MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

3 in 5 Singapore entrepreneurs open to selling their businesses

1 in 5 will exit as soon as an opportunity knocks.

About 3 in 5 Singaporeans have an intention to sell or are open to the idea of selling their businesses, an HSBC study revealed. It is the highest number globally as 37% of them have intentions to exit their business whilst 21% are open to the idea of it.

However, only 64% of Singaporeans have an exit strategy which is the lowest of all markets aside from Saudi Arabia and Australia. One in five said they will leave upon reaching a certain age whilst 16% revealed that they will exit as soon as the next opportunity knocks.

“At first glance, you’d say that Singaporean entrepreneurs are a barrel of contradictions,”HSBC private banking Southeast Asia head Philip Kunz said. “But on closer inspection, there’s logic to it, in that they’ll depart when the right opportunity or time presents itself.”

The study also found that 36% of Singaporean entrepreneurs still manage the business they started. Meanwhile, 53% participate in active shareholding in another two to four ventures outside of their core business.

“Singaporean entrepreneurs are keeping options open,” Kunz commented. “The embracing of venture capital is opening up what has traditionally been a closed, harder to break into social network.”

According to the study, 44% look from their social network to chance upon opportunities whilst 38% seek from professional networks. Meanwhile, 37% seek venture capital networks.

The HSBC study also found that 33% of Singaporeans’ top priority as they run their business is to have financial security for themselves and their loved ones.

“In all this hype about the ‘me’ generation and entrepreneurial self-interest, overall
we’re seeing a commitment to community and family as a strong motivating force,” Kunz noted.

In addition, 7 in 10 said think that social and environmental concerns are extremely or very important in terms of planning their business. 

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