EBC-2011/2012/12Term2-Ronnie Lee

by Ronnie
(Singapore)

I have always dreamed of heading my own startup as an entrepreneur and after scouring the modules list and asking friends for recommendations, I confidently bid for the EBC module.

The first couple of lessons started off slow where we were allowed to ease into the daunting idea of having to come up with a business plan for a whole business idea by the end of the semester! This sounded like a tall order despite always having wanted to be entrepreneur.

Thoughts like 'what if this idea is not good enough' or ' what if the business is not profitable' immediately came to mind when we started brainstorming business ideas. It was after a few sessions that we decided on pursuing the ideas of love and romance, ideas that are universally appreciated.

Thus was the inception of ACoupleOf.Us!

We were all happy with the idea but there was much to do. We had to run through multiple drafts of what the business did exactly and how the business would be profitable. I would consider this the most difficult part of the business plan as the profit margins and sales figures that we profit are based solely of estimation. I learned the importance of having data that you can rely on after having to base the vital startup and operation costs on estimation.

I also learned that we should all be flexible as entrepreneurs as we had to change our main profitable portion of our business in order to be more financially stable. It was not easy to let go of our initial idea but it had to be done in order for the business to succeed.

The importance of being passionate about your business was arguably the most importance learning point in my journey thus far. It was absolutely crucial that every member was interested and involved in the business in order for everyone to actively contribute to our cause. It kept us motivated to see how far we could get the business to run and we are even considering running the idea as a real business!

These are my three learning points in my journey as of now.

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Nov 27, 2015
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Good NEW
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Nov 02, 2015
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12Term2-Ronnie Lee NEW
by: Anonymous



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Aldis

Oct 16, 2015
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EBC NEW
by: Anonymous

I really like it.I was checking constantly this blog and I'm impressed!
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Apr 09, 2013
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Flexibility is Key NEW
by: Cherine Ng

Thanks for sharing your group's experience. I believe that sometimes passion and flexibility might serve as two opposing factors. However, to make it and survive in the competitive world of today, pure passion alone would not suffice. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances would further propel a company rather than just lying on passion alone and charging forward without reason.

Apr 09, 2013
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Well done! NEW
by: Alnishyia Raj

hey Ronnie!

I really enjoyed your group's presentation. The videoclip was really entertaining. i actually went to check out your group's website and found it to be very interesting. The articles are actually pretty useful and i look forward to visiting your group's website more in the future. Well done on your presentation once again!

Apr 08, 2013
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Passion NEW
by: Eugene Chin

The marketing 4Ps (Place, Price, Promotion, Product) are surely important points for an entrepreneur to succeed. I agree with you that Passion is also very important and it is something which Prof brought up in class. =)

Apr 07, 2013
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financial figures NEW
by: Denise Lui

hi ronnie. i agree too that doing up the financial plan wasn't an easy task, especially since some of the business plans pitched by our peers include new ideas which aren't already out in the market and there aren't any market competitors to benchmark against. nevertheless, im sure the experience of drafting a business plan for the past 14 weeks has challenged all of us and let us have an insight to what it takes to be an entrepreneur :)

Apr 07, 2013
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Getting started NEW
by: Shereen

Hi Ronnie! My group too faced a challenging time in trying to come up with a business concept that was interesting and profitable. It was difficult because we had differing opinions, so it took awhile before we finally settled on something that everyone was interested in. After all, this was going to be something we had to work on together for the rest of the semester, so we really spent time trying to figure that out. In fact, coming up with the name for our business took us awhile as well! We were all definitely happy when we came to a consensus as to what concept/idea to use.

Apr 07, 2013
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Go for it NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Ronnie,

I was fortunate enough to hear your team's presentation. Since you are keen to become an entrepreneur, I hope you will strongly consider making ACoupleof.US a reality. I think it is something that can be executed while you are still in school and this would be a good time to try it out for real.

Thanks and I hope you achieve your dream.

Apr 07, 2013
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Go for it NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Ronnie,

I was fortunate enough to hear your team's presentation. Since you are keen to become an entrepreneur, I hope you will strongly consider making ACoupleof.US a reality. I think it is something that can be executed while you are still in school and this would be a good time to try it out for real.

Thanks and I hope you achieve your dream.

Apr 06, 2013
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You're not alone! NEW
by: Ze Hui

Hi Ronnie,

Similar to what your group faced, my group also took a long time coming up with a business idea because we were concerned over whether it would be a novel yet profitable idea. It took many meetings and brainstorming sessions to finally come up with an idea that everyone deemed as feasible. It was really satisfying when we pieced our business plan together!

Apr 05, 2013
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Great job! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Ronnie,

Love your three points as it essentially summed up what most of us might be taking away from this. Keep up the good and positive learning experience!

Apr 05, 2013
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Not Just the Numbers NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Ronnie

Please do not be daunted by the figures. I see the numbers to be goals to achieve in the business. Having a 5 year projection is never very reliable in the first place, the figures should be revised annually when the business is running. Having said that, it will of course be good to be able to achieve the targeted revenue or even exceed it.

I feel more emphasis should be placed in how to manage the business in order to achieve the planned figures. And in the meantime, enjoy seeing the hard-work grow into a profitable outfit.

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EBC - Term 2 - Jonathan Ng Qiao En

This module is one of the last modules that I have taken in SMU. Understandably, I chose this entrepreneurship and business creation because yes, there was no finals, and I thought it would be easy - I was very wrong.

Throughout the journey, we were challenged to leave our comfort zones through each week's breakout activity. From interviewing people, to making lives difficult for other to learn from their customer management behavior, to calling up random venture capitalists to seek funding, we were constantly pushed to interact, and to be "thick-skinned". At the end of the 13 weeks, that was what I felt to be one of the biggest takeaways - no opportunities will come begging for you, and if you do not ask, you'll almost never get it.

Concurrently, we were also tasked to work on and build up our business plan - which was incredibly hard work. An entrepreneur has to consider much more aspects than just the idea alone - how would the concept be executed? who would fund it? how much would it return? would it be profitable? The entire process of building the business plan was very enriching for me, and I found out just how useful a business plan can be - both to act as a tool for discussion, as well as a sanity check for over zealous entrepreneurs hoping to become the next Mark Zuckerberg.

My greatest greatest experience of all, was learning from THE Pamela Lim herself. Now, as a year 4 in his final sem, I was only looking to graduate ASAP and in the easiest way possible, and if I knew before that Prof was conducting the course, I might very well have not taken up the module. But thanks to the universe and my lack of "due diligence", I found the experience to be very enlightening. As a person, I learnt a great deal from Prof. Humility, passion, and the notion to always do good and give back to society was certainly one of my biggest takeaways as I personally met someone who indeed did well by doing good. Next, I found it extremely inspiring Prof's focus on her family - many a times over her career. I recall reading and resonating deeply with one of Prof's status - about what we work for. Indeed, working is simply a means to happiness, and not the end in itself, and even if we had the world at our feet, would we ever be happy without our loved ones beside us? As I move on to my career, and possibly future entrepreneurial ventures, this is one takeaway that will stay close to my heart.

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Apr 08, 2013
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Yes, no finals, but... not easy. NEW
by: Rosnauli

I am really glad to have you as my team mate! Definitely you have become more "thick skinned" after the 13 week journey of EBC. Haha. And yes, I would agree that business plan is really time consuming, but business plan helps to decide whether the business is worth your time and effort or not.

Apr 05, 2013
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Challenging Breakout Activities NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Jonathan

Similar to you, I find each week's breakout activity highly challenging and forcing me to step out of my comfort zone. At the end of the day, I find that these activities allows me to discover something that can't be taught in the classroom. One example would be how to react when there are customers out to make life difficult for employees, it is something that is difficult to replicate in a classroom. The things I learnt can certainly be applied to the business or organisation that I work for in the future.

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EBC (G1)- 2012/2013Term2- Shivanand Rai

by Shivanand Rai
(Singapore)

In the modern context, we have seemed to divorced the teacher from the content where the teaching personality is not considered an important part of the content. In this kind of paradigm, it is usually inspite of the personality that we learn things. I must say Professor Lim is a good change from this norm.

