Made in Taiwan
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounted for over 97.6 % in Taiwanese manufacturing sectors. Taiwanese manufacturing SMEs have been the key drivers of economic growth.- as part of the export vanguard since 1960 as well as playing an essential role in Taiwan economic miracle. (“Made in Taiwan ” had been a worldwide well-known label since the 1970s and the flourishing exports brought the stable economic growth- GDP had been keeping growing 8% every year from 1970s to 1990s.
The crisis of the elderly: the dying manufacturing SMEs
However, in the early 1980s, due to labour costs and trade liberalisation, the government policy led a focusing on the industry transforming: from the labour-intensive to the innovation-intensive production. The large cooperations have been started to upgrade the business via innovation investment. However, many SMEs lack the funding and for transforming, so still keep the same business model as 30 years ago to survive. Today, 32.6% SME owners are more than 55 years old. These traditional SMEs that have been in existence for over 20 years have suffered a significant decline in sales, a shortage of talents as well as “the crisis of the elderly” as these first generation entrepreneurs move toward old age and a loss of subsequent their vitality and creativity. “If no-one take over the business, just close it!”