Entrepreneurship as the new MBA? There’s a reasonable payoff.

With strong support towards SMEs from both government and private sector, it is no surprise that Singapore remains a top destination globally to business owners and investors. Despite its tiny land mass, it boasts some of world’s largest startups thanks to its supportive ecosystem and low taxes.


Every year, some 50,000-80,000 entities are being setup in Singapore according to statistics from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to get a piece of the burgeoning scene within the region and few may realize, a typical person makes less as an entrepreneur than he or she could earn at a bigger company. The odds are against to-be entrepreneurs, with many having tried and failed at their ventures, incurring costs such as time, sweat and money. However, according to a recent study by University of California Berkeley (sourced from a recent note from Fortune by Jennifer Alsever), self-employment does pay off, and often in the form of high wagers when he returns to work at another company.

With the World we live in evolving quicker than ever, big corporates are giving increasing emphasis on employee’s ability with problem solving and adapting to fast-moving environment, and are therefore willing to pay more to ex-business owners, getting more bang for their buck. In fact, failure is becoming irrelevant to most hiring managers if you’re honest about why you failed and the lessons learnt.

World leading cities and economies have always put emphasis on the value of creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship, and therefore have worked hard to create great startup ecosystems. Forward-looking governments are actively encouraging trial-and-error as the experience in a startup is invaluable, equating to business education at warp speed. You tackle real-life problems with limited resources every day. The mix of startup and big-company experience may become future differentiators in the new corporate world, putting you in the position to do financially better than those who hadn’t been self-employed at some point of their career.


As UC Bekerley’s research sums it up: “You don’t need to be crazy to be entrepreneurial. There’s a reasonable payoff.”

For more details and references, you may see Professor Manso’s research here.


Want to know more about procedures of setting up your Singapore company and where Singapore stands amongst OECD countries in taxes? Look at our most popular guides.