I really don't know why I took this course. I am on the entrepreneural path and it had left me with a lot of doubt and skeptisicm about it. I started to feel that perhaps all this was more about talk then actually creating in this field and I had half a mind to drop it.

However, I trusted in Professor Lim's credentials and realized if anyone could teach me about entrepreneurship in Singapore, it would be her. You can't argue with 600 million dollars can you?

It has been one of the better calls of my life.

Professor Lim is a remarkable teacher, she believes more in imparting insights then just giving information. In all her classes she kept telling us about her experiences as an entrepreneur and was specifically blunt in dismissing a lot of views that students had about how the "real world" works.

"Know your product, even if you are not beautiful or smart, if you don't know your product no one is going to care about you."

"60% in the real world is fluff, no one wants to know how much you know, it's whether you can convince them that you know a lot is more important."

Little snippets like this are more important to me as an entrepreneur than other pieces of information, because it's specific to our time and context and hence really speaking invaluable.

The value placed on human element is more important then profit, this is another one of takeways from the guest seminar and the lessons. You can work hard and make money again, but there is really no cure for having no integrity and being mean to people.

The last most powerful insight I got from the classes is believe in yourself and work hard. Seeing Professor's experiences there were many a times she was behind her peers who were on her conventional route but she still persevered and it paid dividends. In the doubt I had created for myself after failing once, I approached Professor Lim to consult about how to go about doing it the second time. She looked at me calmly in the eye and says: "there is no reason why you can't do it, but you must try". It hit home and now I am taking baby steps in Code academy. This is in stark contrast to our peers who were devastatingly brutal when it came to the remarks about the Business plan, most of them simple doubts that were easy to deal with.

The course structure is very useful as well. Working on the idea for quite sometime I was convinced that I had all bases covered. However, the simple and easy to follow steps that Professor forces us to present in class have given me a mental model on the things I need to cover when working on a new business. It was also amazing to see the creative process of how the business plan took shape and how convincing our product became eventually.

I hope to be one of the proud outcomes of this course in the future so I can give back as many alumni of the course have so far.

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Apr 09, 2013
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Thinking out of the box NEW
by: Alnishyia Raj

I totally agree that it is not easy to actually apply what you learnt from the textbooks into real-life scenarios. This is something that i believe many of us have learnt in the module. The breakout sessions have definitely equipped us with the skills to go out there and apply the concepts that were taught in class to real-life problems.

Apr 09, 2013
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Way to go, brother! NEW
by: Zheng Han

Hi Shiva, enjoyed working with you thoroughly. There is no doubt you have the potential to be successful, you simply need to believe in yourself, which is something i discovered common among successful entrepreneurs. In fact, your passion for what you are doing struck a deep impression in me, that will serve to inspire me in my own aspirations in future. Hope to hear of your success story in the near future! :)

Apr 08, 2013
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Inspiring Quotes NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi Shivanand,

Thanks for sharing. I'm surprised that I didn't manage to take down some of these great quotes from Prof. I do agree with you that these little snippets are important. Not just to entrepreneurs, but to all of us who are going to the working world. They help us shape a practical perspective of how things should be done in the real world. Besides, textbook theories are things which we can learn ourselves anyway!


Apr 08, 2013
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Yep! When you become successful remember to give back. :) NEW
by: Rosnauli

Hi Shiva, I really believe that to be successful, you really have to believe in yourself and work hard for it. And I really admire your courage! You have failed once and you pick yourself up again and try again. I really hope that you do become "one of the proud outcomes of this course in the future so I can give back as many alumni of the course have so far".

Apr 06, 2013
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Taking the First Step NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Rai

I admire you for having the courage to take the baby steps to try out new things! We can learn a lot of theory in the classroom but to actually do it in practice is not easy! All the best!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Shaun Kumar

by Shaun Kumar

To be honest, when I enrolled in the EBC course in week 1, I had no intentions of becoming an entrepreneur at all. I enrolled because I thoroughly enjoyed Prof Pamela’s TWC class and wanted a second helping of her wisdom and candor. Prior to this class I had never considered a plan to start my own business. I knew that it would be challenging and that it would be easier to take the well trodden path of becoming a banker or consultant. As far as I was concerned, it felt like SMU was gearing its students towards the allure of investment banking and consulting anyways.

Throughout the EBC course, I was reminded of the difficulties entrepreneurs faced and the multitude of perspectives they had to consider in order to make the business work, assuming they had a good and sound business idea to begin with. While working on LazyChef, I experienced these difficulties to a certain extent in terms of trying to ensure that all aspects of the business had been covered and that the business was fundamentally sound. In addition, I experienced something else which I never thought I would: a sense of pride and satisfaction derived from creating and trying to further develop LazyChef.

Over the course of 13 weeks, Prof Pamela constantly provided real life examples and these were very much more enriching and meaningful to me than the textbook. The breakout sessions may have initially seemed all fun and games but there were always important lessons to learn behind each activity and I appreciated them.
The guest seminar was extremely useful and powerful in terms of the topics discussed; not just about entrepreneurship, but life itself. In fact that was another reason why I enrolled in Prof Pamela’s class. There is no better teacher in life than experience, be it your own or another person’s.

Prof Pamela has always challenged us to believe that we are more than a job and that we should strive to innovate and change the world. After hours of time spent on LazyChef, I think I may have just caught the ‘entrepreneurial bug’. I am already in discussion with my team mate about starting a business together once I graduate. This has been a culmination of Prof Pamela’s teaching as well as a team mate’s passion for starting his own business.

Being a graduating student, the days ahead are going to be difficult, but I have no doubt that they will be rewarding as long as I am able to sustain the desire. Thus, I am sincerely grateful for Prof Pamela’s dedication to her craft as it has allowed me to think about life and a career from a totally new perspective. The jury is still out on whether I will be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life. However, I am certain of the fact that Prof Pamela’s lessons on the importance of being a good leader, of being sincere and being humble will continue to have leave an indelible mark on my life.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Loving breakout.. NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hello Shaun,

Thank you for your insights. I totally agree that breakout sessions are one of a kind in Prof Pamela's class. This is one of the enjoyable experiences that we get. I hope that you have learn much much more about values, life and the reality like i did. Wish you all the best!

Apr 06, 2013
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Believe in Yourself NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Shaun

I agree with you that there are a lot to be learnt from the breakout sessions and class activities. Many of the activities are things that I would not do if left on my own. I also admire you for having the drive to start your own business! Good luck and all the best for your venture!

Apr 04, 2013
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More than a job NEW
by: Andre

Hey Shaun, I like what you said: we're more than job.

It's so easy to say, I'm a banker, I'm a techie, I'm a consultant etc. Or even to say I'm an entrepreneur. Not to say there's anything bad about that, but the point is when we say that there's an implicit limitation that we place on ourselves. You're so right, prof's class made me realise that we should break out of that.

Goodluck shaun and who knows, perhaps 1 day you'll be an entrepreneur too!

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EBC- 2012/13 Term 2- Teri Koey Yan Ling

by Teri
(Singapore )

I bidded for this course without any real knowledge on what to expect, or what the course was about. At the end of these 13 weeks, I'd like to say that I really enjoyed this course, and learnt alot from it!

Unlike other courses, EBC under Prof Lim was really interesting and hands-on. I like that we were afforded the opportunity to interview entrepreneurs and take the initiative to learn from a different mode, other than just classroom learning. Buying breakfast while observing the behavior of service staff at fast food chains was especially memorable to me!

With regards to the business idea, I enjoyed the entire experience of planning and semi-executing The Bake Box. Personally, I ADORE sweet treats like muffins, french toast and cake, and was really happy that my group had the experience of planning an entire business related to my passion for sweet desserts. On a more serious note, through this course, I realised the importance of thorough planning before embarking on any kind of project. In EBC class context, I realised that without sound financials, an effective marketing plan, and viable exit strategies, an ill-prepared entrepreneur is just going to look like a joke to potential investors because he has no "solid proof" to back his idea! As an individual who has previously prided herself on spontaneity, EBC has taught me that sometimes, you do need sound financial planning to succeed.

