In the early days of Singapore, immigrants started their own small businesses as a means of making a living as well as a way to riches and success. Over time, particularly during periods of economic depression and difficulties, many of these small businesses remained in business for family survival and living. Now small enterprises are needed as support industries for the activities of the MNCs, to make Singapore a more attractive investment destination for them, and to benefit more from their presence; and as Singapore approaches the status of a developed nation, small enterprises are increasingly seen as instruments to benefit from the globalization of the Singapore economy.
This article argues that business format franchising is a form of entrepreneurship development that provides the franchisee with the necessary knowledge and practice as well as supplies and service support to run a viable business. It discusses the various scenarios under which a franchising arrangement may help develop entrepreneurship successfully and provides case illustrations. The first relates to the modernization of traditional local retail businesses which enables them to hold their own in the face of competition from the entry of larger international retail businesses into the Singapore market. The assistance given to such existing small businesses is equally relevant in developing the business knowledge and skills, as well as the much-needed business contacts, of a new entrepreneur. The second case relates to overseas business expansion which involves the development of franchisee entrepreneurs abroad. The sprouting of copycat entrepreneurs resulting from such franchises can also be seen to have a developmental effect on entrepreneurship. The third case relates to the promotion of intrapreneurship, which in practice resembles a franchising-type arrangement.