Ageing and redundancy and the silver lining of entrepreneurship

Rebecca Jane Stirzaker, Laura Galloway

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)
    122 Downloads (Pure)


    The article reports a qualitative study of individuals aged 50 who have been made redundant and subsequently started a firm or become self-employed. There is some literature on both entrepreneurship post-redundancy and amongst older people, but the intersection of these is little explored. In this article, the drivers and experiences of the redundant older entrepreneurs are explored and in particularly, they are viewed through the lens of Shapero and Sokol’s entrepreneurial event theory (1982). Findings include that entrepreneurship was triggered by redundancy, but though entirely reactionary,
    the outcomes are perceived as positive and contributory to lives, rendering the redundancy a blessing in disguise and the entrepreneurship a silver lining. The value of the article is in its exploration of a specific context of entrepreneurship,
    where age and redundancy are implicated not only as drivers but also as shapers of ongoing entrepreneurship. Implications for theory include that entrepreneurship occurs as a reflexive process, including both agential and structural considerations, and this explains contextualized entrepreneurship better than conceptualizations of the normative ‘entrepreneur’. Implications for policy include better understanding of the drivers and ongoing motivations of older (redundant) entrepreneurs will better inform, support and development of them and their enterprises.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-114
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


    • age
    • entrepreneurship
    • redundancy
    • reflexivity
    • entrentrepreneurial event theory


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ageing and redundancy and the silver lining of entrepreneurship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this