Lastly, and most significantly, EBC has made me more open to the idea of entrepreneurship. I am a typical product of the Singaporean education system- taught from young that we must go through the tried and tested route of primary school-> Secondary School-> Junior College-> University-> high powered banking job. EBc has made me realise that there is more to life than the tried and tested route. The biggest takeaway I have from EBC is that you should always aim to do something you like and are passionate about in the future- provided that your passion can translate to opportunity!

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Apr 11, 2013
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Be open minded and TRY NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Teri,

Being open minded is the beginning of a great journey as an entrepreneur. You start to see ideas, opinions and solutions. Getting good partners are also important and they will help to ensure different problems are dealt with before they even surface. All in all, try doing a business. You will fall in love with it! I swear!

Apr 11, 2013
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Be open minded and TRY NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Teri,

Being open minded is the beginning of a great journey as an entrepreneur. You start to see ideas, opinions and solutions. Getting good partners are also important and they will help to ensure different problems are dealt with before they even surface. All in all, try doing a business. You will fall in love with it! I swear!

Apr 08, 2013
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Opportunity NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi Teri,
I guess I feel the same way as you, having that open mind to entrepreneurship after taking this course. I guess having an open mind means not only grabbing opportunities to start a business whenever they arise, but also having the problem sensitivity to spot opportunities for ourselves too!



Apr 07, 2013
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Road not taken NEW
by: Shereen

Hi Teri! Like you, this module has shown me that there is more to life the usual tried and tested route. The various articles shared on the Facebook online forum have highlighted so many entrepreneurial successes that went through different paths and challenges to arrive at where they are now. Entrepreneurship is actually very much alive in Singapore despite many still preferring the tested route. If I do have the passion for a business opportunity in the future, I would really want to experience the road not taken.

Apr 06, 2013
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Entrepreneur as a Career NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Teri

Like yourself, my career goal is fixed onto the more conventional route of a high earning employee. Currently what I'm aiming for is still within the industry I'm passionate about. However, there is no guarantee that I won't develop a passion for entrepreneurship in the future. I hope you will be able to find a job that you like in the future! Whether it is being an entrepreneur or otherwise!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Andre Tanzil

by Andre
(Singapore,smu)

Actually i bidded EBC just to clear some business options. I'm so glad I "anyhow" bidded for this. Like what they say, no risk no gain. I came to a class with zero expectations and went out with a bunch of jokers aka group members as well as knowing such a prof exists (she's also a joker la).

Jokes aside, I think this group has been nothing short of efficient. Special mentions goes to someone who did a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure everything runs smoothly, everyone knows who you are, without you the group won't move so fast.

That is not to say others haven't done much. This is 1 of those groups where everyone wants to do something, not just do but do it well. I'm extremely grateful to have the chance to work with a group who finally wants a relatively stress-free weeks 11-13.

Lastly, I thank the class for making this class so casual, relaxed and fun to go to, despite it being a morning class. It's great that everyone has his or her own ideas and we all learnt from each other.

Of course, thanks to prof also for sharing with us her personal stories.

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Apr 11, 2013
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A wonderful team is important NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Andre,

Thanks for contributing your personality in class. It is fun (and funny) to watch your team present. You put your personality across when you present and that is good! I se you love your team! Me too. Without them, we could not have make our ideas come true to a business plan. Good luck and chow!

Apr 07, 2013
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Hi groupmate! NEW
by: Marilyn Lim

Hi Andre! Haha you’re the ultimate Joker!!
It was great knowing you through the group and thanks for making us laugh all the time from your jokes. Anyway, I agree with you that class is really casual, relaxed and fun, which makes waking up and going for a morning class so easy.

Apr 07, 2013
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No risk no gain NEW
by: Shereen

Andre you're a joke too, and I'm sure prof agrees as well! Jokes aside,haha, I agree that our group is really super efficient, where everyone is so self-driven. (Of course, many kudos to that someone too!). I love the relaxed learning environment and I actually looked forward to classes despite them being in the morning. I too had no expectations when I bidded into this module, in fact I was rather hesitant because I thought it was going to be a fluffy module. But I decided to take my chance and it has been nothing short of a pleasant surprise.

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Qi Siheng

by Qi

The past thirteen weeks with EBC has been a meaningful and enjoyable journey for me. No matter in class or during project, I’ve learnt a lot from Prof Lim as well as my group mates.
Passion for entrepreneurship
I’ve been developing a passion for entrepreneurship since year three as one of my friends started his own ice cream company and did it very well. That was why I chose this course to learn about entrepreneurship. I learnt a lot from Prof Lim from her own experience as a successful entrepreneur about identifying good opportunities, being innovative, and organizing employees. Particularly, as a female Prof Lim was a good model herself in balancing her life and her career. I was moved by her passion for both her family and her business.
Enriching project experience
Diversity
My team is a diverse team with members from different schools and backgrounds. We are composed of students good at designing, accounting, operations and etc. These skills have enabled us to design our own TickBucket Web page, calculating our startup cost, and design our operations processes. Each of us was in charge of one part of the business while contributing ideas to the start-up of the whole business.
Dedication
Each team member was dedicated in brainstorming ideas, sourcing for relevant resources, and asking for advises from experts and friends. During the speakers seminar, we also tried our best in seeking advises from the successful businessman and venture capitalist. There is no free rider in my team and everyone was proud of our TickBucket idea.
Communication and Efficiency
We utilized different communication channels within the team including email, phones and whatsapp in order to have better communication efficiencies and express our ideas more effectively. During the project, we’ve build up strong relationship and do hope that we can continue our business in the future.

During this journey, I have obtained knowledge about entrepreneurship and hands on experience in developing ideas, grasping opportunities, and constructing business plans. More importantly, I’ve learnt how to work with a team and act as a resourceful and passionate team member. The friendship we’ve developed was valuable and will support us in the future.

A summary about our business – TickBucket
TickBucket is a content-sharing social experience that categorises and permeates bucket list ideas, targeted to every person who dreams. It is a social media platform that allows users to organise, share and implement bucket list ideas. It is inspired from a lack of platforms available for people to seek assistance in achieving their goals. With an increased population of people seeking self-fulfillment, the concept of “carpe diem” is prevalent. Paired with the high use of social networks, TickBucket presents a solution to what people are searching for.

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Apr 07, 2013
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Cohesive Team NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Siheng

I'm glad to read that you had a strong team to work with. I too, had a cohesive and proactive group, which I find joy in working with. Also being in a group with diverse background, I have learnt a lot from my group mates whom I'm grateful for!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Kelvin Liew

by Kelvin
(Singapore)

I have chosen to bid for EBC because I have enjoyed Prof Pamela Lim's class on TWC previously and I have gained a lot through the way she conducts her class and through her life and work experiences. Also, I have always had the thought of doing my own business. Thus, I would like to know what it takes to be an entrepreneur and learn about the various steps to take to set up my own business, thereby shortening my learning curve and avoiding some of the obstacles that some entrepreneurs encounter.

As I have expected, the 13 weeks of lecture turn out to be as interesting, meaningful and insightful as the TWC class that I took under Prof Pamela. I enjoyed the seminar that was organized jointly by Prof and the students and it widened my perspectives in terms of overcoming difficulties and being a leader. In particular, Mr. Patrick showed us how loving one's employees and adding value to their life can allow one's business to be successful.

Also, I have worked in a team where members are very helpful and go the extra miles to help each other. Through projects and class presentations, we learn from one another and make use of each other's strengths to make the best out of our EBC class.

Besides, the class is conducted in such a way that it gets as real as setting up a business and being an entrepreneur can be. We had to contact banks and institutions to ask for funding and loans. Also, we had to contact and meet suppliers personally to secure contracts. All these hands-on experiences allowed me to learn about the each and every step of starting a business.

Lastly, I am inspired and motivated by Prof Pamela's life experiences as she recounted to us how she juggled between her motherhood and jobs, working hard through late nights and becoming successful as who she is today. "Your hardwork will pay off", "the CEO should be the one who comes up with the business idea because he is the one who believes in the idea" and "if you don’t believe in the business idea, you will not be able to lead and you will not be successful" - these are my favourite quotes by Prof Pamela and they will always be etched in my mind.

