or early-stage entrepreneurial activity) between prime working-age and older people in Iceland, the United States, Romania and Slovakia, while older people in countries such as Austria, France, Belgium and China are less likely to follow an entrepreneurial career. According to Pilkova et al. (2014), there is a growing tendency of grey entrepreneurship in some highly developed European countries (i.e. Sweden and Finland) with a long tradition of an open market economy and with high living standards. ...
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Purpose This study investigates how older women linguists' careers developed and led to self-employment, and this not necessarily in a linear career stage fashion. The focus is on understanding the factors that influence older women to become or continue into an entrepreneurship lifestyle, beyond economic reasons. Design/methodology/approach The research questions that guided this research are: (1) How have women linguists' careers developed at older or older old age? and (2) Which factors influenced women linguists' decision to become or continue as self-employed at older or older old age? This study is based on semi-structure interviews and short narratives written by ten informants about their late-career motivations and decisions. To get a holistic view of career development of women linguistics at an older age, the approach adopted in this study is explorative and interpretive, where the theoretical perspective supporting this approach derives mainly from career and wellbeing theories. Findings The authors’ findings signal that these self-employed older women's careers develop along parallel, explorative or expertise directions. The factors which appear to influence these women's decision to continue their careers as entrepreneurs include economic reasons (having), clearly. They also importantly point to other themes surrounding wellbeing including social relations (loving), self-realization and lifelong learning (being), entrepreneurship as a life style (acting) and meaningful extension of one's career (belonging). Originality/value This paper discusses how older women entrepreneurs may experience wellbeing and careers integrated together. It challenges the common notion of “career” as a one-time, linear “choice”, and instead shows how older women's entrepreneurship is a complex phenomenon.
Purpose Over the last decades, the development of entrepreneurial activity has allowed greater growth and economic development in Spain. However, within the analysis of Spanish entrepreneurial dynamics, insufficient attention has been paid to a key group: senior entrepreneurs. The fact that the first two decades of the 21st century have been accompanied by the two worst economic crises in remembrance since the Great Depression of the 1930s has had a great impact on the professional careers of the group of senior workers, whose careers have been cut short due to the closure of companies. In this way, the present work delves into the reality of senior entrepreneurs in Spain, analyzing the main characteristics of this group, which is becoming increasingly important in society. Design/methodology/approach Using microdata from the Spanish National Statistics Institute's Labour Force Survey, the study focuses on reference persons who, being 50 years of age or over and actively working, work as an entrepreneur and have started their activity in the last 12 months. The study covers, in turn, the analysis period of the fourth quarters from 2005 to 2020. In relation to the methodology, the work focuses on the use of binary logistic regression techniques, given that the phenomenon to be studied is binary in nature: entrepreneurship or not. Findings The main conclusions drawn are the importance of sociodemographic factors such as educational level, age, the profession of the couple as well as the fact of having or not having children. The sector of activity and region are also significant. It is also concluded that senior entrepreneurship in Spain is of a necessary nature, considering the evolution of unemployment and decisions based on pension reform. Research limitations/implications The main limitations of the study refer to the lack of socioeconomic information. Thus, it would be interesting to know the link among the sociodemographic characteristics and the economic situation of the professionals, as well as the fact of whether they have started from a previous situation of unemployment or employment. Practical implications The obtained conclusions allow progress to be made in the generation of economic policies aimed at the professional reorientation of a group of workers who, due to labor market circumstances, are obliged to end long professional careers and to seek alternatives. In fact, entrepreneurship is a viable professional alternative for these professionals. Originality/value Despite the importance of senior professionals in the Spanish economy, more research is needed on their characteristics and needs. Despite important studies such as Socci et al . (2020) or Perez-Encinas et al . (2021), there are not many studies for the Spanish reality. This paper seeks to deepen the understanding of the sociodemographic characteristics of Spanish senior entrepreneurs, based on current public information and considering different stages of the economic cycle.
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Kıdemli girişimcilik, toplumun yaşlanmasıyla birlikte daha fazla önem kazanmaktadır. Uluslararası literatürde gelişmekte bir kavram olmasına rağmen, Türkiye’de kıdemli girişimcilik ile ilgili sınırlı çalışmalar bulunmaktadır. Araştırma kapsamında kesişimsellik yaklaşımı benimsenerek Türkiye’de kıdemli kadın girişimci olmanın cinsiyetlendirilmiş doğasını keşfetmek amaçlanmıştır. Araştırmada yarı yapılandırılmış derinlemesine görüşmeleri içeren nitel bir araştırma yöntemi benimsedim. Kartopu örneklemini kullanarak ve veri doyum noktasına dayanarak 16 kıdemli kadın girişimci ile mülakat gerçekleştirdim. Ayrıca, veri kategorizasyon aracı olan NVIVO 11’den yararlanarak tematik analizi benimsedim. Araştırma kapsamında üç ana tema “Kıdemli Kadın Girişimciliğinde Aile Kurumunun Rolü”, “Kıdemli Kadın Girişimciliğinde Sermayenin(Ekonomik, Sosyal ve Sembolik) Rolü” ve “Kültürel Bağlamda Kıdemli Kadın Girişimciliği” ele alınmıştır. Araştırmanın literatüre katkısı ise eril bir alan olan girişimcilikte, kadın girişimcilerin deneyimlerini yaş ekseninde tartışmaya açmaktır. Ayrıca, bu çalışma, Türkiye’nin sosyal sürdürebilirlik ve kapsayıcılık temelinde eşitlik yaklaşımını içeren ve kıdemli kadın girişimci olmanın avantajını kullanan projelerin oluşturulması ihtiyacını vurgulayarak uygulayıcılara çeşitli önerilerde bulunmaktadır.
