Ms Foo Mee Har: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) what is Singapore's trend of young people joining startups and the success rate of our startups as compared to that of other countries including US and Israel.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister (Industry) S Iswaran)
- Singapore’s startup ecosystem has seen significant progress over the past decade. This is due, in part, to the concerted efforts of the Government, industry and other stakeholders to create an environment that is conducive for innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Young Singaporeans increasingly recognise entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway. Between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of startup owners who are locals aged 35 and below rose from 20% to 23%. Surveys of young people in Singapore also affirm their growing entrepreneurial aspirations. For example, an NUS survey among tertiary students in Singapore reported that between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of students from Singapore Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) with strong entrepreneurial intent rose from 37.5% to 62.5%. A global survey in 2016 also found that 74% of millennials in Singapore aim to become their own boss within a decade, compared to 50% globally.
- While there is no standard definition of success for startups, Singapore’s startup landscape has grown steadily over the past decade. Between 2003 and 2016, the total number of startups in Singapore doubled from 22,000 to 43,000. In particular, the number of high-tech startups increased from 2,800 to 4,300 over the same period. Singapore has also nurtured four of the five unicorns in Southeast Asia, namely, Sea (formerly known as Garena), Razer, Lazada and Grab.
- Given Singapore’s fairly recent entry into the startup scene, Singapore has fared well in international benchmarking studies of global startup ecosystems. For example, in Startup Genome’s 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Singapore is ranked 12th overall, just below cities like Seattle and Paris and above Stockholm and Vancouver. Silicon Valley and New York City are the top-ranked cities, with Tel Aviv ranking 6th.