A survey conducted by Regus Plc, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, showed that 90 per cent of Malaysian entrepreneurs would like to redo their business if given the chance.

In a statement, Regus said despite facing serious challenges, the local small and micro businesses had displayed unwavering entrepreneurial spirit even though some of them might have fallen into business ownership through redundancy.

“The challenges they face are not new, but they are clearly saying that little impact has been felt from state support initiatives, despite the best efforts of government,” Regus regional director for Asia Pacific John Henderson said.

Henderson was referring to the outcome of the survey which blamed the lack of access to credit (82 per cent) as the biggest deterrent to setting up a business, followed by red tape or excessive regulation (71 per cent), lack of government support (66 per cent), and market domination by larger corporations (59 per cent).

Two-fifths of respondents also cited the state of economy as a serious hindrance.

Henderson said the lack of institutional support means that business owners would continue to increasingly favour flexible working in order to avoid lengthy leases, freeing up their working capital and concentrate on growing the business.

“Already globally, more than half of entrepreneurs are using flexible working locations for most of the week, compared with 39 per cent for those that do not own their business,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bharat Srinivasan, managing director of mobile intelligence provider, Carrier iQ Inc, said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of growth, accounting for up to 99 per cent of businesses and 40-50 per cent of gross domestic product.

Globally, 50 per cent of all jobs were generated by the SMEs although they attracted a small proportion of the overall investment, he said.

“That’s why it’s usually the entrepreneurial community and SMEs that generate growth out of an economic downturn, while the big boys (big corporations) run for cover,” he said.

However, he said government support was still needed to maximise the potential of the SMEs and without it some businesses might be left to minimise their operations or even worse, ended with winding up.