SINGAPORE: The latest data from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) reveals a surge in entrepreneurial activity in Singapore, with more than 70,000 new companies opening in 2023. This figure marks a 9 per cent increase from the previous year and sets a record high since 2014.

In contrast, over 50,000 companies closed their doors during the same period, reflecting a 5 per cent year-on-year increase and the highest closure rate since 2016.

Industries experiencing the most significant growth include manufacturing, retail, education, and health. The manufacturing sector saw a 10 per cent increase in new companies, while retail experienced a notable 16 per cent rise. However, the most striking growth was observed in education and health, with a 24 per cent surge, signaling shifts in consumer needs.

Analysts speaking to 8World attributed this surge to several factors and noted that entrepreneurs appear to have a robust understanding of the current economic environment and future prospects, instilling confidence in business ventures. The post-pandemic era has also proven to be a catalyst for innovation, prompting the birth of new products and services.

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Government support and emerging business opportunities further contributed to the record-breaking number of new businesses in 2023. Experts suggest that Singapore’s entrepreneurs, armed with confidence and a strategic understanding of market dynamics, seized opportunities presented by an evolving economic landscape.

However, amidst the impressive growth, concerns linger about the challenges facing businesses. Geopolitical uncertainties, fueled by conflicts such as the war in Ukraine and regional disputes, alongside disruptions in international supply chains, pose potential pressures. Additionally, rising office rental costs have become a factor influencing business decisions.

The closure of over 50,000 companies last year, a 5 per cent increase from the previous year, is viewed as a normal fluctuation attributed to changing market demands. Experts suggested that businesses struggling to adapt to evolving consumer needs and unable to swiftly transform their business models are compelled to close down.

The transformative impact of the pandemic on work attitudes may also have contributed to the entrepreneurial trends last year. The pursuit of greater work-life balance and a shift towards more fulfilling careers has prompted individuals to reevaluate their professional paths. This shift has played a role in the decision-making process, with dissatisfied individuals leveraging their abilities and resources to venture into entrepreneurship.

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As Singapore navigates through dynamic economic landscapes, the record-breaking number of new businesses signals resilience and adaptability within the entrepreneurial community. The challenge now lies in sustaining this momentum amid global uncertainties and ensuring that businesses effectively meet evolving consumer demands.