Expats find Singapore the best country for startups: Study
October 7, 2011 by Terence LEE
Expats ranked Singapore the number one country to nurture startups, a study by the NatWest International in partnership with the Centre of Future Studies found. Hong Kong and the US came in second and third.
The study looked at the extent the countries promote entrepreneurship through practices like low taxation and bureaucratic efficiency, and also factors like economic climate and infrastructure.
We do not know how many respondents were involved in this study or how representative they are, although presumably the respondents appear to be UK-natives.
Seven out of ten expat entrepreneurs have also revealed that their startups are doing better because they are founded overseas, largely because they can grow faster by being outside the UK.
Said Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking: “Setting up your own business can be difficult and you would imagine doing so abroad would be a task for the brave. But a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging and it is encouraging to see these modern-day pioneers are thriving in foreign climes.”
Many expats from around the world have indeed started businesses in Singapore, and many of them have been featured on SGE. Some examples include Steve Melhuish and Jani Rautiainen from Property Guru, Stephanie Hancock and Guy Wachs from Wild Honey, and others.
Many entrepreneurs have praised the island-state for the ease of setting up businesses, low corporate tax, and excellent infrastructure. Also, since it is located in close proximity to regional markets in Asia-Pacific, companies like Facebook and Google are flocking to the city-state.
These sentiments are confirmed by other studies. The Cities of Opportunity report ranked Singapore number one among 26 cities for ease of doing business. The Global Innovation Report placed Singapore in third position globally for innovation, while the Global Competitiveness Report is full of praise for the Singapore government.
On the other hand, critics have pointed out that the startup ecosystem here is still too reliant on the government, even as more angel investors, incubators, and venture capitalists are starting to fund Singapore-based entrepreneurs.
Large exits by Singaporean entrepreneurs are also rare, with Darius Cheung’s tenCube being the only recent example. The mobile security company was sold to McAfee for more than US$10 million.
Nonetheless, Singapore’s startup ecosystem is still relatively young, and there are many exciting startups here that have yet to reach their fullest potential.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE