During the COVID-19 crisis, governments around the world have taken action to support their ecosystems. In response, our Government has ramped up its recovery efforts and established a special task force to effectively respond to the economic impact of the crisis. Also, the Government set aside funds for COVID-19 small business grants to assist micro small and medium-sized enterprises, firms that will drive innovation to overcome their larger competitors. These innovative companies are essential for the future of innovation and supporting them is critical during this unprecedented era. The entrepreneurial landscape is changing, and we must adapt to thrive in such an unfamiliar environment.
Entrepreneurs and start-ups have been more opportunistic during the pandemic, shifting their focus, skills and networks to new needs that have emerged. From start-ups and individuals producing and selling face masks and shields to their local communities to local taxi start-ups turning into grocery delivery companies, the nature of innovation is often incremental but, at the same time, essential for survival and adapting to what seems like our new norm.
Changing one’s business model is not without its challenges. Many of these businesses come from different knowledge backgrounds, and this poses a problem for those wanting to do business with them; How can they gauge their trustworthiness or capability to succeed in a domain that is not in line with their experience? While small businesses are making an effort to take advantage of opportunities in the current pandemic, they must not view these opportunities as short-term gains as this ability to survive will fuel growth opportunity for our economy. As such, to take advantage of the potential of these entrepreneurs, government and other supporting institutions must develop appropriate measures to support the new age of entrepreneurship.
The changes we observe today can be viewed as a double-edged sword. Some might argue that the crisis raises the risk associated with start-ups, and others might suggest that the changes today will benefit the country further down the road. One thing is sure, entrepreneurship has become more and more stereotyped, hence only achieved by those with access to the right type of education, funding and networks. However, we must help to create new entrepreneurial role models that people can more easily identify with. This will help to stimulate more people to start up their own business, especially seeing that large institutions are now shedding talented and qualified employees as a result of the crisis, which could encourage people to take on the risk associated with starting a business.
While we make an effort to encourage new entrepreneurs, we must not forget those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and how this may impact the perception of entrepreneurship going forward. This is not a case of in with the new and out with the old, but instead a restructuring of the system that is imperative for survival and the government and other supporting institutions must try to develop appropriate measures in supporting the new age of entrepreneurship.
Written by Jonathan Cook, Research Analyst
While we make an effort to encourage new entrepreneurs...
While we make an effort to encourage new entrepreneurs, we must not forget those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and how this may impact the perception of entrepreneurship going forward.
This is not a case of in with the new and out with the old...
This is not a case of in with the new and out with the old, but instead a restructuring of the system that is imperative for survival and the government and other supporting institutions must try to develop appropriate measures in supporting the new age of entrepreneurship.
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