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Study Shows Strong Entrepreneurial Ambition Among Women in Southeast Asia

  • Southeast Asian women’s entrepreneurial spirit is strong in comparison to their counterparts elsewhere in the world.
  • Based on the results, 81% of women across ASEAN’s four-member states aspire to have their own business, higher than the global average of 72% with the intention to become the most prominent entrepreneurs among Generation Z and millennials between ages 18 and 39.
  • The study also found that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, practical factors still inspire entrepreneurship.
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Southeast Asian women’s entrepreneurial spirit is strong in comparison to their counterparts elsewhere in the world, Herbalife Nutrition’s second annual Global Entrepreneurship Survey 2020 reported.

This survey, conducted by OnePoll last March and April, polled 9,000 women, including 2,000 from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore on their entrepreneurial attitudes.

Based on the results, 81% of women across ASEAN’s four-member states aspire to have their own business, higher than the global average of 72% with the intention to become the most prominent entrepreneurs among Generation Z and millennials between ages 18 and 39.

The study also found that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, practical factors still inspire entrepreneurship.

Pressed on their reasons to start their own companies, the respondents concluded that the need to support their families (56 percent), the need to become their own boss (54 percent) and the need for a career change (53 percent) were the top drivers to realize their dreams.

They are ahead of other causes, such as having to have more flexibility in their work (45 percent) and pursuing their passion (41 percent).

Though four out of five women at ASEAN aspire to become entrepreneurs, the research showed that only three (59 percent) took actual steps to start their own company.

The initial cost to start a company (58 percent) and the lack of funding and industry awareness support (46 percent) are what prevents them from executing their dream.

The top benefits they might reap from entrepreneurship are the potential to increase their income (63%), the opportunity to better help their families (51%), and the potential to earn what they feel they are worth (49%).

Apart from money, 84 percent of them are attracted to entrepreneurship by their desire to become a role model for younger women. On the other hand, close to seven in ten, or 67 percent, want to help break the glass ceiling for women.

For Southeast Asian women to initially attempt their first foray into entrepreneurship, adequate market and financial expertise (73 percent), sufficient savings or financial stability (71 percent), a supportive family (64 percent), the opportunity to run a home business (64 percent), a mentor to direct them on their entrepreneurship journey (61 percent), and the ability to work on their business part-time until they are ready to go full-time (51 percent) are the elements of their journey.

While the path to their dream of owning their business may not be smooth-sailing, 7 out of 10 (70 percent) women in Southeast Asia believe it will change their lives, while 6 out of 10 (64 percent) are optimistic that it will be inspiring.

[BusinessMirror]

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