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The majority of small business owners are baby boomers, according to the May 13 Small Business Trends survey from small business financing company Guidant Financial and online credit marketplace LendingClub Corporation (LC).

The companies teamed up to survey more than 2,700 current and aspiring small business owners across the nation. The survey discovered insights on baby boomer entrepreneurs, from who they are to what’s holding them back from pursuing their small business dreams.

“In 1996, about 20 percent of small business owners were over 50. Our survey shows that there is a massive shift toward baby boomer owned businesses – nearly 300 percent,” said David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial. “This generation of entrepreneurs has had a huge and growing impact on small business in America and will continue to.”

More Key Findings:

  • On average, boomers rate their happiness as small business owners at eight on a scale of one to 10 (10 being happiest).
  • Boomers showed a modest decline in their level of confidence given the political climate, with high levels of confidence (defined as nine or 10 on a scale of one to 10) decreasing three percentage points year over year.
  • The top three boomer small business industries were Business Services, Food and Restaurant, and Health, Beauty, and Fitness.
  • 69 percent of boomer-owned businesses employ two or more employees.
  • Lack of capital or cash flow remains boomers’ top challenge year over year.
  • 73 percent of boomer small business owners want to grow their current business, 19 percent want to open an additional location, and only 8 percent want to sell their business.
  • Cash continues to be the most popular form of small business financing for boomer entrepreneurs, at 32 percent, followed by Rollovers for Business Start-ups (also known as 401(k) business financing), at 17 percent.

Accompanying infographic and report can be found at

Between November 6, 2018 and November 16, 2018, Guidant Financial and LendingClub conducted an email survey of more than 2,700 male and female small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Ages of respondents ranged from 18 to over 70.

About Guidant Financial
Headquartered in Bellevue, WA Guidant Financial helps business owners secure financing to start, buy or grow a business. An industry leader in business and franchise financing, Guidant works with new and existing entrepreneurs to identify, evaluate and deploy customized financing solutions. Their services include, but are not limited to, 401(k) business funding, SBA loans, unsecured credit, and portfolio loans. In total, Guidant has helped over 20,000 entrepreneurs in all 50 states to invest more than $4 billion in funds to start small businesses, resulting in more than 85,000 U.S. jobs created. Visit Guidant on the web at

About LendingClub
LendingClub was founded to transform the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. Today, LendingClub’s online credit marketplace connects borrowers and investors to deliver more efficient and affordable access to credit. LendingClub’s technology platform creates cost efficiencies, which are passed onto borrowers as savings in the form of lower rates and to investors in the form of risk-adjusted returns. LendingClub is based in San Francisco, California. Small business loans facilitated by LendingClub and made by Opportunity Fund and Funding Circle.