Mallett O & Wapshott R (2015) Entrepreneurship in a Context of Pending Retirement: The Lived Experience of Older Entrepreneurs. In: Sappleton N & Lourenco F (eds.) Entrepreneurship, Self-Employment and Retirement. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 67-89. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137398390_4
Retirement reaches back into working lives in practical forms such as pension planning as well as the creation of assumptions and expectations around what older people want from paid work and for how long, creating a powerful context of pending retirement. This chapter focuses on two longitudinal, detailed case studies to explore the everyday lived experiences of older entrepreneurs in this context. Joining the older entrepreneurs on their contrasting journeys we reveal and discuss how entrepreneurship in a context of pending retirement can be a messy, complex and highly emotional process. From the detailed accounts of what it is like to be an older entrepreneur, professionally and personally, we explore the complex interactions of the entrepreneurs’ motivations, life-work and interpersonal relationships and relationships with their respective businesses. This reveals the complex, messy nature of entrepreneurship in a context of pending retirement and the challenges that have been down-played or ignored in much of the relevant literature.
Entrepreneurship; retirement; age