Thank you, Prof Pamela and fellow classmates for enriching my life.


Kelvin

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Apr 11, 2013
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We all love real experiences NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Kelvin,

Thanks for sharing. I guess we all love listening to Prof Pam's real life experiences and stories on how she succeed. After so many years listening to academias, I believe it is a good exposure to many of us who have never taken a mod under Prof Pam before.

Good luck and thanks again

Apr 08, 2013
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Team NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi Kelvin, it is great that you have awesome team members to work on your project. I am sure all of us must have realized at some point that to be a successful entrepreneur, it is important not just to have people with the expertise, but people who share the same passion, working towards a common goal.

Apr 07, 2013
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Believing in Yourself NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Kelvin

Stretching what Prof said, I believe that it is not just in business, but also in whatever we do that we need to believe in ourselves. It provides us with the confidence to know that we can achieve what we set out to do. It also gives us the motivation to persevere on when the going gets tough.

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MGMT218 EBC - 2012/13 T2 - Jane Tan

by Jane Tan

I have chosen EBC in the very beginning just for one reason, to clear my T&E. And to be frank, being a Social Sciences student, I don’t really have much choices to choose from. EBC was one module recommended to me by a dear friend of mine, and I’m glad I listened to her. Being one of the minorities in class makes me feel that I’m a lot more inadequate, but I learnt so much from not just Prof, but also from my fellow group-mates. I would never have foreseen myself in any way connected to the term entrepreneurship, yet I have truly enjoyed the hard work through the process of doing up business plan with the team.

In the first few weeks, I found myself unable to contribute much into the group discussions. I still vividly remember being utterly speechless when my group-mates ask me for some business ideas in the first week. It took me quite a while to get used and really appreciate Prof’s way of providing real life examples. While my group-mates were calling up various sources for business funding, I was eavesdropping on how they managed to bring out different business plans on the spot so as to make the phone call more realistic. It was really an eye-opener for me. One of the breakout sessions that leave a deep impression on me was the one we did after Lunar New Year; we were asked to test the service of the retail businesses. With real life comparisons, lessons and the meanings behind them make so much sense than seeing them in the textbook.

Through the seminar Prof has put together, I see how the entrepreneurs become so successful; they had fallen before, but it was the fall that given them so much more strength to endure and venture on. Being a final year student, I understand that the real world out there is going to be so much more challenging than just overwhelming project deadlines and finals. However, I shall always remember to try and keep trying, because you will only miss 100% of the shots you never take and that every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

One thing that four years in SMU has proven to me is that, you are not paying the fees just to learn from textbooks, what’s rewarding about college is always the professors who are imparting their own experiences to you. The life lessons I have learnt from Prof doesn’t just come from lessons themselves. Following Prof on Facebook means being able to read of her own experiences, thoughts and perspectives, and that was more enriching than just the textbook itself. One story Prof shared that I could really relate to was the one about her having five children and the challenges her family faced, since I come from a rather big family too (at least for my generation). I am not a believer of fate and destiny; if there is something that determines your future, it would be your character. I trust many of us can see the toughness in Prof, and that I think is her secret to success. There is nothing you can achieve if you cannot stand by your belief and faith. Even with the most viable business plan, it will crumble right away with a powerless fight.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Learning beyond text. NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hello Jane,

Thanks for sharing. I guess one of the greatest takeaway for many of us here is the real life experience that we do get from Prof Pamela. This is something that we hardly learn when it is something that we do need to know about when we finish schooling, which is quite ironic. Luckily for us, this mod has served to provide us with the perspective of conducting business in real life. We really appreciate that!

Good luck to your career after grad!

Apr 07, 2013
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Hi groupmate! NEW
by: Marilyn Lim

Hi Jane!!!
It was great knowing you through the group and that we got along pretty well!
I definitely agree with you about how Prof was able to share with us her experiences and stories in class all the time. I'm sure most of us found it really easy to relate to what she was saying.

All the best Jane! Hope to see you furthering your studies and achieving what you wanted to do :)

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EBC-2012/2013Term2-Denise Lui Weiyan

by Denise Lui Weiyan
(Singapore)

Entrepreneurship was something I have never considered as a career path for myself before I took Prof. Pamela Lim’s EBC class. Prior to this class, I had little knowledge on the mechanics of running a small business and what constitutes an entrepreneur. The 14 weeks of lessons under Prof. Pamela Lim has broaden my understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how much time, effort and money entrepreneurs have to sacrifice to be where they are today.

Entrepreneurs are those who turn ideas into opportunities and create value out of whatever limited resources they have. I learnt that it is not only about having a good business idea but what’s important is to realise the idea into a business opportunity to be fulfilled. Having to write a business plan really challenged me to consider all aspects of starting a small business – from operations to financial projections. Translating the business idea on paper was tedious but I must say it has trained me to think meticulously and thoroughly about my group’s business. The experience has taught me what the life of a budding entrepreneur would be and how an entrepreneur must always know their facts and numbers of the business, as well as be flexible to changes and react to competition out there. It was not an easy task, but through Prof’s guidance and encouragement, my group managed to craft a full business plan on uBox (our business). On top of that, having pitched to Mr. Patrick Liew during the guest seminar, we never imagined that there are people out there who actually believed in and liked our business idea. This gave us even more confidence and heartfelt gratitude knowing that our hard work contributed for the business plan had certainly paid off.

Prof. Pamela Lim’s curriculum and teaching style is one that is unique and vastly different from all other professors I have met in my SMU life thus far. Her classes are conducted in a way that is as realistic as how starting up a business would be. For instance, each week, we have to brainstorm on different topics and at times, go out of school to interact with people. This is an exactly what is teach less, learn more; where we learn even more by doing hands-on activities out of the classroom. It is highly beneficial for us as it not only reinforced my textbook concepts on entrepreneurship, but it mimicked the life of an entrepreneur for us. We had to conduct personal interviews with people on the streets to find out if there’s a market for our product and perform customer segmentation, as well as go out and contact banks and insurance companies to learn more about getting start-up funds, to just name a few. My favourite experience was when groups had to visit F&B outlets in the school vicinity and deliberately provoke them just to see how they react and whether they provide good customer service in return. I appreciate all these breakout sessions Prof has planned for us as it allowed me to learn each and every stage of starting and operating a business.

Today, I am proud to be a student of Prof. Pamela Lim for my perspective towards entrepreneurship has changed positively, and I have also learnt from the many life experiences that Prof has shared. Prof. Pamela Lim never fails to inspire and motivate others by sharing her experiences and challenges as an entrepreneur and how she juggled between her career and family life. What I found even more heartwarming was when she said, “When I came to SMU, all I wanted to do was to influence one life per semester. I am thankful more students than I ever hope remember me and give me a some credit for being part of their life's journey.” Prof. Pamela Lim exemplifies an educator who goes an extra mile for her students and hopes the best for them. I will always remember her stories shared in class and a quote that she once shared: “It is impossible to make the right decisions every time, but it is possible to right every decision”.

If the opportunity arises, and if I have the necessary resources, I would definitely start a small business of my own and will never forget to apply what was taught in this module. :)

Thank you Prof, Div, and classmates for enriching my learning journey in entrepreneurship.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Hi Groupmate! NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Denise,

Thank you for always contributing throughout this journey. I think many of us really appreciate that! Many of us really learn much during the breakout session. We are faced with many constraints, time, location, distance, quality etc. The pressure really shows how much we can push ourselves to complete our tasks. I really enjoyed this course and good luck in your other mods! Cya around!

Apr 08, 2013
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Great Quote NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi Denise,

Thanks for helping me remember this particular quote by Professor Pamela Lim, "“It is impossible to make the right decisions every time, but it is possible to right every decision”.
It really struck me deep. When I was asked by the job interviewer what makes me think it is the right job for me, I am glad that I was able to answer them confidently using this quote!

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Darren Yong

by Darren Yong Ming En
(Singapore)

Having enrolled in both this semester's EBC and TE modules, it was a pleasant combination of both theoretical and practical approaches.

