1. A very good morning. I am delighted to join you virtually for the Zero to One Entrepreneurship Programme this morning.
2. Thank you Mr Farhan Firdaus, Partner at Meet Ventures, the Meet Ventures team, and the NUS Business School for the invitation.
3. I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the organisers of the Zero to One Entrepreneurship Programme. They have tirelessly put together this five-month programme to help aspiring entrepreneurs like you, to start and build successful businesses.
4. My heartfelt congratulations to all of you for successfully completing the programme. You have gone through an intensive five-month entrepreneurship programme. I trust that you’re all raring to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, if you have not already done so.
5. Entrepreneurs and startups are vital in a vibrant, innovation-led economy.
a. As entrepreneurs, you have the potential to create new solutions and businesses that could grow to become Singapore’s homegrown champions.
b. Startups like Carousell and Shopback were established by young, first-time entrepreneurs. They launched their companies after graduation, and worked hard to grow and nurture the business. Today, both Carousell and Shopback are regional players.
c. We are all inspired by the drive that push entrepreneurs to succeed. For some entrepreneurs, social causes motivate their business goals. Take the example of one of the participants in our midst, Ms Simarna Singh. She founded Coco Veda, a sustainable health enterprise that seeks to provide livelihoods for women in the Philippines.
d. For others, it’s about serving the community through their business. Another of today’s participants, Mr Khairul Anwar, has successfully brought Islamic products and services online via the e-commerce platform, Khidmah.sg. This enables more members of the Muslim community, in and outside Singapore, to gain access to these products and services.
6. I hope to see many of you become successful entrepreneurs in your own right. Let me assure you that the Government is deeply committed to creating and enabling a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.
a. For example, Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Founder programme provides mentorship support and startup capital grants for eligible first-time entrepreneurs.
b. This programme was enhanced last August with more grant support and a dedicated Venture Building programme to groom aspiring entrepreneurs without any business experience.
7. Furthermore, we hope our enterprises and startups will not only thrive in Singapore, but also venture beyond our shores to capture global opportunities.
8. You can tap on the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to connect to find new business and innovation opportunities overseas. Companies keen to expand outside Singapore can also leverage on ESG’s Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to identify business partners, promote products and services and to set up business operations abroad.
9. I hope the lessons you have gained from this programme will set you on a firm footing in your journey as an entrepreneur. May your business ideas and innovative spirit shine brightly. And may that light empower and change our world for the better.
10. I wish you all the very best and look forward to your entrepreneurial success.
11. Thank you very much.