1 Dec 2015

From Small Entrepreneurs to Big Businessmen

Every journey begins with a single step. That was what students had in mind when they attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015 (“YES 2015”). The event was first created in 2007, organized by nEbO, the junior membership arm of NTUC, to help educate young hopefuls who want to someday start their own business or learn about basic entrepreneurship skills in the real-life business industry.

The three day event comprised of speeches given by keynotes speakers, many of them which are successful owners and founders of their own businesses. Some of those that were invited to speak to the young hopefuls were Mr. Leslie Loh, Founder & Managing Director of Red Dot Ventures Pte Ltd. Also present was Mr. Kenny Lew, Founder & CEO of Entreport Asia.

The speakers spoke on how Singapore is ripe for small businesses (SMEs) and enterprises to start up, and how times have changed since their time as compared to now in terms of business opportunities. Personal stories were also shared, with speakers stepping out and telling the audience about their own heartfelt stories of trials and tribulations they had to go through before they could start up their own businesses and became the successful entrepreneurs they are today.

Clarice Goh, 19, a Serangoon Junior College student said: “This symposium has given me a lot of insight as to how the real life business industry works, and helped me clear up my doubts on how I could be a businesswoman running my own business in the future.”

Other than speeches, the students were exposed to lectures given by the speakers to teach them business tips about running their own startups to better prepare them for pitching their own business ideas to the judges over the next two days.

Being split into teams of five, they were given a business theme to shape their business idea and were only given a day in advance to prepare for it. This helps students adapt quickly to the real-life scenarios in the entrepreneurship industry, and the themes were tailored to help the students to think of ideas that would help and benefit the community around them.

Teo Wei Hong, 17, a Temasek Polytechnic student, said: “I learnt a lot about being open minded and think from other perspectives when it comes to running a business. Personally, I feel that entrepreneurship can help change one’s life around, and I see myself being one, to help change my family’s and mine situation around.”

On the last day of the symposium, the teams were given an opportunity to pitch their ideas to the judge, and given another chance to polish up their pitches and present them again, and finally face off with the other remaining teams to clinch the 1st prize of having the best pitch in the symposium.

Mr. Kingsley Peh, 27, one of the judges, said: “Overall, the symposium was effective in its purpose of educating the students and they stepped up to the plate and gave us very impressive pitches. It’s useful for them to be exposed to the reality of the world and improvise as new situations come up every day, and not just chant theories from their textbooks.”

Posted by Yiew Kai Jie on 1 Dec 2015, 9:46 am
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