A study released on Sunday shows that young local businesspeople still need to improve their skills to start their own business and gain more market knowledge to sell their products and services. The study urges the government to provide stronger support to start-uppers.
The first-ever “Macau Entrepreneurship Index” study was conducted by e-Research & Solutions (eRS), Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Macau (UM) and SMEs Service Platform.
eRS is a local research company founded in 2009, while the SMEs Service Platform was jointly launched in 2014 by the Macau Youth Entrepreneurs Association, SME Service Centre of the local Bank of China (BOC) branch and Macao Daily News, with the aim of supporting those who are planning to establish their own business by providing them with tips on starting a business, market information and a consultation services.
The survey, which from now on will be conducted every quarter, asked 200 locals who started their business in or after 2012, via telephone in April and May. The results of the study were released at a press conference at the Bank of China Building. eRS Director Angus Cheong Weng Hin presented the findings of the study.
The government launched the “Young Entrepreneurs Aid Scheme” in 2013 for start-uppers aged 21 to 44, offering them interest-free loans of up to 300,000 patacas. Until early this year the government had lent some 160 million patacas since the launch of the scheme.
According to the findings, two thirds of the respondents started their business when they were between 25 and 34 years old. A total of 56.5 per cent finished tertiary education and some 40 per cent had worked for five to 10 years before starting their business.
Retail shops, restaurants and cafés are the three most popular businesses that start-uppers opened, with a quarter of the respondents running retail shops, according to the study. The study also shows that the young entrepreneurs spent on average 6.8 months in preparation before setting up their business.
According to the findings, the respondents have invested an average of 978,000 patacas in their start-ups.
The study concludes that 87.8 percent of the companies run by the respondents “do not have any influence on the market”.
However, the study indicates that local start-uppers are fairly poor in collecting information and knowledge on how to get a business off the ground. On average, the respondents only gave themselves 2.7 marks for their risk management capacity, while they gave themselves 2.9 marks for the capacity of obtaining market information.
Based on the degree to which the government supports start-uppers, the skills, knowledge and attitudes that they have, the study came up with an “entrepreneurship environment index” of 48.6 out of 100.
In addition, the study asked respondents if they were satisfied with the operation of their business, to which they gave 5.7 marks out of 10. However, 24 per cent said that their profit did not meet their expectations.
The study suggests that the government needs to place more emphasis on training and consultation services for start-uppers.