June 14, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Writer, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday – 51% of Business Owners are Aged 55+

“A thriving and healthy ecosystem for business run by
immigrants, veterans, and people over the age of 55 is critical for broader U.S. economic growth and opportunity,” states a
recent report by SCORE. As key members of the business community, they have experienced a disproportionate lack of financial aid and government support.

Here are some of the key findings from SCORE’s report:

  • Of U.S. business owners, 20.6% are immigrants, 9.1% are veterans, and 50.9% are encore entrepreneurs
  • Immigrant business owners are generally more likely to seek all types of financial assistance but are rejected 72-83.5% more often when seeking financial aid.
  • 82% of immigrant entrepreneurs use their personal savings to fund their businesses. They are also 45% more likely to fund their business with loans from friends and family.
  • Immigrant business owners are 20.5-50.1% less likely to receive the full amount requested from the most popular COVID relief programs.
  • Half to three-quarters of immigrant entrepreneurs feel unsupported by the government.
  • When seeking COVID-relief funds, veteran business owners are rejected 20-100% more often than non-veteran business owners.
  • Veteran business owners are 11% more likely to finance their business with personal savings than non-veterans.
  • Online lenders approved veteran’s requests for money twice as often as non-veterans.
  • Veteran entrepreneurs feel unsupported by federal, state, and local government at a 10-21% higher rate than non-veterans
  • Encore entrepreneurs are 62% more likely to receive financial aid when requested.
  • Encore entrepreneurs are over 50% more likely to use their retirement funds when funding their business.
  • Less than half of encore entrepreneurs say they feel support from their local communities, and 48-72% of encore entrepreneurs feel no support from all levels of government.

The report indicates that immigrant entrepreneurs, veteran entrepreneurs, and encore entrepreneurs (those age 55 or older) contribute to overall entrepreneurship at higher rates than the general population. “They start businesses at higher rates and operate more small businesses than others, yet are consistently overlooked and often climb steeper hills to achieve their goals,” reads the report.

These three groups have a large impact on the small business environment, but they receive significantly less financial, government, and community support than the general population. As a result, they use their personal finances to fund their businesses more often.

Click here to read the full report.