9 Jun 2014

Youth entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses through nEbO Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium

- 400 aspiring entrepreneurs to gain insights and valuable learning points from successful entrepreneurs over three-day Symposium

Singapore, 9 June 2014 – Although teenagers usually don’t think about how to earn their first million or to set-up new businesses, 400 youths aged 16 to 19 from tertiary institutes had an insider look into the world of entrepreneurship at nEbO’s annual Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium (YES) 2014 today. Organised by nEbO, the junior membership arm of the Labour Movement, participating youths will go through three intensive but fun days of motivational talks, industrial visits, networking session and also business pitch simulations at the Mochtar Riady Building, National University of Singapore (NUS).

The iconic symposium is one of the key initiatives under nEbO’s engagement strategy to get youths to be ‘Work-Ready’. Held for the seventh consecutive year, YES had grown to become a platform for nEbO to inculcate a sense of entrepreneurship among youths, developing their critical thinking skills and equipping them with the skills to be prudent entrepreneurs. Youths will gain valuable insights into how companies operate through industrial visits and networking sessions with aspiring entrepreneurs.  These will give them a headstart advantage for when they enter the workforce, be it on their own as a business start-up or through the more conventional route as an employee.

“Having organised YES for seven years now, we can see that Singaporean youths have become more sophisticated when it comes to talking about start-ups and businesses. And while they may have a business idea, they need just a little more push to help them develop those ideas into sustainable or viable business ventures, which is what YES aims to help them with. Ultimately, we want to not just groom individuals, but also foster a healthy environment for aspiring entrepreneurs, allowing them to test out their ideas, realise their potential as ‘Work-Ready, World-Ready and Life-Ready’ youths,” said Mr Lim Eng Lee, Alignment Director (nEbO), NTUC.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Teo Ser Luck also graced the event this morning and delivered his welcome speech to the youths present. In his welcome address, Mr Teo talked about the entrepreneurship journey and shared on the resources available for youths to jumpstart their own businesses.

Highlights of nEbO Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium 2014

The theme this year is “Take the Leap” as youths are encouraged to get out of their comfort zones and try to realise their own individual business ideas.

Talks by successful entrepreneurs

Youths had the privilege of hearing firsthand from five notable entrepreneurs during YES. One of them is the CEO and founder of the Sprezzatura Group Mr Leroy Ratnam who started building his empire with a mere $5,000 capital. Mr Ratnam is one of the keynote speakers addressing the aspiring entrepreneurs on the first day of YES on the “Road of Entrepreneurship”, encouraging and motivating the youths to embark on their own journeys.

Quick Pitch Challenge

Aside from just listening to success stories, participants of YES also had multiple chances to brainstorm and develop their business ideas in one of the more exciting segments of the Symposium – the Quick Pitch Challenge.

“Quick Pitch” is a business proposal pitching activity which puts the youths under ‘pressure cooker’ situations where they have think of new and innovative business ideas that is commercially viable and pitch their business plans to the judges within three minutes. This simulates real world situations where entrepreneurs have to convince potential investors to buy into their plans. Groups with outstanding business ideas may even have the chance to work with investors to carry out their plans.

For the first time in its history, nEbO will also be awarding cash prizes to the three best business ideas, with the top group walking home with $1000 cash.

Originally a one-day symposium in 2008, YES had grown to become a three-day session so that participants had more time to delve deeper into the topics, allowing them to learn more from the speakers and also for them to challenge themselves in the Quick Pitch rounds.

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