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Report: Hartford entrepreneurs third oldest in U.S.

BY Joe Cooper

8/17/2018
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Nigel Clarke, owner of Juiced Up Juice Bar at 231 Asylum St. in Hartford.
Greater Hartford's aging population is evident in many ways, including in its corps of business owners.

Business founders in Hartford are among the oldest in the nation, according to a new report by Lending Tree, and the region produces nearly the fewest Millennial entrepreneurs.

The report says the average business founder's age in Hartford is over 42 years old, which ranks as the third oldest nationally ahead of Providence, R.I. (42.6), and San Jose, Calif. (42.1). The average U.S. business founder is between 37 to 42 years old.

The report, studying the nation's 50 largest cities, says 45 percent of Hartford businesses are founded by those between between ages 38 to 53. About 32 percent of businesses were started by Millennials, including individuals between 22 to 37 years old. This represents the third lowest percentage of Millennial founders in the nation.

Business founders from the Baby Boomer generation, including those born between 1946 and 1964, started 17 percent of businesses in the city.

Cities with the youngest entrepreneurs include Salt Lake City, Utah, Buffalo, N.Y. , New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Charlotte, where the average founder is roughly 37 years old.

Startup growth is spurred by a healthy economy, business-friendly taxes, affordable operational costs, low cost of living and strong business funding support, the report found. Lending Tree says those factors are key for almost a third of Americans who have thought about running their own businesses over the last year.

The youngest entrepreneur hubs in the nation "have strong support systems in place to help founders and their startups succeed, from business incubators and accelerators to networking events and opportunities to apply for small business grants or attract venture capital," the report says.

The report determined average entrepreneur ages in each state by drawing from borrowers seeking business loans through Lending Tree's online lending platform. The data accounts for businesses established in the last five years.

View the full study here.