Herbalife Nutrition, a premier global nutrition company, released findings from its Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Survey 2019 today. Conducted in April 2019 with 9,000 respondents in nine Asia Pacific markets, the study revealed that among 1,000 Malaysian consumers, 86% of them aspire to own a business. In addition, the majority (69%) of people in Malaysia believe that working on their own business would be more fulfilling as compared to working for someone else.
“Many Malaysians aspire to start their own business and be their own boss but often feel overwhelmed by the process. Through this study, we have uncovered new insights into the perceptions and attitudes of aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as the experiences of current entrepreneurs. These help us gain better understanding on how we can support people’s ambitions of becoming an entrepreneur one day,” said Steven Chin, General Manager and Director, Herbalife Nutrition Malaysia.
Desire to fulfill a dream motivates entrepreneurs to start their own business
When Malaysian entrepreneurs were asked about the reasons for starting their own business, the desire to fulfill a dream topped the list, with close to three quarter (74%) of the respondents polled who already own their own business (entrepreneurs) agreeing with this point. This was followed by:
• The desire for income gain (52%)
• Encouragement by family (50%)
• The need to follow their gut/intuition (38%)
• Encouragement by friends (37%)
While their entrepreneurship experiences differ, an overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs in Malaysia – nine in 10 (90%) – said that being an entrepreneur has created greater happiness for them ever since they started on the journey, showing that entrepreneurship can be rewarding for people in the country.
Majority of aspiring entrepreneurs have dreamt of the day that they can quit their job
Among those who aspire to start their own business (aspiring entrepreneurs), more than seven in 10 (76%) said that they have dreamt of the day when they can tell their boss that they are quitting their job, and for good reason. While eight in 10 (80%) believe that their business idea would be revolutionary for the industry.
Besides impacting the industry, aspiring entrepreneurs also believe that having their own business has many potential benefits. These include:
• Flexibility in their work/life schedule (75%)
• Potential to grow their own income (71%)
• Allow them to pursue their passion (66%)
• Increased job satisfaction (58%)
• Ability to be their own boss (57%)
Entrepreneurship remains daunting for most aspiring entrepreneurs
While the benefits associated with entrepreneurship were clear, more than nine in 10 (92%) aspiring entrepreneurs expressed that they feel overwhelmed by the prospect of starting their own business. In fact, 81% sometimes feel that they may never have the opportunity to start their own business.
Nonetheless, aspiring entrepreneurs in Malaysia remain relatively practical about their entrepreneurship dream. 39% consider the earning potential of a new business as important as the need to follow their passion, while 34% of aspiring entrepreneurs consider the earning potential of a new business more important than the need to follow their passion.
This insight is echoed by their financial risk appetite, as the majority of aspiring entrepreneurs – eight in 10 (81%) would use their own money as a means of initial financing for their own business. Only a small number – 40% would ride on small business loans and 34% would take on personal loans to finance their new business, while 30% would use money from their family to do so.
Cost is the biggest barrier for entrepreneurship in Asia Pacific
When asked about the barriers to entrepreneurship, majority of aspiring entrepreneurs (77%) cited the initial cost of starting a business as the top barrier preventing them from doing so. This was followed by:
• Worries of the business not being successful (53%)
• Lack of financing and market knowledge support (51%)
• Worries of the business not being profitable (48%)
At the same time, 72% of Malaysian respondents agree that men and women face different challenges when it comes to opening their own business.
However, the majority of aspiring entrepreneurs (83%) also shared that they would be more confident in starting their own business if they had business partners involved.
“From the survey results, we saw that aspiring entrepreneurs are cautious in chasing their dream of opening their own business. Not only does the potential business need to have a relatively low start-up cost, it also needs to have a clear success potential for them to take the leap of faith. Starting a business will always come with its own set of benefits as well as risks, therefore it is important to find a good support network that can lend the right expertise and knowledge to help kickstart the entrepreneurship journey, while reducing risks at the same time,” said Chin.
About the Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Survey 2019
The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Survey 2019 was commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition and conducted by OnePoll in April 2019, with 9,000 respondents in nine Asia Pacific markets. In addition to Malaysia, other featured markets include Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.