IPS Closed-Door Discussion on Senior Entrepreneurship


It is time to think different about Singapore’s ongoing demographic shift. As is well known, Singapore’s population is ageing rapidly, and with it, national healthcare and other social expenditures are expected to rise. At the same time, the labour force is expected to shrink as the larger cohorts of older workers exit the workforce, to be replaced by smaller cohorts of the young, with implications for the economic growth and vibrancy.

While many retirees look forward to relaxing after years of work, some find new purpose and meaning at this stage of life by starting their own businesses, as has happened elsewhere (e.g., the US, UK and Australia). Senior entrepreneurship has the potential to unlock economic and social benefits in Singapore. A key economic benefit of senior entrepreneurship would be to move people from dependence to financial independence or self-reliance, by prolonging ageing employees’ working careers through business start-ups, and generating value add to society. A primary social objective would be to help seniors remain active in ways that suit them best whilst exploiting their potential for entrepreneurship.

In this first-of-its-kind empirical study led by IPS Senior Research Fellow, Dr Alex Tan and Principal Research Fellow, Dr Yap Mui Teng, we find out why Singaporeans take the plunge into senior entrepreneurship, or not. We investigated the relationship between key institutions and policies—education, work, marriage, housing, healthcare, and retirement—using representative survey data of 50- to 70-year-olds drawn from the Singapore Life Panel® administered by the Centre for Economics of Aging (CREA) at the Singapore Management University.

Building on the results of our study, we would now like to invite leaders from the public, business, and people sectors to share their views on public policy towards senior entrepreneurship in Singapore and its implications, as well as to offer suggestions on how government interventions (through taxation, regulation, grants, etc.) and businesses (such as banks and financial institutions) can affect senior entrepreneurs’ incentives and motivations, and thereby their behaviour.

Please click here to view the programme. 


For enquiries, please contact Ms Nur Zahidah at tel: 6601-1420, or email:

Wednesday, 28 March 2018
3.00 pm - 5.00 pm (Registration begins at 2.30 pm)

Seminar Room 1-1, Level 1, Li Ka Shing Building
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore (Bukit Timah Campus)
469B Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259771