According to the most recent data available, 13 percent of young people in Southeast Asia are currently unemployed. Countries from Myanmar to the Philippines are searching for new engines of job growth. Private companies offer the best opportunity to create these jobs and grow the economy, but not all firms are alike. Most will see negligible growth in the near future, both in terms of employees and profitability.
To identify the fastest-growing firms, Endeavor Insight analyzed data from the World Bank and found that scaleups, companies growing at more than 20 percent per year over the past three years, create the vast majority of new jobs in the region. Our new report, “The Impact of Entrepreneurs at Scaleup Companies in Southeast Asia,” shows that across a number of Southeast Asian countries, scaleups represent only 14 percent of total companies, but created 77 percent of net new jobs.
We spoke to entrepreneurs at ten of these scaleup companies to learn about their challenges, strategies for growth, and impact on the wider economy. These entrepreneurs, who founded companies as diverse as a Filipino cut flower business to an Indonesian payments firm, share a common passion that drives them to develop their products in the face of adversity. Some of these challenges include developing their own entrepreneurial abilities, sourcing talent, and accessing customers and markets. In the face of these challenges, these ten entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses and create revenues and jobs for the wider economy. These firms will mature along with their leaders, and the next generation of entrepreneurs and scaleup firms will stand on their shoulders to continue to grow Southeast Asia’s wider economy.
A copy of the report is embedded above. It includes profiles of entrepreneurs at fast-growing companies from every country in Southeast Asia. To download the full report and learn more about its methodology, click here. More information about this research is also available on the Endeavor blog.
Contributed by Mike Goodwin.