( dpa ) - Rising rents and prices of raw materials have made it tougher for many business startups in the city-state, a survey said on Friday.
More than half of the 1,500 startups surveyed were in the red, said an annual survey of firms less than three years old conducted by the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).
Fifty-eight per cent were in the red in 2007, up from 37 per cent the previous year.
Despite the worrying factors, 84 per cent of the entrepreneurs said they had no plans of giving up for the sake of a safe job.
Only those with such "unwavering commitment and resilient spirit" can enable Singapore to compete in the global economy," the Straits Times quoted ACE deputy chairman Inderjit Singh as saying.
The survey examined issues as the founders' ages, educational levels and reasons for going into business. It also looked at how each startup was funded, and the problems encountered.
Rising rents, increasing costs of raw materials, competition and manpower emerged as the main problems, said the results published in The Straits Times.
Most entrepreneurs fund their startups themselves although 12 per cent received help from friends and family in 2007, down from 23 per cent the previous year.
Founders are increasingly better educated, with 74 per cent having tertiary and higher educational qualifications compared with 70 per cent in 2006.
The largest group of entrepreneurs, 46 per cent, were between 31 and 40 years old last year, compared with 45 per cent in 2006.
ACE has proposed hiking the 50,000-Singapore-dollar (36,231-US- dollar) cap on Singapore's loan schemes which were set up several years ago to help small businesses get off the ground.