What Is the Best Age to Start a Business? The Answer from a Billionaire

How old do you have to be to start a small business? Here is a proven answer.

Levi Borba
7 min readNov 18, 2021

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Once I saw a CEO from a prestigious technology firm complaining how young professionals unrealistically expect dizzying ascents up the corporate ladder at the start of their careers.

These are folks who have received two or three promotions in a row, either by luck or by exceptional performance, now believe that this is the standard.

This is resulting in swarms of inexperienced (albeit skilled) seniors. It creates gaps for misplaced expectations.

I agree with him. I also agree that the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s career and entrepreneurial timeline are preferable.

This is also the path I chose for my career. First as a student, then as a corporate employee, and finally as a business owner.

A lovely, spacious home must not be on shaky foundations. And you can’t start a solid company unless you know how to get your hands dirty.

What Is the Average Age to Start a Business VS What Is the Best Age to Start a Business

Some argue that being youthful is preferable to being older. You’re fresh and powerful, and you can handle a lot of sleep deprivation and yet keep going. You’re also less risk-averse.

Wisdom, however, comes with age. The older you are, the more you know about your sector or industry. You have extensive experience and good contacts.

So what is better?

The Average Age to Start a Business (with Success)

The facts plainly favor one side.

According to Duke University, the Kauffman Foundation, the Founder Institute, and Northwestern University researches, the typical entrepreneur is 40 years old when founding his or her first firm, while the average age of executives of high-growth companies is 45.

Tech newspapers are full of tales of crazy-rich 22-year-old entrepreneurs, but the reality is that 40-something are considerably more likely to start and grow…