It struck me early on that there was a different dynamic for both classes even with the same instructor. The lengths that the teaching group went to plan 'active' breakout sessions was integral in engaging all of us in our learning. Especially in the world of start ups and entrepreneurship, nothing is achieved sitting behind a desk. It's all about doing, doing and taking action!

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Apr 07, 2013
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Beyond the Classroom NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Darren

I agree with you. I have learnt a lot from the breakout sessions. While the classroom theories prepares us with the knowledge of what will happen out in the world, the learning is not complete until we have experienced it for ourselves.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Ho Ann Gi

by Ann Ho
(Singapore)

I have to admit, I enrolled in this course due to two reasons: (1) it is a management requirement and (2) it fitted my timetable. I had my qualms learning much from this course, especially since the focus was on building a business idea (plan and presentation) which is a similar requirement to most management modules I have taken. Nonetheless, as shared in most of the other journal entries, I have to concur that I have benefited tremendously from this course under the tutelage of Professor Pamela.

The entrepreneur journey is definitely fruitful and enriching. Apart from textbook teaching materials, Professor further shared her experiences relating to the topic which I felt was befitting to enhance the learning process – story “sticks” better than dry content. Professor shared in her first lesson the learning pyramid, through which participative teaching methods (i.e. group discussion, learn by doing and teaching others) garner more than 50% information retention rate. I have to concur with the findings. To this end, the in-class break-out group projects have surely served its purpose of allowing us to gain hands-on experience in tackling the tasks allocated to us each week.

In this course, my team worked on the business concept of The Bake Box. Notably, we kicked off the course with the idea “Mentainence” which was a service online platform to retail male-related products to the male population. Nonetheless, we scraped the idea since not everyone is very enthusiastic about it and we reckon that since we’ll have to stick with the idea for the next 10 weeks or so we might as work on something everyone was passionate or could relate to. I thought this was very important and I am glad that we didn’t settle on the initial idea to just “get over” the course and be done with it. For if we did, we would have missed out the development of a brilliant and innovative idea – The Bake Box.

In essence, The Bake Box is an online service platform which caters to the needs of bakers and non-bakers alike who are keen to bake confectionary items. To this end, The Bake Box offers value-add service – measured to exact quantity ingredients packed in a box – to save the hassle of the baking preparation process so that customers can enjoy the baking experience. The challenge we had was to translate our elaborate and creative ideas into a viable business. We wanted to include upscale recipes, baking equipment, have a school, a green business with green products and processes and so many more. Nonetheless, it surely was difficult trying to account for the costs and successfully integrating all these ideas into the business strategy. I think above all, my greatest takeaway is to strike a balance between persevering with creative ideas and taking into account of realistic considerations.

Through in-class presentations and sharing, I’ve also learnt a lot from other groups. From feedbacks and constructive criticisms from peers regarding our project to having the class presenting their own ideas and the rationale they gave to substantiate their strategy and so forth. Additionally the guest seminar, hosted by courtesy of Professor Pamela, was truly insightful and beneficial.

In my opinion, Professor was really meticulous in her efforts to ensure that all students benefit from the curriculum she has set up in place to enhance the learning process; from passive teaching methods (i.e. classroom teaching) to participative teaching (i.e. group discussion and projects) to provide us an opportunity to learn from real veterans themselves. To this end, thank you professor Pamela, my team mates and everyone who have in one way or another contributed to my learning experience at EBC.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Looking forward NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi there!

I really like your business idea. As a baker myself, I always had trouble measuring the right amount of ingredients. You business provides us with the solution! It's hassle free and quick baking for people who likes to bake but have no time to do so. I hope you do start your business and I'll be looking forward to it if you do.

Chow!!

Apr 08, 2013
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Learning NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi there,
The teaching methodology was really unique. Breakout activities was something refreshing and is something which I look forward in every week's class. I enjoy the practical aspect of it and it has definitely allow me to retain whatever I have learned more easily.


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EBC-2012/2013-TAN JINYANG JOEL

by Tan Jinyang Joel
(Singapore)

Entrepreneur and Business Creation(EBC) was a module I was looking forward to because I always aspired to be an entrepreneur. In my teenage years, I had a shot at being a mini entrepreneur by selling swimming equipment to my fellow team mates. Unfortunately, due to my busy schedule, this mini venture died down after 2 years.

EBC thought me several key lessons in being an entrepreneur. First, if you want to start a business, take some time to create a business plan. A business plan will help guide you through your startup phase by serving as an operational guide and saving you time. In addition, a business plan will help you secure funding for your startup. Second, be open to ideas. Even though you might have thought of a brilliant business idea, demonstrate an open mind to learn from others and be willing to receive feedback or criticism. Speaking of which, by willing to be open minded, one with be able to establish good working relationships with suppliers etc. Having a good network is extremely important for any business/venture. Third, your business idea or your product/service must have a competitive advantage over your competitors. There must be differentiation if not your business will be doom for failure. There are many factors of competitive advantage. They could come in the form of pricing, quality. service of even location. During the guest seminar, when the speakers came down to give a talk, every single speaker had their own product/service differentiation that led to their current success. They did something different that proved to be their competitive advantage. Fourth, finance management is crucial to the success of your business. The case study of the 'Portland' cafe was an eye opener to me. Prof Pamela also explained to us that fixed cost will kill a business and as far as possible, make everything variable. For example, salaries can be made variable. One must be innovative to minimise fixed cost as far as possible.

There are many other key lessons I have learnt and it is impossible to describe every single one of them. However, I can proudly say I have put what I have learnt into practice. Recently, I started my own company that deals with the fashion industry. Every step along the way during the business planning to the execution of the business, I applied what I have learnt. Hopefully, my new venture will be successful and I will continue to remember the key lessons learnt in EBC and apply it to my everyday life.

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Apr 07, 2013
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All the Best NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Joel,

I am happy to hear that you want to be an entrepreneur and still strive to build a successful business even after your initial "failure". The fact that you are passionate about this is very evident and I want to wish you all te best in the future!

It is good to read about all that you have learnt throughout these 13 weeks. I am certain you will internalize these lessons and i look forward to patronizing your business establishment in the comming years!

Apr 07, 2013
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Business Plan as a Commitment NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Joel

Thank you for the pointing out the advantages of having a business plan. I would like to add that on top of it, I also see a business plan as a form of commitment. By writing everything down, there is a stronger sense of having to achieve all that as compared to the plan remaining as a fragment of our dreams. It also produce a better sense of achievement when we are able to compare what we have achieved on top of what was originally planned for.

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EBC- 2012/13 Term 2 -Ong Eric

by Ong Eric
(uBOX)

Taking EBC is one of the best choice I have made in SMU!

Here's a video to our business plan!



Amongst the things we learnt, I feel that I have taken away 3 key points.

1. Learning is trying and doing.

It is fun(d) to attend lessons. This is the only mod i have taken so far that requires us to prepare presentations every week during breakout. This is also the only mod that asked us to "create trouble" at retail / food outlets. And this is the only mod that requires us to learn life skills.

Getting us to make calls to publishers and venture capitalists for funding requests are some of the exercises that I will never forget. These are real life examples of what we have to do when we want to start a business.

In essence, If we never try, we never learn.

2. It all depends on how much you want it.

I hear repeatedly how prof mentioned that she has worked very hard, tried very hard and go out of her way to get what she wants.

An entrepreneur is a fighter. I remember how prof went to the extent of drawing pretty pictures on the transparency using OHP markets when she presented at IBM. I also remember how she talked fear into a bank manager so that the bank will take up her firm's IT service to prevent competitors from buying it.

And as long as it is ethical and legal, we can do anything we can to get it. All it boils down to is how much we want it. I always wonder when I will take the first step to become my own boss.

My own business experience
When I was in my first year in SMU, I started a frozen yogurt business that does events in schools only. I identified the market that secondary school and JCs do not have a source for sweet and healthy treats. I also wanted to help students gain management and entrepreneurship experience. My first event was at NUS which ended in a disaster. The market was not my target segment and NUS students do not have the demand for such treats. When I held my second event at Jurong secondary school, the students were very helpful and it was a roaring success. I made a net profit of $1200 in 3 day. However, i had to shelve this plan as sch starts.

