This article investigates the impact of perceived age norms on the formation of entrepreneurial intentions in the third age. Age norms refer to those social norms that determine whether establishing and running a business are considered appropriate behavior for a mature individual. An empirical analysis of Finnish individuals finds that norms perceived as permissive of enterprising activity in the third age exert a significant positive influence on entrepreneurial intentions in this segment, even when controlling for the general level of entrepreneurship in the municipalities. This influence is partially mediated by whether the individual has a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship, by how the individual perceives their own ability to start and run a business, by the extent of support from their family and friends they perceive and by the importance of that support to them. Thus, if policy aims to increase enterprising activity in the third-age segment, the portfolio of instruments should include measures that address people’s general awareness of third-age entrepreneurship as a viable, positive and attractive late-career option.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2009
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