Perspectives from ISB

According to a new research titled ‘Essence of Enterprise report’ conducted by HSBC and Scorpio Research, entrepreneurs in Asia are more likely to take a long-term approach to their enterprise compared to their western counterparts. The report surveyed 2800 entrepreneurs with a net worth of at least $1 million.

The study finds that less than a quarter in China intend to exit their businesses compared to half in the UK. They are also more likely to keep their wealth in the business. Although the average turnover in the region is $12 million compared to $6 million in the West, yet the average personal wealth is 26% lower than Western entrepreneurs in the US and Europe.

The study further finds that while family as a unit is significant in the region, the individual is paramount in the West. Accordingly, entrepreneurs in Asia are more likely to come from a family business background (54% compared to 43% in Europe). Family acts as the primary source of initial funding (61% in mainland China compared to 49% on average). This may act as a limiting factor as nearly 30% of Asian entrepreneurs cite lack of access to capital via informal connections as a barrier to achieving their business objectives. This compares to just 12% from the West who cite the same barrier. The research also found that the average profile of an entrepreneur is changing. Two in five entrepreneurs are female, and nearly half of these are under 35.