Some Asian cultures view entrepreneurship as adventurous and going against orthodoxy. That cultural mindset is changing.
When it comes to talent and culture, Asia-Pacific has a unique challenge – a fear of failure. In some Asian countries, the concept of failure may instill a burden. In many western countries, people consider the abilities to face and learn from failure, and continuously to take chances, as important qualities of an entrepreneur.
That cultural mindset is changing and the fear of failure is diluting in Asia. It’s not something a government or a company can do – it’s happening organically. With so many young people exposed to different influences and outlooks in Asia, countries in the region are developing new generations that are much more enthusiastic about the concept of entrepreneurship.
A wave of entrepreneurial talent is on the rise in Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world should increasingly look to the region as an important source of innovation.
The rise of entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific
Asia-Pacific has all the ingredients to make it a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. The region accounts for nearly two-thirds of the world’s growth, much of which is driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Fast economic growth, expanding middle markets and middle-income populations, and rapid expansion of SMEs are driving entrepreneurship and innovation – concepts which are intrinsically linked.
Governments across the region are also stepping up efforts to support entrepreneurship financially and in other ways. In Greater China, the government has made significant strides with its “Made in China 2025” strategic plan. In Japan, the government is creating opportunities for SMEs seeking outbound business opportunities. Singapore’s Economic Development Board also offers several initiatives to support innovation and entrepreneurship nationally.
Whether it’s from the government or the private sector, investments in technology drive growth for SMEs, and so for large corporations it’s all a connected ecosystem. Examples of these investments creating results are found in Fintech, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, technology solutions, and consumer products.
There are challenges for entrepreneurs in the region, although they are far from insurmountable ones. Just as in other parts of the world, access to capital is an obstacle, but many Asia-Pacific countries are improving access.
Finding the right talent can also be an issue, but younger demographics in Asia make it easier to develop talent. Although there’s still room for governments to reduce regulatory red tape, many are already proactively moving in the right direction.