Entrepreneurship in Asia

Entrepreneurship in Asia

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What is entrepreneurship like in Asia? Is the idea of creating a successful startup over-romanticized and most importantly, is it still possible? Will the Asian population spring at the opportunity of joining a foreign start up in Asia or does their filial piety still have a strong influence on their decisions? 

 

Countries such as India and China used to hold many opportunities for foreigners with an entrepreneurial dream, however, due to increasing educational standards and the strong variation of the populations, having an idea simply isn’t going to cut it anymore. 

 

Entrepreneurs in Asia have to be smarter, stronger, unique and most importantly - be the first in the business, in order to start their journey towards success. Thankfully, being a foreign entrepreneur does have a few advantages.

 

Expat-preneurs, as coined by Yvonne McNulty, are prepared to put in hard work. They make the independent decision to move to Asia, start with a local salary and settle in a new environment. 

 

With this, they open up new market segments where they settle and incorporate their foreign knowledge and know-how in their business strategy. This, in combination with a local partner who possess excellent communication skills (understands the local business culture and the language), could give foreign entrepreneurs the competitive edge that they need to succeed in the increasingly selective market. 

 

What are the advantages of a start up in Asia?

 

Firstly, due to the vastness of Asia and variety of laws, markets and sectors every country offers different possibilities, meaning that the possibilities in Asia strongly exceed those of western countries. 

 

While there are many talented individuals in western countries, their availability is incomparable to that of Asian countries. Western intellectuals will also require much higher pay whilst in Asia, wages are much lower and the population is more motivated and eager to work with you, thus making the Asian strategy more beneficial for foreign entrepreneurs. Locals are also becoming increasingly enthusiastic about working together with foreigners to gain new skills, leaving their filial piety aside. 

 

 

Which sectors and countries are most suited for start ups in Asia?

 

Anyone who has a tech savvy entrepreneurial dream will have a higher chance of being successful in Asia. Many countries have successful apps on the rise which open up new markets and bring with them new shortcomings and in turn, new improvements and gaps in the market. 

 

In countries such as China, “mobile first” strategies are popular. This means that products and services are used for use via mobile applications before the average desktop web. In China, there is room and there are countless possibilities for innovation which makes it a great starting point for those with local aspirations.

 

Entrepreneurs who have bigger dreams and international aspirations should shift their focus to cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong. The foreigner friendly city of Singapore is ready to welcome foreigners (and their required local partner) with open arms to start their entrepreneurial journey, thanks to low taxes and manageable regulations.

 

Hong Kong is another available option if China is too restrictive. Like Singapore, Hong Kong is foreigner friendly and much more accessible with fewer regulations. Unlike the other Asian countries, Hong Kong does not have any restrictions on hiring foreign employees as Hong Kong employs a free market mechanism. 

 

A sector that is growing in importance and should not be neglected is Social Entrepreneurship. Creating start ups to help the growth and local economy of countries such as Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia, entrepreneurs often find it easier to find financial support in the first years. Spreading technology and knowledge to these countries will help further their country and create more possibilities for their futures. 

 

 

So how about it? Think you have the entrepreneurial skills it takes to be an entrepreneur in Asia in the future? Let us help you get started and gain knowledge about your sector of interest and the local business culture through an internship in Asia.

 

 

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