Economy & Society

32% of startups are over 60 in Japan

More and more Japanese companies are starting their businesses in their old age. Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that the number of Japanese founders aged 60 or older topped the list of founders by age group this year, accounting for 32 percent of them. The ratio of startups over 60 has quadrupled from 30 years ago.

Nihon Keizai introduced examples of people in their 60s who worked for a food company and 70s who worked for a semiconductor company to make healthy food with rice bran, in a special article titled "How to Work Next-Emperor of the Sea," which was released in the fishing market in Tsuki, Tokyo.

The newspaper said that the increase in the number of new business establishments in old age had a significant impact on the increase in the number of healthy senior citizens. According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, 78 percent of those aged 65 or older said they were healthy, compared to 71 percent in their 20s and 30s. Unlike the older generation who supported the company's growth by working with postwar recovery machines and working to break up the company's body, the "Dankai baby boom" generation around the age of 65 experienced bubbles in the middle of their lives. At that time, seeing the mass production of bankruptcies and unemployed workers, the percentage of employees who choose to start their own businesses instead of hiring or extending their retirement age has increased.

According to Japan's Policy Finance High School, the number of loans for startups aged 55 and over has increased recently. The number of loans in 2014 stood at about 3,000, almost doubling from two years ago.

What sets an age apart from the start-up of young people is the perception of income and social contribution. "I want to make the maximum amount of money," said Kim, while those under 34 topped 60 percent, or 26 percent, respectively. Instead, the newspaper analyzed that the elderly often cited "spending or contributing to society" as the reason for starting a business.

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