Promising times for entrepreneurship in Thailand
11 December 2013
For different reasons I came across a study from an ongoing project concerning entrepreneurship in Thailand. The Thailand study is part of an international cooperation aimed to compare entrepreneurial activity around the world. The name of the study is Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), it is the largest ongoing study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world and is for year 2013 set to cover 75 % of world population and 89 % of world GDP. Responsible for conducting the study in Thailand since 2011 is Bangkok University School of Entrepreneurship (BUSEM) with sponsorship from Bangkok University (BU).
The study covers entrepreneurial activity and attitude regarding entrepreneurship as well as constraining factors for entrepreneurial activity. The study I have reviewed is from 2011 and the most recent one released, I know from sources that 2012 year study is soon to be released and it will therefore be interesting to soon be able to make a comparison.
Some interesting findings made in the 2011 study is that Thailand is ranked number one in Total Early stage entrepreneurial Activity (TEA), which is defined as the percentage of male population aged 18-64 who are just starting a business or has owned a business for no more than three and a half years. A conclusion made is that there are plenty of business opportunities to be made in Thailand. Study shows that almost all indicators regarding attitudes against entrepreneurship has improved since the study last took place year 2007, including perceived opportunities, growth expectation and media coverage. Especially the indicators for media attention and high status for entrepreneurs places Thailand in top rank compared to the other nations in the study.
Another interesting finding was that Thailand was the only nation in the study to report a higher female TEA than that of male, meaning higher than all European as well as American nations. Women in Thailand are even more involved in business startups than men. This indicates a high equality among genders in Thailand and suggests that gender is not an impediment to business success and school enrolment. An important remark to make is that business amongst Thai entrepreneurs where found to be started out of opportunity rather than necessity, by necessity meaning business started because of no other choice of getting an income.
The study also illustrates some key areas where Thailand is constrained and needs to improve to take the next step in order to reach the same level as more advanced economies. Amongst these key areas lie better financial support, education and training, government policies as well as political, institutional and social context. Examples to fulfil these constrains are specific training programs for entrepreneurs and incubation centres.
From sources I know support is given to the startup of some of these training programs and incubation centres, and it will be interesting to see what the data for the next study will show. Entrepreneurship is shown to be growing and business opportunities are not regarded as a constraint, which makes Thailand an exciting place for business for the coming future. For further reading about this study that contains a lot more information and data then what is mentioned in this article visit http://www.gemconsortium.org/docs/2649/gem-thailand-2011-report and download the pdf file. If interested make sure to keep a lookout for the next study covering year 2012, that is soon to be published.
All information and pictures in this article is taken from the GEM Thailand – 2011 National Report.
Business Research Officer
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Broadgate Financial Group.