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Appraising the role of age among senior entrepreneurial intentions. European analysis based on HDI

Marcelo Augusto Linardi (Universidade da Beira Interior, NECE – Research Center in Business Sciences, Covilhã, Portugal)
Joana Costa (Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESCTEC), Porto, Portugal and Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (GOVCOPP), Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro, Portugal)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 15 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




The research aims to examine the underlying factors of entrepreneurial intentions among seniors. In this vein, it evaluates the role of social context proxied by the human development index (HDI) along with individual characteristics towards these initiatives. Emerging economies deliver great potential for income generation swiftly approaching the standards of their developed counterparts. Their present ageing trends severely threaten growth prospects because of workforce withering. European insights will help anticipating constraints through alternative models of human capital allocation.


Four logistic regressions were run to address hypotheses in test, relying upon the global entrepreneurship monitor – adult population survey. Estimations include 20,386 individuals from database and 21 European Union countries. Ex-post robustness checks corroborate the global significance of the proposed model.


Empirical findings reinforce the importance of the macroeconomic context among senior endeavours and the non-linearities in terms of the age effect. Moreover, context can help eroding gender gaps in this field and refine the opportunity perception These results go in line with the literature and extend the importance of promoting a favourable ecosystem. Promotion of senior endeavours must consider smart policy packages encompassing the individual singularities as this age range will be too important to be wasted. Senior entrepreneurs are key to the latent job market crisis, needing to be encouraged through positive discrimination.

Research limitations/implications

Originally, by incorporating an exogenous variable encompassing the role of the entrepreneurial context, this study contributes academically to evaluating the determinants of entrepreneurial activity among the elderly. In addition, the development of cohorts highlights the specific importance of individual characteristics in entrepreneurial propensity in each context. The heterogenous results proves the ineffectiveness of “one sizes fits all” policies.

Practical implications

This research reinforces extant literature, notwithstanding the empirical refinements implemented brought up two additional perspectives: complementing previous towards the relevance of HDI cohorts along with the non-linearities of the effect of age. Learning from the European context and acknowledging efficacy of policy instruments will avoid serendipitous actions or failures, enhancing promising ecosystems such as emerging economies.


The study academically contributes to the appraisal of the determinants of entrepreneurial activity among seniors, thus, in an original way, by incorporating an exogenous variable to appraise the role of the context. Development cohorts evidence the existence of singularities in entrepreneurial propensity and individual characteristics according to their levels, such that policy actions should consider their differences.



Research funded by FCT – Portuguese Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology, project UIDB/04630/2020.


Linardi, M.A. and Costa, J. (2022), "Appraising the role of age among senior entrepreneurial intentions. European analysis based on HDI", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 953-975.



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