Spirit of entrepreneurship alive and well in APAC region

New research reveals that there is a high level of confidence about the post-COVID prospects for entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific. And, furthermore, founders in Australia and New Zealand are among the most optimistic about their futures in the region.

The study was jointly conducted by Frost & Sullivan and Oracle NetSuite. It surveyed 233 entrepreneurs in ANZ, and almost 300 entrepreneurs from across six other APAC economies, on their attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Australian and New Zealand entrepreneurs were most confident about their businesses and the next stage of growth, at 83 per cent and 75 per cent respectively. Elsewhere in the region, entrepreneurs in China were the most positive at 98 per cent, followed by India at 87 per cent. Meanwhile, Japan’s entrepreneurs were the least confident at 67 per cent.

The study also found that Australian entrepreneurs start businesses later in life. Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of Australian entrepreneurs were 35 or older when starting their business, compared to nearly half being under 35 across APAC. In addition, ANZ entrepreneurs are more likely to be serial entrepreneurs than their peers in other APAC countries, with 63 per cent starting three or more businesses. 

Entrepreneurs across APAC regard technology as an important factor in their business success. In particular, Australian (58 per cent) and New Zealand (66 per cent) entrepreneurs ranked their core business software as important or very important for business success. And 57 per cent of entrepreneurs are now using SaaS for most or all of their key business applications.

“The results of this study show that we can feel confident about the state of entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mark Dougan, Director at Frost & Sullivan, said. “Entrepreneurship is a lifelong journey of learning, and following the uncertainties of last year, the most important lesson learned is having a flexible business model.

“Most entrepreneurs feel they have managed to respond well and feel confident in their own success, as well as in the growth and future success of their businesses,” Dougan added.

“Entrepreneurs are the engine-room of the business eco-system and are vital for a healthy economy here in Australia, New Zealand and across APAC,” Jason Toshack, General Manager at Oracle NetSuite ANZ, said. “In this study, we found that Australian entrepreneurs are encouragingly positive, and a lot of that is down to not only their grit and determination but also the tools and software they now have to manage their businesses and adapt to change.

“2020 dealt a challenging set of cards, but with Australia leading in serial entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, and most importantly showing confidence, there’s a feeling that anything is now possible,” Toshack concluded.