An examination of what comes next for someone at this stage of life

petermansbridgePeter Mansbridge announced he will be retiring in Jul 2017 after Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. Although surprised by his announcement, the first thing that came to mind – there is no way someone who has been the Anchor of a flagship program, the National on CBC, for close to 30 years and who has been the calming voice through acts of war and terrorism, interviewed heads of states, celebrities and legends – is going to retire.

It probably goes without saying Mr. Mansbridge will join others who have become entrepreneurs later in life, such as Linden MacIntyre, co-host of CBC’s The Fifth Estate, who is a Giller Prize winner for his novel, The Bishop’s Man. I imagine Peter will start his entrepreneurial career by writing a book and become a sought after speaker. Or perhaps, Peter has an awesome idea for something that we will know about soon enough.

If Mr. Mansbridge decides to become an entrepreneur, he will be joining the fastest segment of entrepreneurship in the world task management system.

Senior Entrepreneurship has for too long not been covered enough by the media in Canada. The fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship in the world is by people over the age of 50. A 2015 Kauffman report indicates that 28% of all new businesses are 55-64 in the US alone, with Australia reporting almost 35% of all new businesses are started by a senior. Statistics South Africa recorded a growth of 5.4% of entrepreneurs between the age of 60 and 64. There are 28 countries within the European Union offering services to senior entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, Canada isn’t even mentioned. That’s because Canada is lagging behind other countries. In fact, the Federal and some of the Provincial Governments aren’t convinced there is a significant increase nor is there any difference between young and older people starting a business. It has also been stated that “we will only start lifestyle” businesses and won’t add anything to the Canadian economy. Part of the reason is due to the fact there isn’t any data yet. The GEM is looking at it and has seen an increase but is watching is closely for the next report.

Most of us aren’t like our grandparents or even our parents. We are living longer and are more active and want to stay in touch with business. It is fair to say that almost everyone, at some point in their life, has wanted to start a business or has had an idea for a business, and now have the time to do it. Or perhaps they need to supplement a pension or savings so they can continue living the lifestyle they are accustomed to.

Intergenerational Entrepreneurship is also a little talked about but important and growing trend. Speaking about its merits, Jennifer Hinkel, of McGivney Global Advisors, puts one of the advantages this way, “Our connections are valuable, different, and complementary — which is in stark contrast to many start-up teams where the co-founders run in the same circle, creating the necessity to reach outside for partnerships, customers, and advocates.”

What better way is there for someone like Mr. Mansbridge to continue his legacy than by working with his younger counterparts, building an initiative that will benefit from his wealth and breadth of experience coupled with the skills someone younger has that he might not have – a partnership that could change the world!

Whatever Mr. Mansbridge decides, I wish him well, as, I’m sure the majority of Canadians do. I know whatever he decides to do, he’ll continue to enrich Canada’s landscape. An idea for his next chapter could be one that encourages those over fifty wannabe entrepreneurs to take the leap and start their business either by themselves or with a younger co-founder.