Entrepreneurial tendency across the adult lifespan

Yaron Zelekha, Gitit Kavé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines whether age associates with entrepreneurship tendencies across the lifespan, after taking into account aspects of personality that affect entrepreneurship. Participants (N = 963) aged 18-81, including 200 actual entrepreneurs, completed questionnaires about entrepreneurship tendency, personality traits, and attachment orientations. Results show that age is associated with a reduced tendency to engage in entrepreneurial activity. However, this decline is quite limited, it weakens with age, and is absent after age 50. In addition, the negative association of age with entrepreneurial tendency is smaller in participants with above-median entrepreneurship tendency scores relative to those with belowmedian scores, and it disappears in actual entrepreneurs. Furthermore, most of the traits that have been previously associated with entrepreneurial tendencies, especially Openness to Experience and Extraversion, remain unchanged with age, accounting for the stability of entrepreneurial tendency over time. The results have implications for policy makers who wish to encourage older adults to engage in entrepreneurial activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0262856
Pages (from-to)e0262856
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Zelekha, Kavé. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Entrepreneurship/statistics & numerical data
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


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