On his/her last school year before graduating to join the workforce, an average kid would often wonder about where and what he/she’s going to be 10 years after. If you are exceptionally competitive and sharp, this may not apply to you. What fascinates a person with high hopes, big dreams and brilliant ideas, is whether who you are going to be in the future and what you should do to make it real.
Here in Singapore, youth are highly encouraged to express themselves and venture into new and innovative businesses. We often hear about the young entrepreneurs in the international scene: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Groupon’s Andrew Mason, Youtube’s Chad Hurley, Digg’s Kevin Rose. Now, we are naming some of Singapore’s pride and their secrets (as featured in Businessweek Asia) – entrepreneurs who made it big at a young age, from just an idea to a successful business enterprise.
Chua U-Zyn, Ping.sg
U-Zyn’s programming skills were revealed at the age of seven. Years of practice and determination made him the founder and developer of Ping.sg, a community-based service for Singaporean bloggers. His secret: U-Zyn knew what the community needed and developed a platform to cater to that need. Today, ping.sg is home to Singapore bloggers actively posting more than 5,000 new blogs daily, making it one of the best online marketing platforms in Singapore.
Paddy Tan Lek Han, BAK2U.com
Paddy, the founder of the unique lost-and-found anti-theft services provider Bak2U, had a very good motivation in starting his own business. His main concern was to provide a better life for his parents. His secret: “When I was young, I saw myself starting my own business as an escape route to provide a better life for them,” sad Paddy. His parents are his inspiration.
Eric Feng, Area 9 Training International (formerly EduVale)
For Eric Feng, the founder of Area 9, provider of leadership training, communications and branding, and creator of FAQ books, there is always something to learn every day. His secret: It is always best to take the next logical step, do due diligence and take action – because time is of essence.
Cheo Ming Shen, Nuffnang.com
Cheo Ming Shen, the founder of blog advertising community Nuffnang.com, loves challenges. It’s what keeps him going. Speaking about being an entrepreneur, he revealed that he’s motivated by the knowledge that he himself owns the successes as well as the failures. His secret: In his own words, “Being a boss, a salesman, and a client all at once is a challenge you do not get anywhere else but in business.” Cheo Ming Shen gets the tough going when the going gets tough!
Chew Choon Keat, SharedCopy.com
Chew Choon Keat created SharedCopy, a platform which allows anyone to share interesting web pages. He learned that though a product needs only an idea and speedy execution to get started, it’ll require endless experimentation and feedback in order to progress. His secret: His hunger for improvement and limitless possibilities
Herryanto Siatono, Pluit/BookJetty.com
Experienced in web application design, Herryanto created Pluit, a Web application design and development house and BookJetty, a place online where you can catalog your books and follow your friends’ bookshelves. His secret: The main challenge is to build enough credibility among customers – letting them know that you can deliver.
Just like them, you don’t have to be a seasoned practitioner to be credible enough to start your entrepreneurial career. All it takes is exceptional knowledge, perseverance and hardwork, a strong heart to take in criticisms, and the attitude to move towards progress despite the challenges. In fact, starting young in business has its advantages. Being young, you are exposed to technology early. You are able to adapt to the technological trends quickly, allowing you to tap on fast moving media. Because you are young, you have a lot more energy and your brain can function faster. Creative juices can’t stop flowing and ideas are fresh out of the box. The best thing about being young is you are brave enough to take risks and face challenges.
Our say is, starting young in business is giving yourself the opportunity to create a wide network and study the business trend. Do not be afraid of making mistakes because mistakes make the business stronger and yourself, wiser. Business is not just about survival. It is all about being able to help in economic growth and providing jobs to more people. And while you are young, seize all opportunities that will help you become a great entrepreneur. Ideas.inc Business Challenge is your chance to showcase your ideas and at the same time, you are given access to funding, workshops and mentorship from the industry’s experts. Register today and make your dreams come true! We look forward to a longer list of Singapore’s successful young entrepreneurs.