[First appeared on CNBC]


  • Given the “bleak job market outlook,” some parents in Singapore appear more willing to allow their children to start their own businesses, said venture capitalist Christopher Quek.
  • For its part, the Singapore government has been offering support for start-ups, including help in areas such as funding and sourcing of talent.
Singapore skyline

Singapore skylineRawpixel

SINGAPORE — Economic uncertainty triggered by the coronavirus may be helping some Singaporean entrepreneurs surmount a personal challenge: family objections to a less stable career path.

“Pragmatic” Singaporean parents often want their children to settle into stable jobs instead of those with higher risks, said Christopher Quek, managing partner of venture capital firm Trive. But given the “bleak job market outlook,” some parents appear more willing to allow their children to start their own businesses, said Quek, who has mentored start-up founders.Their investment into their children is part of ensuring retirement security for themselves and fulfilling their role in helping their children become even wealthier than they were.Christopher QuekVENTURE CAPITALIST

Singapore is home to some 3,800 tech start-ups, and a few big names include ride-hailing firm Grab and e-commerce giant Lazada.

The Asian financial hub provides easy access to global capital and to Southeast Asia’s growing consumer market. Singapore boasts solid infrastructure and a consistent rule of law — but some young entrepreneurs say they struggle with family pressures.

Family objections

E-commerce platform Carousell is one of the largest online marketplaces in Southeast Asia.

However, when its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Siu Rui Quek first told his parents he wanted to work full-time on the start-up, he sensed their disappointment.

“My dad’s face immediately looked grim. My mom looked away,” he said. “I almost joke sometimes that that’s probably the hardest thing in the whole start-up journey so far, just telling your parents.”

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