Early-stage entrepreneurial propensity includes the “nascent” participation rate and the “new firm” participation rate in Singapore.
However, entrepreneurial activity has been slow to develop in Singapore and those that have emerged as successful entrepreneurs are the most likely to emigrate (Oxford, 2006). This is because of the challenges that the entrepreneurs face in Singapore. The start-ups and the SMEs did not have access to capital even though the financial sector was liberalized and developed (Low, 2005). Even though Singapore was ranked as the “third most globalized nation” there were no provisions to support the entrepreneurs to participate in the global market place. Over regulations stifled the innovative characteristic in the entrepreneurs and they had to comply with the high cost of fees and licenses.
Singapore is a developed nation according to the socio-economic indicators (Table I) except for its sustainability in science and technology (Low, 2005). Singapore is an open economy and its growth is dependent on direct foreign investment and trade. The island nation has a well educated and skilled labour force but lacks in other resources.
The government in Singapore recognizes that the nation lacks in entrepreneurial culture and hence fostered an entrepreneurial environment in its master plan – named ‘SME21’ to meet the challenges of the 21st century (Bhasin, 2007). This is meant to stimulate the high-tech SMEs from their earlier focus on MNCs (multi-national corporations) and larger corporations. Earlier, the government had also launched the Technopreneurship 21 (T21) program to encourage entrepreneurs in the field of technology and innovation. In March 2000, the government also set up a $10 million fund called The Enterprise Challenge to sponsor innovative proposals and encourage creativity. The government also set up agencies to support the entrepreneurs. Notable among