CPA Australia: Young Malaysian small business owners drive up tech focus

  • 72.2% expect to grow in 2023, compared to 54.6% last year
  • Increasing attention on innovation & technology will support long term growth

CPA Australia: Young Malaysian small business owners drive up tech focus

Malaysian small businesses are upbeat about their business and the economy. Meanwhile, young business owners are driving an increasing focus on technology and innovation in their small businesses. These are some of the findings from a new regional survey by CPA Australia, one of the world’s largest professional accounting associations. The online survey was conducted in 11 markets amongst a random sample of small business owners/senior managers from organisations with fewer than 20 staff, from 22 Nov to 5 Dec 2022. There were 302 respondents from Malaysia.

CPA Australia’s latest Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey shows 72.2 per cent of Malaysian small businesses expect to grow in 2023, compared to 54.6 per cent last year.

This trend is being driven by an improving economy and more small businesses grasping the benefits of digital technology including e-commerce, supported by new digital payment opportunities.

CPA Australia: Young Malaysian small business owners drive up tech focus“An increasing focus on e-commerce will position many Malaysian small businesses for future growth,” said Malaysia Division president Surin Segar (pic) FCPA (Aust.).

The survey found 63.9 per cent earned more than 10 per cent of their revenue from online sales in 2022. Consistent with this, almost three-quarters (72.9 per cent) received more than 10 per cent of their sales through digital payment technologies such as GrabPay, Touch n’ Go, Boost.

Small businesses are achieving strong returns from technology spending, with 53 per cent reporting this investment in 2022 improved their profitability. The in turn is helping drive the adoption of new technology.

Nearly all Malaysian small businesses use social media. Businesses were more likely to invest in mobile phone applications than any other technology.

They continue to have a reasonable focus on innovation, particularly in comparison to small businesses from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. Over a third (34.1 per cent) said they will introduce a new product, process or service to Malaysia or the world in 2023, up from 25.3 per cent last year and is the highest on record for Malaysia.

“Small businesses are ready to innovate in 2023. This innovative culture should support long-term growth and improve the competitiveness of Malaysia’s small business sector,” said Surin.

He noted that the appetite to innovate is hugely encouraging and attributes this to the high percentage of Malaysians under 40 running small businesses.

“Younger business owners surveyed were more likely to run businesses that are growing, creating jobs, innovating, using emerging technologies and exporting,” Surin added.

To harness the entrepreneurial spirit of Malaysia’s many young small business owners, CPA Australia wants to see policymakers incentivise them to access professional advice.

The report stated that the increased use of technology raised cyber risks that all businesses need to be aware of.  And while almost half (48 per cent) of small businesses reviewed their cybersecurity in the last six months, up from 2021, “we want to see that figure climb higher,” said Surin.

For a detailed reading of the study go to CPA Australia’s Malaysia market summary.

From the commencement of the survey in 2009, CPA Australia have surveyed over 39,000 small businesses across the region. The findings come from the current survey involved 4,280 small businesses in 11 markets across Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

There were 510 respondents from Australia, 752 from Mainland China, 312 from Hong Kong, 561 from India, 306 from Indonesia, 302 from Malaysia, 308 from New Zealand, 306 from the Philippines, 303 from Singapore, 313 from Taiwan and 307 from Vietnam.


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