Opening address by Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Book launch for the book “Those Who Dared” and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship

Published Date: 22 March 2016 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Mr Clarence Ti, Principal, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Dr Mark Hon, Chairman of the Board of Directors, ACE

Distinguished Guests, students

Ladies and Gentlemen

Introduction

1. Good evening. I am happy to join you today for the launch of the book “Those Who Dared”, and to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

Those Who Dared

1. “Those Who Dared” captures the spirit of entrepreneurs, and chronicles the challenges that individuals who have “dared” to choose this alternative career path have faced, and the insights they have gained in the process.

I commend NP for coming up with this book to celebrate its entrepreneurial alumni, and highlight the growing community of entrepreneurs in Singapore. The book hints at the immense potential that our local entrepreneurial scene has. The individuals featured majored in different areas of study, and engaged in different fields, not necessarily related to what they studied. Alfred Chua for example, graduated from NP with a Diploma in Mechatronic Engineering, and went into the Food and Beverage industry, while Lynn Tan, a graduate of the School of Film and Media Studies, started her business in the beauty industry. What these individuals have in common is their ability to seize opportunities and apply skills picked up during their poly years in their entrepreneurial journey. Lynn, for example, tapped on what she had learnt about advertising to expand her business. Importantly, they also all had the courage to embark on a career that they knew would be full of risk and challenges. I hope that their stories and the stories of others will inspire those who are considering this path.

Building the spirit of entrepreneurship in our youth

3. Singapore has developed into a choice location for venture capitalists looking for promising start-ups to invest in as entrepreneurship has grown over the years in Singapore. Strong support in the form of grants and programmes, set up to help with early development activities for starting entrepreneurs, has contributed to this growth. A regulatory environment that is conducive to business is another contributing factor. But beyond the hardware, creating a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship requires Singaporeans to have the heart and will to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

4. That is why support for an innovative and enterprising culture in our upcoming generations is of key importance. We need to continue building the right entrepreneurial values and attitudes in our young, and provide them with global exposure, mentorship and networks that they need to get started on their business ideas.

5. The universities and polytechnics have played a critical role in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in students. At this point, I would like to take this opportunity to applaud the good efforts of the polytechnics in developing entrepreneurship amongst their students. Examples of initiatives include the setting up of innovation and enterprise centres, modules on entrepreneurship, and linking up of students with suitable mentors for advice on turning their business ideas into realities. In NP, the innovation and entrepreneurship offices were reinvented and renamed in 2015 to “The Sandbox”. This centre provides guidance and advice from alumni mentors to students. It also provides funding for students and in 2015 alone, it funded about 20 NP students in their ventures.

6. The signing of the MOU between NP and ACE today marks yet another milestone in efforts to encourage entrepreneurship amongst our youths. Under this MOU, ACE will set up a student chapter to facilitate the interaction of young entrepreneurs across all polytechnics. There will also be a suite of activities planned with NP, such as a hack-a-thon for NP students, to find solutions to problems faced during student life in the NP campus. The collaboration between ACE and NP will also provide opportunities for NP students to take up internships within ACE’s community of 500 start-ups.

7. This partnership is a good example of how our educational institutions and the entrepreneurial community can work together to groom our youths into an enterprising generation of innovators, ready and equipped to pursue their dreams and improve the lives of Singaporeans.

Conclusion

8. To ACE, alumni and industry partners present today, I would like to thank you for lending your continual support as we equip our students with the grit, skills and attitudes needed to help them achieve their aspirations. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage the entrepreneurial community to extend these opportunities to other youths. Your support will help to invest in future generations of entrepreneurs.

9. My heartiest congratulations to NP on the launch of “Those Who Dared” and the signing of the MOU with ACE; these successes signal exciting times ahead for the entrepreneurial community. I am certain that the efforts invested so far will inspire budding entrepreneurs and drive the spirit of entrepreneurship for many years to come.

10. Thank you.

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