Indian start-up space is dominated by young entrepreneurs but for starting an enterprise age does not matter. Senior entrepreneurship has come into the picture as people even after attaining a mature age seem to be willing to achieve new goals. After retirement, they might not want to be a burden to the economy but rather be active contributors. Thus, the following study was conducted among people above the age of 50 years in India to identify their entrepreneurial intentions. The study also aimed to find the impact of personal attitude, personal digital innovation, and entrepreneurial skills on entrepreneurial intentions. The sample of the study included 111 respondents from whom the data was collected using a standardized questionnaire. The results of the study were analyzed using correlation and regression analysis. It was found that at present people in India belonging to the mature age group do not seem to be in high agreement toward starting their venture. However, the variables like personal attitude and entrepreneurial skills have a significant and positive influence on their entrepreneurial intentions. Several suggestions have been provided at the end to enhance their interest in senior entrepreneurship.
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role for the Slovak economy. They constitute of more than 99% of the total number of businesses and employ more than 41% of all employees. Support of starting entrepreneurs is an important tool for increasing employment in the economy. The sector of SMEs is also important for regional development, because SMEs use mostly local resources and their profit remains in the region. SMEs are at the same time very sensitive to changes in the economy, and more than 60% of them go bankrupt during the first three years after establishment. There exist different kinds of support for SMEs, one example is a special Consulting and Development Centre (PRC) which was established at the Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava. Academic background with the support of external experts from private sector allows effective transfer of knowledge between students and starting entrepreneurs. Young graduates and students, especially technicians, IT experts and other specialists, have interesting business ideas but lack managerial skills and economic knowledge. PRC, with participation of students of management, is trying to fill this market gap.
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Monograph on Entrepreneurship in Slovakia 2012 Executive summary in english available in the pdf.
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Monograph on Entrepreneurship in Slovakia 2011 Executive summary in english available in the pdf.
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Recent research in economic geography and management studies has scrutinized financialization and its permeation into ‘everyday’ life. In particular, studies have highlighted how government policy is transferring the responsibility of pension planning to individuals, where retirement income is funded from financial market returns. However, research has also suggested that a financialized model of retirement is not fully viable. Our study seeks to contribute to research on the geographies of retirement planning by examining an emerging model of retirement: older entrepreneurship. In doing so, we examine how households and individuals are attempting to manage the inadequacies of finance-centric retirement plans through the development of enterprises in ‘retirement’. Specifically, we explore how people are running businesses from home at an ‘older’ age, displacing the notion of ‘retirement’ with a work–retirement balance.
Examines the role that institutions, defined as the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction, play in economic performance and how those institutions change and how a model of dynamic institutions explains the differential performance of economies through time. Institutions are separate from organizations, which are assemblages of people directed to strategically operating within institutional constraints. Institutions affect the economy by influencing, together with technology, transaction and production costs. They do this by reducing uncertainty in human interaction, albeit not always efficiently. Entrepreneurs accomplish incremental changes in institutions by perceiving opportunities to do better through altering the institutional framework of political and economic organizations. Importantly, the ability to perceive these opportunities depends on both the completeness of information and the mental constructs used to process that information. Thus, institutions and entrepreneurs stand in a symbiotic relationship where each gives feedback to the other. Neoclassical economics suggests that inefficient institutions ought to be rapidly replaced. This symbiotic relationship helps explain why this theoretical consequence is often not observed: while this relationship allows growth, it also allows inefficient institutions to persist. The author identifies changes in relative prices and prevailing ideas as the source of institutional alterations. Transaction costs, however, may keep relative price changes from being fully exploited. Transaction costs are influenced by institutions and institutional development is accordingly path-dependent. (CAR)
Purpose The objective of this paper is to examine the potential for and barriers to older enterprise as well as the role and contribution of specific enterprise support policy, focusing in particular on socially disadvantaged older people. Design/methodology/approach The paper takes the form of a single case study of the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) with multiple data sources, including a synthesis of current literature, PRIME self‐evaluation reports, interviews with PRIME personnel and results of a recent survey of 283 individuals who had contacted PRIME for enterprise advice and support. Findings The paper finds that, with respect to older enterprise support policy, the tentative results presented in this study seem encouraging in terms of a positive social and economic role for older enterprise support work. However, due to the limitations of the data, a number of questions need additional clarification in future research. Longitudinal research designs are required to investigate in more detail the additional social benefits generated by older enterprise support as well as concerns regarding deadweight and over‐investment. Originality/value The paper brings the experience of enterprise support practitioners into the debate about older entrepreneurship.
We use open-ended interviews and focus groups to construct a composite model of activities constituting the entrepreneurial process for seven retirees from a Fortune 100 corporation who started second-career businesses. Our results show that retirees’ prior employment experience modifies the nature of entrepreneurial processes used to get into business. Technology-oriented retirees followed incremental processes, using fewer steps in the process, with an indeterminate inception in the development of required skills, in starting related-lifestyle businesses. Retirees with management skills used punctuated equilibrium processes, having an abrupt beginning and requiring more steps in the process of starting unrelated-growth/investment businesses. Management-oriented retirees networked more In the entrepreneurial process than technology-oriented retirees. Technology-oriented retirees more likely viewed departure as involuntary; their entrepreneurial processes derived from starting conditions (e.g., old job or company). Retirees with management skills tended to view departure as voluntary; their entrepreneurial processes advanced toward desired end states. We identify propositions for future testing and discuss implications for corporations, retirees, and researchers.