Closing Speech by Minister of State for Education, Ms Sun Xueling, at the Memorandum of Understanding Signing and Award Ceremony - Entrepreneurship World Cup (Singapore) 2021

Published Date: 18 June 2021 08:00 PM

News Speeches

1. Thank you for inviting me to this platform on a Friday afternoon, it is my pleasure to join you today for the Entrepreneurship World Cup (Singapore)'s Memorandum of Understanding Signing and Award Ceremony.

2. I understand that this is the third year that the Entrepreneurship World Cup or EWC is organised by Global Entrepreneurship Network or GEN. As one of the largest pitch competition and entrepreneurship programmes in the world, GEN brings together startups from around the world, and provides a platform for youths and companies to expand their networks and venture globally.

3. I would like to thank GEN Singapore for organising the Singapore leg of the EWC and for its efforts in promoting the entrepreneurial mindset amongst young aspiring Singaporeans – to encourage them to think global, develop skill sets required to tackle global challenges by executing on their ideas, and to build an inclusive ecosystem where anyone can be empowered to start and scale a business.

Embracing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

4. Embracing an entrepreneurial mindset is especially important in the future economy. Singapore's economic strategy is weighted towards innovation and enterprise in the coming years and individuals will need to be entrepreneurial to be able to undertake risks and accept setbacks – perhaps even more so, given the current COVID-19 situation that we face.

5. At MOE, we strive to help our students develop their entrepreneurial spirit. For example, our students are exposed to business and entrepreneurship concepts through CCAs and many applied learning opportunities.

6. But beyond promoting businesses and start-ups, an entrepreneurial spirit is about possessing a mindset of pushing boundaries, of wanting to constantly innovate and identifying breakthroughs. Hence, we are also preparing our students to be future-ready – by equipping them with skills and competencies beyond book knowledge; by adopting blended learning to provide them the time and space to explore interests beyond the curriculum and support learning through multiple pathways.

7. Our Institutes of Higher Learning are also putting in greater effort to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation, including having more incubator spaces to support budding entrepreneurs and their ideas.

Entrepreneurs with a Cause

8. Successful business startups and enterprises are not just about generating profits, but also about seeking ways to do good for the society, creating a positive impact on the environment and society. I know this is what drives many youths nowadays - to ideate, co-create, come up with solutions for pain points or problems that they see around them. And to pursue their passion in certain interest areas. It is this common interest that youths identify with each other and they come together to co-create ideas and in the process, sometimes, business ideas come up. That desire to do good for society is something that drives many of our youths nowadays and this is something I find extremely heartening.

9. I am pleased to learn that our participants in the EWC, including finalists from this year's EWC (Singapore), have done so in their respective ventures. I would like to share a few examples.

10. Ms Oh Chu Xian, a current undergraduate at Singapore Management University had co-founded Magorium, a clean-tech company that re-engineers contaminated plastic waste into a new material for more sustainable and greener road construction. Thanks very much, Chu Xian, for coming up with this idea and putting it together with your team. This is indeed something that would help us look at how we can have a sustainable economy and build a future that future generations of Singaporeans can enjoy.

11. I would also like to mention Ms Kavya Kasiraman, who is a recent graduate from Nanyang Technological University. She had taken a leap of faith and executed her startup idea – the AUthentic Platform. This is a one-stop platform that connects individuals with caretakers of individuals with intellectual disabilities and various providers of specialised care services.

12. I am also heartened to hear that Ms Lin Fengru, co-founder of TurtleTree Labs, a biotechnology startup from Singapore, had emerged as global champion for EWC 2020, with her venture of pioneering a new way to make cell-based milk and dairy production more sustainable and reduce the carbon footprint of the milk industry.

13. These are just some examples I have gotten acquainted with, sustainable ideas for the betterment of our society. And very importantly, bringing together like-minded views to execute these ideas. Thank you very much for these wonderful ideas. I wish you all the success in your ventures.

On the MoU Signing Ceremony

14. Today, I am happy to witness the MoU signing between GEN Singapore and partners including Singapore Institute of Technology, Temasek Polytechnic, and *SCAPE.

15. With this partnership, students in GEN SG's partner organisations can look forward to more upskilling opportunities, where they can receive fully sponsored entrepreneurial programmes to equip them with work-ready skills. More entrepreneurial youths can also be empowered by gaining access to EWC networks and participate in global programmes. There will also be more opportunities for them to interact with founders and investors, and be involved in the startup ecosystem.

Conclusion

16. Congratulations to all the participants of this year's competition. I hope that you will take the experiences that you have gained from this competition forward and continue to uphold the spirit of innovation in all that you do. I would also like to wish the top three national champions all the best when they represent Singapore in the global leg of the EWC, held at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November 2021.

17. Very importantly, stay well and keep safe. Thank you and have a great weekend ahead.

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