I always regret not going back to do this business but it was an experience and i just moved on with studies and other goals.

3. Love thy self and love your enemies.

The guest seminar was good. The speakers were great and the interaction was immense. The biggest take-away that most of us has received must be the idea of LOVE by Mr Patrick Liew.

In life, we are bound to meet alot of enemies etc etc etc. In our business, families, friends, work place, partners and such. We cannot possibly love every single one of them! But we should. This love, will come around like how karma does. By loving everyone, we convey sincerity, earnest and credibility. These are messages that we want our clients to receive when we talk to them or advise them.

By keeping this attitude in mind, i believe success will eventually follow.

Nearing the end of this module makes me feel that our journey into the world of entrepreneurship has only just started. Seeing so many entrepreneurs as alumni to these 3 courses holds testament to the influence this family culture brings.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Video is good! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

I really like the idea of helping students start out as entrepreneurs! It gives alot of us the opportunity that we crave.

Apr 11, 2013
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To: Xiu Wan NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Xiu Wan,

It is indeed difficult to start your own business! But i assure you that it is the most memorable experience you will get, more than travelling etc! It is exhilarating when you do succeed! It is beyond money, the money is just there to help you sustain your business and cover your cost. If you do have the opportunity, i strongly encourage you to just go ahead and start a venture

You never know until you tried.

Apr 09, 2013
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I <3 SHARK TANK! NEW
by: Alnishyia Raj

Hey Eric!

Thanks for posting the video on the Shark Tank episode. I've been addicted to the entire series ever since prof showed it in class. I believe that it is important to have confidence in your business plan even if it isnt as good as you assume it to be.

Apr 07, 2013
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Try, and learn. NEW
by: Shereen

Hi Eric,thanks for sharing your personal business experience as well! Like you said if we never try, we never learn. Prof got us to start small with all the practical breakout exercises. Your own effort is admirable and is a good reminder to those of us interested in starting our own business that we all have to start small and learn from the experience, no matter what the results may be. If we want it bad enough, we should not be afraid to try!

Apr 05, 2013
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Learning from Experience NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Eric

I think it is admirable that you have tried your hand at your own business before. It is not something that everyone has the courage and resources to try. To have something end up in a disaster doesn't signify a failure, mostly importantly is we have gain some experience from it. Similarly, we can also learn from the experiences of other, because sometimes life isn't long enough for us to go through everything ourselves.

I feel that since you had the passion to continue the yogurt business, it will be good if you are able to renter the business if the situation allows.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Amanda Ong Xiaoxuan

by Amanda Ong Xiaoxuan
(Singapore)

When i first stepfoot into this EBC class on a Wednesday morning of the first week of school, I thought this was just gonna be another sluggish midweek morning class. After listening to the course outline for the first 15mins, I thought that my prediction was right, and that the next 13 weeks was gonna be just going through the motions in a bid to get my A+, without learning anything (this being said because the course outline seems to be teaching things that most of us already know).

However, halfway into the first class, we were randomly divided into groups and immediately, were asked to generate innovative business ideas that would fit today's business landscape. Then, i thought ok, things are a little fun now and more relevant to what we will be doing for those like me who want to start their own enterprise. Week 1 came and passed with my first presentation for the class with the breakout presentation and it being a quick 5 mins presentation, i left the class thinking that this is gonna be one of those (in the words of smu kids) , a slack module.

And then, reality hit. After 3 weeks in the class, we were told to come up with a business idea for which we would write a business plan for and this was no joke because of what a plan entails and the work required to make the business a feasible one. Through writing the business plan over the subsequent weeks and through the multiple breakout sessions (which i will elaborate on later), I learnt and grasped more than what i knew before entering the class. This for example included sources of funding, and finally, it is through EBC that i finally clarified the difference between an angel investor and a venture capitalist. More importantly, i learnt about the nitty gritty of starting a business such as doing the background work from seemingly unimportant issues like operations. So for example, since our business idea was on the bake box, a delivery service in short, we were grilled all the way to the small details of finding out how much it would cost for us to rent a motorcycle/truck and it was through the process that i learnt a new thing - That part time delivery boys only work for 4 hours a day and that their fuel expense while on the job is not subsidized nor sponsored by the company engaging their service. This came as a surprise but hey, we learn something new everyday!

Going back to the mini presentations, well i have to be terribly honest that my initial thoughts about it was just a 1-hr play time/group bonding session every week. Looking at it on a week-by-week basis, it feels that the activities were rather irrelevant and that we were just doing it for the sake of fulfilling prof's instructions. However, what really struck me around week 8/9 when i was doing up parts of the business plan, was that what we learn from each breakout is little and seem unimportant. But when consolidated and put together, it actually helps a great deal in the business plan and the speed at which it eases the search of certain details for the business idea really amazed me. This, i was certain, was intended by Prof, for us to have little takeaways from each breakout such that when putting together the takeaways, we are much much better equipped and ready to take on a business idea and to present it professionally to the class for comments and feedback.

Looking back at this EBC journey, i really feel that i learnt a lot through prof's teachings and personal stories and also a lot through my project and group mates. I am also highly satisfied with our group's business idea/plan which i feel strongly for, and may pursue as a business if the opportunity arises. With that, i thank Prof and the class for the mutual learning, and i would definitely not hesitate to take up another class under Prof's tutelage.

Thank you!

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Apr 08, 2013
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Lots of Research NEW
by: Eugene Chin


Hi Amanda,

I think most people who are easily excited by the idea of starting a business of their own or being their own boss probably didn't realise that there is a lot of hard work which involves quite amount of research to understand how things are run. And these are the nitty gritty things which takes a portion of time and patience! And these are things which cannot be conveniently overlook as well and requires the an entrepreneur to be diligent.


Apr 08, 2013
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Interesting bakebox. :) NEW
by: Rosnauli

Hi Amanda,

I am glad to have been in EBC G1! Your team's idea of bakebox is really a viable business idea. Also, what we learnt from breakout is really applicable to coming up with the business plan.I also discovered that in week 8/9! :)

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Daryl Kum

I believe the module EBC was not known to many, and those who are taking EBC those whose 2nd major is strategic management. However, I believe EBC has taught more than just strategic management.

13 weeks have passed and the journey during the course was an exciting one. The way the course was conducted was totally different from other courses. I believe that learning about entrepreneurship, business and creation is not just about theory, but more of a practical side. The practical side was addressed during the break out, where we really had fun practicing what we have learnt.

Besides the breakout, the lesson itself was interesting too. It was interesting to hear Prof's experience in setting up her business and her other encounters. Through her experience, we have learnt useful lessons to be applied to our own lives. Also, the invitation of guest during the seminar has also taught us these lesson. It was really an eye opening experience, learning from successful entrepreneur in a different setting. The atmosphere was great that night.

Also, the project was fun. It was the first time I am working in a group of 8-9 people. Through the project, I have also learnt much about doing a business plan and the various aspects that should be observed in a business plan. I believe that will be useful for my future.

All in all, I have not regretted taking EBC as one of my module in SMU, and I would encourage my friends to do the same!

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Apr 07, 2013
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No regrets NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Daryl,

Working in such a big group must have been challenging but it seems that you have learnt a lot as well. I also personally enjoyed the breakout sessions. It was only when I read the textbook that I realized that those breakout sessions were perfect illustrations of theory (which i did not see at the time).

Please do reccomend this course to your friends and juniors!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Andre Tanzil

by Andre
(Singapore, SMU)

What a way to teach entrepreneurship.

Sure, some people might complain about the lack of structure and the ever-changing deadlines and standards and even class times, but isn't that what entrepreneurship is all about? The ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

If there's 1 thing I learnt from this class: CHANGE!

In my group, ELASTIC, we actually had several major changes as to how our business should work. Afterall, with 9 members with 9 different minds, it's easy for things to turn chaotic. But I guess that's where the fun is, when things are chaotic, the different ideas dance around to spark newer, fresher and greater ideas; these ideas get together, shoved, pulled, probably got hurt and then what emerged was a melting pot of ideas: ELASTIC.

