Entrepreneurship is the process of starting and running one’s own business, usually through their own financial backing. The precarious financial situation can deter some people from becoming entrepreneurs. However, for many, entrepreneurship has become an increasingly popular career path, especially those who are seeking alternatives from the typical office-career. In America, entrepreneurship has really taken off, producing success stories like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Ariana Huffington. Entrepreneurship is growing as an option around the world and is even the concept behind micro-finance loans. However, entrepreneurship in Asia is still a little behind entrepreneurship in America and other parts of the world, having only recently become popular.
Although a lucrative field, entrepreneurship has its risks. According to the Harvard Business Review, one risk that faces rising entrepreneurship is maintaining sustainability. To a start-up company, sustainability means finding capital to run the company, while also adhering to their mission. Since entrepreneurs usually finance their companies, entrepreneurship is a major financial risk that could deter people. Even if a company can get started, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will succeed, as 90 percent of companies struggle to survive more than 10 years. Additionally, several Asian countries still have weaker legal systems compared to the West, that can make it harder for entrepreneurs to be secure in their position. In addition to financial deterrents, there are also aspects of Asian culture that can make it difficult for Asian entrepreneurs. For example, Asians typically have very strong family bonds, and the expectation to follow their parents into the family business that can deter people from branching out and starting their own organization.
However, things are quickly changing in Asia, which can be seen in the rise of Asian entrepreneurs. First of all, more students from Asia are coming to the United States to study, and are coming at younger ages as well. This results in more young Asians being exposed to Western ideas and ways of thinking and encourages entrepreneurial action. Large majorities of people in Asia now have access to smartphones and other technology that exposes them to the rest of the world. In fact, with success stories like Jack Ma, founder of Ali Baba, more young Asians are getting into the entrepreneurial spirit.
Entrepreneurship has its risks, but they are worth taking, especially as new opportunities crop up in Asia. Culture in Asia is shifting, and governments and people are beginning to support entrepreneurial endeavors. It is time, therefore, for young Asian leaders and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the changing business field, to continue trying new ideas and plans, and to push past failures and keep trying.
naisA Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to helping talented young Asian professionals unlock their potential and become great leaders.