MONEY Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship sprouts among older ex-execs

Dream of capping off your career with a startup venture? Join the crowd.

Last year 5.5% of jobless managers and executives launched a business, up 31% from 2012 and the highest level since 2009, says outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

Confidence in the economy and access to individual health insurance via Obamacare help fuel the trend, says CEO John Challenger.

Age has its advantages. People 45 and older started 48% of firms in one Kauffman Foundation study, but ran 64% of firms surviving four years.

That’s likely because older entrepreneurs often have more experience, contacts, and financial resources, says Kauffman researcher Dane Stangler.

To keep costs low, he suggests taking advantage of the` explosion in freelance help available online; clearinghouses oDesk and eLance, which are merging, list 8 million professionals, up from 900,000 in 2009.

You can use crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, he adds, not just to raise money, but also to gauge demand for your product or service.

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