Because of the extensive media coverage of young tech entrepreneurs, most people think the average small business owner is a 20 something techie who needs a shower.
But as the chart below shows, the median American small business owner is a bit over 50 years old.
The chart is from Babson College's State of Small Business in 2016 study. It's a comprehensive, 40 page report covering a variety of small business issues.
The report - which is well worth reading - focuses entirely on employer small business, which are those with traditional employees. It does not cover independent workers (solopreneurs, freelancers, etc.).
While people are surprised about the average age of SMB owners, they are less surprised to hear small business owners are, on average, white and male.
But this data is quite different when you segment it by firm size.
The chart below shows that the smaller the firm in terms of employment, the more likely the owner or owners are female. The same is true for minority ownership. Smaller firms also have, on average, younger owners.
The independent workforce (solopreneurs, freelancers, independent contractors, etc.) is similar in terms of ethnic/racial make-up as small business owners, but the meidan independent worker is much younger.
According to data from the MBO Partners State of Independence studies, the median independent worker is is in their mid 30s. And as is shown in the chart above, roughly half of independent workers are women.