Again I've been reminded that perhaps in this new information age, a new language has emerged: coding. Prior to this class, I thought only nerds do those things. But now, I realise that perhaps I'm a nerd too, i find this new language so beguiling and useful.

It's a challenge of course. Thanks PROF for such an unusual class in an otherwise mundane and "standard" class. Oh by the way, I want to recommend a website, if you like it, perhaps you're a nerd too ;)

it's called: lifehacker.com. Check it out ;)

P.S: No it's not my site lol

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Amanda Tan

EBC was honestly a shot in the dark for me. It was already the 2nd semester of Year 2 but I had no idea what I was going to major in. During the bidding period I had bid for other mods under the Finance major as well as Marketing major. Basically I was just floating along, just bidding for mods that my friends were also going for. However, after I attended my first corporate reporting class I realised; this isn't what I want. This isn't how I want to live my life. I can't imagine myself waking up every morning, trudging to office and having to slog over such finance-related things. It was a huge wake up call for me.

So what I did was I sat down with my friend and we had a long talk about what path we should take. After spending an entire evening debating about the various tracks available, I finally saw the light. While I might not be 100% sure that this was definitely the track that would benefit me the most, or which would let me have the brightest future possible (the one with the highest pay, as per my dad’s definition), I knew that I wanted to major in Strategic Management. So from there I had to embark on the tedious journey of deciding what modules to take. Entrepreneurial Management was a must, so I just had to pick another one to make up 5 mods. Another few hours were spent pouring over the different course outlines as well as timeslots available. Finally I decided to try my luck with Entrepreneur and Business Creation, and that was definitely one of the best choices I made this semester.

When I first entered the class, I did not know what to expect. Despite having read the course outline multiple times, EBC still seemed something very foreign to me. In-class presentations every class? The first breakout had me confused; what sort of class is this? It was so different from what I’ve gotten used to in SMU. However, being someone who tends to be a bit hyperactive at times, I would definitely not pass up on the opportunity to get to stretch my legs and walk around. As the weeks passed, I slowly began to appreciate these breakouts. They really exemplify the meaning of “hands-on learning”, with the different members of our group getting to get close contact with what Prof Lim was actually talking about in class. It gave everyone a good chance to actually test out possible hypotheses we might have had regarding the different topics or just observe how the theory we’ve learnt about in class can be practiced or applied in real life situations. The in-class presentations also helped immensely in some sense, whilst it might seem like a lot of effort in the beginning, I felt that this actually helped everyone get more comfortable with presenting and speaking in front of the class.

The breakout sessions also allowed us to get closer to our individual groups; something that I find helped to boost my impression of this class. For most classes, people only tend to meet their groups during crunch time, when they need to rehearse their presentation or produce a report. Not much interaction occurs between the entire group. When I first heard that the group would consist of around 5 to 9 people (if I remember correctly), I was a bit iffy. Previously, my Creative Thinking group also was around that size and there was a lot of miscommunication and freeloaders and what not. So I definitely had my doubts about such large groups. However, the breakouts allowed the groups to mingle amongst each other and this helped to foster a better working relationship between all the individual members. I can safely say that my EBC group is actually one of the groups that I had the most fun/pleasure working with this semester.

This was definitely a plus point for me because I actually invested a lot of time on the main EBC project, the business plan. Maybe it was just me that had a personal interest in it, because my group decided to use the idea that I came up with in the first few classes when our groups weren’t concrete yet. To me, Gigabit really seemed like a very feasible idea. When I first entered SMU, I had hopes of taking over The Basement (then known as Colours! Bistro), when the school decided to hold this competition where the team with the best business plan would win the bid. Despite the huge interest and effort put in, my team decided to pull out halfway due to a mutual agreement that we did not have enough experience yet and we should probably focus on our studies. That was one of the regrets that I had in year 1 and I wanted to make up for it through Gigabit, despite the totally different business idea.

As mentioned earlier, working with my Gigabit team was a very pleasant experience. Everyone had areas they excelled in and genuinely seemed interested to pitch in and make this business a success. I felt like we really were a team of students that were trying to come up with a legit business plan to pitch to potential investors. Also, with my team compromising entirely of people older than me, it really was an eye opener to see how they work. The amount of experience they have really reflected in their insights and comments as we progressed in the development of our business and subsequently, our business plan.

Basically, I just want to say that this EBC journey might have been a short one but it was definitely a memorable one. It really was one of the most enjoyable modules that I’ve taken so far. The passion shown through the different people I’ve encountered through EBC really inspired me and got me believing that I too can become an entrepreneur. Whilst success might not be guaranteed, at least I leave this course equipped with more knowledge about entrepreneurship than I did before.

Comments for EBC-2012/13Term2-Amanda Tan

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Apr 09, 2013
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Cheers to good choices NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your insights. I also struggled with what major to take and I am happy to see you deciding that you do not want to "drag yourself to work". That's always good. I'm also happy to see that you enjoyed working with your group mates.

Now that you are armed with the practical lessons from this course, I hope that you will try and take over "The Basement Cafe" moving forward; picking up where you left off. I think it would be an enriching experience for you as well as help you in your major.

Apr 08, 2013
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Deciding Our Major NEW
by: Amanda

Hi Amanda,thanks for sharing. After reading your post, I was wondering if a module like EBC, e.g. Introduction to Entrepreneurship can be designed and offered to year 2s, without any per-requisites. Such module covers a variety of majors, such as operations,finance and marketing. Perhaps the school may consider this as a possibility so that students can get a rough feel of what are their interests.

Apr 07, 2013
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Short but memorable NEW
by: Shereen

It seems as though everyone developed really great friendships with their EBC groupmates! Perhaps, like you said, the breakout activities helped in fostering the friendships. The people in my group are all interested in different things, some in finance, others in marketing and operations management. It was an interesting group to work with, and even within the class the mix of people made lessons really engaging. EBC has definitely been a short but memorable journey!

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Chua Xueli

EBC has allowed me to realise that entrepreneurship is a very proactive process. It is not only about having a good business concept but there is a lot of hard work that goes behind pushing the concept to fulfillment. A good idea without commitment is just a wishful thought. Even though we were only required to craft the business plan, I realised that putting the concept on paper is already so tedious, much less to say about carrying it out. From the birth of the idea to the implementation is possibly one that requires a lot of tenacity - even the first step of crafting a business plan is so tedious that it requires a huge amount of passion to carry on to the end.

Throughout the weeks, it was very rewarding to have started off with a vague idea of what we wanted to do and over the weeks develop and present a full business plan with all the details in it. To have to do it ourselves proved that it is nothing short of hard work to start a business.

This process has allowed me to assess my strengths and weaknesses. Writing a business plan, and even running a business, requires us to touch on practically all aspects of business management, including financial projections, marketing, operations and so on. There are just some things that you cannot try to be "garang" and do all by yourself. There will be one point in time when you need help somewhere. It is really true about what Nanz Chong had said that it is good to surround ourselves with people who genuinely want to help. I am fortunate to have been in a good team.

Lastly, I have to say this course was an eventful one. I appreciate how Prof has tried to devise multiple channels to increase participation and exposure to elements of entrepreneurship - from the class participation, to the facebook page, to the in-class activities, to the guest seminar, and to this website. I also enjoyed the stories that Prof shared passionately with us, particularly her personal experiences. She reinforced the point that success in entrepreneurship is nothing short of hard work and taking lots of initiatives to step out of your comfort zone.

Comments for EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Chua Xueli

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Apr 09, 2013
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Hard work indeed NEW
by: Zheng Han

Hi Xueli, hard work is really important in this module! But it's even more hard work starting a business, going through uncertainty after uncertainty. I guess it's a good reminder for ourselves that no matter how talented or able we are, if there's anything that can change the game, it is hard work. It has been a joy working with you "buddy" and I wish you all the best for exams! :p WORK HARD!

Apr 08, 2013
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Business Plan NEW
by: Eugene Chin

Hi Xueli, thanks for sharing. Similarly, I realized that putting the concept on paper is a tedious process because it requires a lot of thought process, making sure all areas are well covered. But I think although planning is a difficult process, it is a process that we cannot do without. As the saying goes, when we fail to plan, we plan to fail.


