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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen to let us featured your work. Gilbert