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What drives Gen Z start-up founders in Singapore?

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 2 min read
What drives Gen Z start-up founders in Singapore?
They are more focused on the foundations of a functioning society and believe it takes more than just passion to succeed.
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More members of the Generation Z (Gen Z) are taking an interest in entrepreneurship.

As of the end of June, 20% of the more than 680 people who participated in Enterprise Singapore’s venture building programme were fresh graduates. The programme – which was introduced last August – trains aspiring entrepreneurs with no business experience to launch their start-ups.

To help us better understand these emerging and aspiring founders, Entrepreneur First published a report revealing Gen Z founders’ motivations and their perspectives on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore.


See: 4 Singapore start-up businesses that have flourished despite the pandemic

Key findings from the “Singapore’s Future Founders: Catalysts, Hurdles & Moonshots” report include:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) Singaporean founders are first-timers, with 61% having spent less than four years in the working world before launching their start-up.
  • While financial gains are the biggest driver of launching a start-up for many entrepreneurs, 64% of Gen Z founders cite having autonomy as an equally important reason for doing so.
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs are focused on the foundations of a functioning society. They have their eye on the food and agriculture industry, followed by finance, education, entertainment, and clean technology.
  • Gen Z founders believe problem-solving (76%), vision (74%) and risk-taking (68%) as top ideal traits of an entrepreneur. They recognise that although passion is critical to kick-off a start-up, entrepreneurs who are not risk-takers, do not have a clear direction, and lack problem-solving skills run the risk of burning out when the going gets tough.
  • According to Gen Z entrepreneurs, teamwork and having compatible co-founders matter the most in a start-up’s success. This shows that they place more emphasis on human potential rather than the practical constraints of business or technical models.

See also: Bridging the gap: How Apac start-ups can master equity and attract investment

“What stood out in this survey is that founders still feel that they need to know everything – how to develop the solution, how to run a business, how to master financial and market knowledge – before they can start a business,” says Teik Guan Tan, exited entrepreneur, angel investor and Venture Partner at Entrepreneur First.

He continues: “The reality is, a good founder does not need to have all the answers but they do need to craft an edge for themselves. This is why having a talent-first approach to venture matters. By investing in the right individuals, pre-idea and pre-team, Entrepreneur First sets them up with compatible co-founders to better navigate the marathon ahead.”

Photo: Unsplash

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