Digital Story Package


As they say, age is just a number and you’re never too old to start something new. 

The United States has seen a huge growth in the amount and success of older entrepreneurs. Younger entrepreneurs may seem as if they are more successful, however, research shows that older entrepreneurs have more of an advantage and success rate. A 50-year-old founder is 1.8 times more likely to achieve upper-tail growth than a 30-year-old founder. Meanwhile, founders in their 20s have the lowest likelihood of a successful exit or creating a highest-growth firm. 

There has been a significant increase in the amount of entrepreneurs. In 1996, 14.8% of entrepreneurs were between 55 to 64 years old and that amount rose to 22.8% in 2021. On the other hand there has been a decrease in the share of younger entrepreneurs (ages 20-34) with that share being 34.3% in 1996 and decreasing to 26.2% in 2021. While people believe that younger people are on track to produce the most successful businesses, it has been found that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged and the mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45. 

There is even evidence that younger founders such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates reached peak growth when they were middle-aged. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that measured the forward five-year stock price multiple as a function of founder age, it showed that these five-year multiples tend to rise towards middle age. The peaks were around age 48 for Steve Jobs, age 39 for Bill Gates, and age 45 for Jeff Bezos.

As people get older, they become more hesitant to try new things and this fear can create obstacles to starting a new business. However, older entrepreneurs have prior experience in the work environment which could turn those obstacles into great opportunities. In a Gallup poll on Why Baby Boomers Are Starting New Businesses, baby boomers expressed that they started a business later in life to become more independent, pursue passions, and further increase their income. Older individuals can overcome their fears and create successful businesses that not only benefit themselves but the community around them. Older entrepreneurs are on the rise and will continue succeeding due to their skilled expertise and experience.







Simply Must Have

A story of an older entrepreneur who has had incredible success.


Simply Must Have’s co-owner Anne Love is an incredible example of how age doesn’t prevent one from becoming a successful entrepreneur. Love was 63 when she co-founded her business Simply Must Have which is owned and operated by Love and her best friend Nancy Rankin. The store specializes in home decor and gifts and the store is in multiple locations in North Carolina including one at the Painted Tree Boutiques in Cary, North Carolina. 

The Painted Tree Boutiques includes hundreds of vendors selling home decor, clothing and gifts all under one roof. It encourages the community to shop small and encourages many people to successfully live out their entrepreneurial dreams. The Painted Tree Boutiques chooses quality shops to join their space and each shop owner rents out a portion of the store and is able to turn it into their own. Simply Must Have rents out a space in the store and is able to beautifully display all of their merchandise and gifts. Additionally, the owners of Simply Must Have don’t have to be there all the time as there are staff who help customers at the checkout. 

Simply Must Have has been in business for over 10 years and has grown from a small idea to a full time job. Love and Rankin have succeeded due to their prior experience, knowledge and skills that support the ability to make a successful business. Love encourages everyone to follow their dreams as they get older.


Examples of the home decor and gifts at Simply Must Have’s location in the Painted Tree Boutiques.

There are items such as candles, paintings, and earrings.


Watch the video below to learn more about Anne’s Story and Simply Must Have!