Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Friday July 25th 2014

Polytechnic graduate surviving on S$300/month to fulfill entrepreneurial dream

HI Gilbert,

Its nice to read your site. Been here a couple of times.

Let me share my  entrepreneurial story here with your readers.

I am just a polytechnic diploma holder with a starting salary of SGD $900. After 6 years (2008) I landed  my 4th job with $1.9K (an NPO which is my dream). I work for less than 2 years only to be disillusioned by job security.

I tried doing my own business in 2010 with the  help of a friend who is also a free lance counselor. Finding a business partner is tough. You know the mindset of some people. We tried many things, from IT preventive maintenance contract, youth camps to dating events with MCYS and agencies. We are  also the first  to come up with lego bricks dating.

I also tried to promote  eSATAp into Singapore and am proud of my google ranking (2nd/3rd). First being Wiki which is created by myself. 4th being my youtube parody. Check out my Yam Ah Mee, Home and Hitler Parody, my nick is wingbliss. I also make USB drive at oresanjou.com hoping to push this idea to SCORE and other NPOs wishing  that the inmates and less fortunate can get a job.

I tried to push telephone detangler to MNCs hoping to donate 80% back to charity if they support my idea. Sadly, they are not interested because they preferred to support government organizations.

I survived on just $300/month for 2 years. In the end, I have no choice but to give up despite being single. Why? Firstly,  I don’t have the economy of scale (Gebiz government tender and Sim lim parallel import is lower than my distributor’s cost price). Secondly credibility (no one knows who I am); no network contacts (of MNC officials/government contact) nor the capacity to advertise or stock. I tried BNI, etc. The HWZ mass order is only enough to pay for my transport

Recently I got my fifth job ($2.3K) in a small company and currently pursuing my degree hoping that I can get more skills. I don’t blame anyone nor myself for the current dilemna that I am in..

eSATAp.sg and oresanjou.com have  proven to me that if I want to realize a dream I CAN but  the lofty dream to create jobs for Singaporeans  is still far away. At least,  when I look back, I can tell my peers,  I  have put Singapore on the world map for eSATAp and I have done  a project with the ministry (a big deal for a small guy like myself). It is still my dream to CREATE jobs, help others to  break free from poverty and I really hope the least government, ministries and Singaporeans can do is to support/buy/use local products/services and minimize competition with them.

Its unhealthy  when big companies (MNC) like Nokia start to get complacent. Read up Walmart vs Costco the high cost of low wages. 5 million people who can afford (consume) vs 5% who can afford (consume). The rich (minority who owns majority wealth) can only consume so much. They only have one  mouth. I have nothing against the rich. I just feel when you have enough (millions), give others a chance to hunt too. I am not asking for spoon feeding but  let others  fish or grow too. When they can consume, you (as a business owner) can benefit from them too.

Cheers.

Regds

Colin

PS: This article appeared as a comment under “Is Lack of Creativity to be Blamed for Our Poor Entrepreneurial Spirit?” We want to hear more from budding entrepreneurs out there. You can be currently successful or struggling  in your venture but we want to give you some  space here to share your experiences. Do email me at gilbert@transitioning.org if you are keen to let us featured your work. Gilbert

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3 Responses to “Polytechnic graduate surviving on S$300/month to fulfill entrepreneurial dream”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi Colin,

    I work for an NPO, would love to have a chat with you as to perhaps we can collaborate on some of the projects which you have mentioned. Do drop me a mail at andrewsoh@thkms.org.sg or call me at 63371201.

    Take care.

  2. [...] Maybe I could share with you the breakthrough I made when I was out of job in 2009.Gilbert could share with you my story here:http://www.transitioning.org/2011/10/15/polytechnic-graduate-surviving-on-s300month-to-fulfill-entre… [...]

  3. Daniel says:

    Hi Colin,

    Not to pour cold water onto your venture into the business world.

    When you start a business,you must look at the general environment.
    Who are your competitors,their strength,their weakness.Is there a demand for your products?

    Have you realised that the usb flashdrive is patented in Singapore under a certain company.
    Did you get approval from them before selling? Government agencies will only buy from approved vendors.

    for the following you mentioned,I will need to correct some misconceptions you mention.

    No Credibility
    you need to clinch some deals to build up the credibility.
    No business will come knocking at your door if you do nothing at all.

    -when I started my business.I got nothing.No cash,no contacts.

    Using the printer at home,
    I went out to raffles place mrt every morning 6am to pass flyers to those office workers for 3 consecutive months.

    -how difficult is it to search the internet for emails to send to potential clients?
    I search through the newspaper and internet to find emails whom I can send to.

    -from gebiz,you may lose out in the first few deals but gradually you can see from gebiz list how your competitors are bidding,their selling price,from there you can make the adjustment.

    It all boils down to how hungry you are…are you willing to put in the extra effort?

    goggle ranking is useless if you are not able to bring the sales.i can pay $ to put my company at the top of the search list but what purpose is there??

    For your information.I am also a poly Graduate.working from home.
    sometime I go out to see my clients.I am working with mncs and government agencies and I bring back around S$8k per month.

    No body own you a living.My dear friend.Work really hard.

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