The Post-Pandemic Entrepreneurship Boom

Launch into success in the post-pandemic entrepreneurial landscape — embrace change, embark on opportunities, and be empowered by challenges!

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the world, leaving lasting impacts on every aspect of our lives, one notable phenomenon has emerged — the boom of entrepreneurship — a surge further fueled by rapid technological advancements and an economic downturn.

In Malaysia, the pandemic's impact on the employment landscape was nothing short of shocking. The unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 4.54% in 2020, only slightly easing to 4.05% in 2021. However, the situation was particularly troubling for the country's youths, with an unemployment rate of 12.5% in 2020, surpassing that of working adults by a substantial factor of 6. Over 200,000 youths found themselves without jobs, spurring the multitude to turn towards self-employment as an alternative.

Amidst this adversity, these enterprising youths tapped into their potential, empowered by digital technologies and tools, which created an ideal environment for entrepreneurial pursuits to flourish. As a result, Malaysia experienced a surge in entrepreneurial ventures, especially in sectors such as food and beverages, e-commerce, healthcare, and fintech. In 2021, a total of 13,000 new firms were recorded, up from 12,000 the previous year. The trend mirrored similar increases in business registrations seen in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan — 95%, 30%, and 14%, respectively.

Despite the dire circumstances, these budding entrepreneurs grabbed opportunities and forged their own paths, contributing to the resurgence of the economy and the resilience of their nation.

The Transformative Power of the Pandemic

Within a matter of years, the pandemic propelled the world into an online existence, fundamentally transforming our physical reality into a digital realm. According to a McKinsey Global Survey, companies worldwide have accelerated the digitisation (or digitalisation) of their internal and external processes by three to four years — an acceleration thought unattainable prior to the pandemic! This swift shift paved the way for the rise of e-commerce, online services, remote work, and other digital developments, cultivating fertile ground for entrepreneurial endeavours. 

Simultaneously, this transformation has led to inflexibility and uncertainty in conventional careers, prompting more and more youths to explore the unconventional career of an entrepreneur. Between 2016 and 2021, a total of 140,000 firms were recorded to have been opened by youths (and women) in the country, as a means of creating a second stream of income in response to the pandemic. As of 2021, Malaysia boasted a total of 1.2 million micro, small, and medium enterprises, accounting for 97.4% of overall establishments in the country.

Recognising the relevance of entrepreneurship in a post-pandemic era, governments worldwide felt compelled to review and revise their policies and regulations regarding the startup industry. The stark contrast between pre- and post-pandemic government guidelines has had significant implications on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malaysia. To develop an entrepreneurial nation driven by high-tech innovation by 2030, the government designed the Malaysia Startup Ecosystem Roadmap 2021 - 2023 for their desired destination. This comprehensive plan encompasses various aspects, including increasing private sector participation in funding startups, building foundational technical and entrepreneurship skills, and driving deep tech innovation to market value, among other key ecosystem drivers, to establish itself among the Top 20 global startup ecosystems.

Opportunities in Post-Pandemic Entrepreneurship

The post-pandemic state of the world has unfolded a myriad of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Alongside government endeavours to enhance entrepreneurship pursuits, a notable prospect, tailored to youths (and students), emerges from numerous university-based incubators and the leveraging of their ecosystems. Universities have transcended their traditional role as educational institutions — transforming into hubs of innovation — encouraging students with entrepreneurial aspirations to venture into the startup industry through guidance, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Various studies have supported the effectiveness of business incubation in assisting entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development. 

Taylor'sphere™, an initiative by Taylor’s University, is a learning ecosystem and community of lecturers, industry partners, and alumni, all committed to nurturing the intellectual, mental, and emotional growth of its students. One of its components, BizPod, a business incubator, is designed to guide students through the journey of entrepreneurship, from ideation to actualisation. Indeed, Taylor's University is not the only institution taking such initiatives; other universities in Malaysia have also made efforts to support their students’ entrepreneurial aspirations through dedicated incubators. 

Meet our aspiring incubatees and be inspired by our successful incubated businesses at BizPod! Discover their innovative ideas and success stories, and let your entrepreneurial spirit soar!


With the incentive from these initiatives and more, emerging entrepreneurs are equipped and prepared to identify market gaps and consumer needs brought about by the pandemic. Given that the crisis has supplied a new world of problems, it demands solutions. Whether it involves developing remote work solutions, contactless services, fintech strategies, or health and safety innovations, entrepreneurs can tap into new markets to capitalise on the new needs of consumers and businesses. 

Challenges of Post-Pandemic Entrepreneurship

While entrepreneurship may be alluring with its abundance of opportunities, it is not without its fair share of challenges. Even as the economy actively treads the road to recovery, the market’s uncertainty and volatility still pose imposing risks for aspiring entrepreneurs, influencing the success or failure of their businesses. The ever-changing market conditions and ever-shifting consumer behaviour can uncover untapped market gaps; however, they can also complicate predicting and planning for the future. Regrettably, numerous entrepreneurship ventures that emerged during the pandemic to cater to niche consumer needs have become obsolete in the post-pandemic landscape. Take, for example, the surge of virtual event platforms during the global cancellation of physical events. While these startups may have seized the trend, their demand decreased after restrictions eased. 

Moreover, market uncertainty extends its influence into the initial stages of starting an entrepreneurial venture, making access to funding and resources more challenging than ever. The heightened competition resulting from the surge of startups makes it particularly difficult for youth entrepreneurs to secure funding from mainstream routes such as bank loans and venture capital. While alternative funding options such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and angel investors now exist, these entrepreneurs still encounter obstacles in obtaining proper funding for their startups. 


In conclusion, the post-pandemic era, marked by labour market disruption and technological acceleration, has unintentionally fuelled the boom of entrepreneurship, especially among the youth. With the added support for success shown by the government and various stakeholders, aspiring entrepreneurs can access a plethora of resources and opportunities. However, it is essential to recognise that external factors, such as market uncertainty, can also play a significant role in determining entrepreneurial success.

The appeal of entrepreneurship is palpable, but achieving true success in business entails thorough market research, resource leverage, and unwavering resilience to navigate economic uncertainties. Embrace the entrepreneurial journey with determination to make a meaningful impact. The possibilities are limitless; shape your future and seize opportunities in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape!

Afrina Arfa is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Finance and Economics (Honours) at Taylor's University. She spends her time indulging in economic news, hoping to inspire others to think beyond the constraints of society.