Apr 07, 2013
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From an idea to a plan NEW
by: Shereen

Hi Xueli! Coming up with a good business idea is tough enough, developing that concept on paper is even more challenging. I too realized that during the course of this module. But it was really rewarding to finally see our vague idea materialize on paper, with all the different aspects being thought out throughout the weeks.

Apr 06, 2013
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Group Learning NEW
by: Xiu Wan

Hi Xueli

I agree that the business plan brings together people with different knowledge and allow us to learn from one another. Throughout my group's discussions, I also learnt a lot from the other group mates who specializes in marketing, operations, strategy etc. The benefits of working in a group is how we can help each other overcome their weakness and produce a final project that is strong on all fronts!

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2 Vickii Ma

The team behind TickBucket!

The team behind TickBucket!

The main reason why I took up EBC was because of my interest in entrepreneurship. At the end of 13 weeks, I am glad I made that decision as the module has reignited the entrepreneur in me.

Six years ago, I started my own entrepreneurship venture without any prior knowledge in entrepreneurship. I did it because I found something I was passionate about – baking. Also, I was encouraged by my family to develop this hobby of mine into a business opportunity. “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” is a quote that I strongly believe in. Although I had to toil for several hours in the kitchen, it was worth it and my small home-based venture took off well. This was further reinforced in the EBC classes that having passion is an integral part of being an entrepreneur.

EBC is one of the most enriching modules I have taken in SMU thus far. Under Professor Pamela Lim’s guidance, I have been exposed to a wide array of topics that has provided me with important knowledge ranging from idea generation to selling that I can apply in the real world.

The team project was a highlight of my journey. Our business idea, TickBucket, is a social media platform that helps people to fulfill their bucket list. I was blessed to have a good team consisting of talented individuals with a diverse set of expertise. Together, we worked to produce a business idea from scratch within a few weeks. Before this module, I never thought this would be possible. It also made me realise that creating a viable business plan is no simple feat. We have come a long way and forged great friendships that will last. As Professor Pamela says, “our university life is not about scoring A’s, it is about building teams.” My experience of working with them was definitely a memorable and good one.

I also appreciate the breakout sessions that Prof. Pamela has planned for us. Although a non-conventional style of teaching, it is definitely a refreshing change from the usual lectures and it has allowed me to be actively engaged throughout the entire learning process. Furthermore, the activities we had to carry out were very relevant to the corporate world.

A guest seminar was arranged for us and we were given the opportunity to hear and learn from the giants themselves – what can be a more effective way of learning? Just from that few hours, I have learned far more than reading an entire textbook. Furthermore, Prof. Pamela also shared her personal life experiences with us on a regular basis. It has contributed greatly to my learning experience and I feel more empowered to head in the direction of my dreams.

Before I end, I would like to thank Prof. Pamela and my peers for teaching me. Although the semester of EBC lessons have ended, the journey has only just started. Thank you for the amazing memories!

Comments for EBC-2012/13 Term 2 Vickii Ma

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Apr 10, 2013
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Thank you for being a great group mate NEW
by: Janel

Hey Vickii,

I'm happy to have been able to work alongside you and the rest of the team in the project. You have a great amount of dedication and a great working ethic that I have learnt from. As you pursue your dreams of opening a business related to baking, I want you to know that you have my full support. You are very talented and are a great friend. All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best for your baking business! NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Vickii! I really admire your courage in setting up your own business six years ago! Are you still in the business now? Hopefully, having acquired more knowledge from this class, you would be able to apply what we've learnt and let your business grow even more! Im glad you’re a real life example of how entrepreneurs set up companies to pursue their passion and not for the sake of making a lot of money.

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Vickii

I agree with your quote "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life"! It's great to know that you'll be doing what you're really passionate about and I wish you all the best in your future business :)

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best for your baking business! NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Vickii! I really admire your courage in setting up your own business six years ago! Are you still in the business now? Hopefully, having acquired more knowledge from this class, you would be able to apply what we've learnt and let your business grow even more! Im glad you’re a real life example of how entrepreneurs set up companies to pursue their passion and not for the sake of making a lot of money.

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best for your baking business! NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Vickii! I really admire your courage in setting up your own business six years ago! Are you still in the business now? Hopefully, having acquired more knowledge from this class, you would be able to apply what we've learnt and let your business grow even more! Im glad you’re a real life example of how entrepreneurs set up companies to pursue their passion and not for the sake of making a lot of money.

Apr 09, 2013
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Hope you were inspired by class NEW
by: Nathaniel Boon

Hi Vickii,

glad to know you've gained so much from the class. It's also great that you already have a starting point for which to start your business.

Here's to hoping that, with the skills you've acquired from the course, your idea will never be half-baked ;)

Apr 09, 2013
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Wishing you success NEW
by: Loo Jing Yi

Hi Vickii, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad that you have chosen to pursue your interest in baking. I’m sure what you have learnt in EBC will come in useful for your business. Wishing you success!

Apr 09, 2013
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Teams Teams Teams NEW
by: Ang Wei Zheng

Hi Vickii,

I really couldn’t agree with you more on much that you have said. The team project underscored the entire module for me. It was as close as the rubber meets the road kind of practical. I was entirely impressed by my team, how a very diverse group of individuals with different strengths can come together and produce a proposal that is good enough to make a pitch was astounding for me. It really underscored how important it is to have a strong team, a cohesive team to strive towards a similar goal.

Apr 09, 2013
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Starting Business NEW
by: Aaron Lum

Hi vickii, thanks for your post. I admire you for your courage to start up your own business even though there were so many risks to take. I've always thought and still believe that it takes a certain type of personality and skill set to venture out into the business world. I'm sure that with what prof has taught us, your business will be able to take off even further. Here's wishing you every success!

Apr 08, 2013
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Thanks for being an awesome group mate NEW
by: Sylvester Long

Hey Vickii,

I'm glad you've enjoyed the 13 weeks working with the team as much as I have! It was really something, having toiled long and hard and constantly refining our ideas on paper. I think I've learnt alot from working with you, and I truly appreciate your hard work and dedication. Hope you continue your passion in baking and never lose hold of your motivation. Would like to try one of your pastries one day! All the best (:

Apr 08, 2013
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Hi! NEW
by: Chelsea Tan

Hi vickii! i'm really glad that you have taken the risk to start your own business. I've always thought and still believe that it takes a certain type of personality and skill set to venture out into the business world. I'm sure that with what prof has taught us, your business will be able to take off even further. I wish you success in your venture! oh oh whats the name of your business? i want to eat your baked goods! hahaha

Apr 08, 2013
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Hey! NEW
by: Virineth

I couldn't agree more with you that the group project is the highlight of the class. It has been an amazing journey for me with my group mates and I believe it's the same to you and your group mates too :)And by the way, the Bucketlist idea and the cafe sounds like a very interesting idea. Hope it will be up and running one day :)

Apr 08, 2013
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Passion NEW
by: Jane TMW

Hi Vickii, I really glad for your decision. Many times i ask my friends why they choose whichever course/major they chose, most of their responses are somewhere along the line of "It's good pay", "it's going to be useful", "that's what i think i can do well in", "then...what else can i choose?" or even "'Cause that's what i'm being offered". And usually i just sigh in silent for them, is the choices in Singapore so little? or is it because we are not 'trained' to dream, to aim for our passion, to allow a little variability in our life? As a student of a Science stream from JC, i chose Social Sciences for my bachelor, a choice for mostly artsy students. then i move on to choose to take ops mgmt as my 2nd major, a choice not much SocSc students 'dare' to attempt. Now as a graduating student, i aim to get into an uniformed career. All my choices are not the mainstream ones, since young, I have tons of friends asking, "huh, why you choose this?". I like to try, i like to attempt, my choices are really not very mainstream, but i choose based on my liking. The least i want is to look back and think, "damn, should i have tried that path i was considering". And no, i do not think i am impulsive, but i refuse to be a puppet of this mainstream-is-the-safest-option world. I'm glad, up till now, i haven't really regret my choices, and yes, i do think that it is possible for me to be more "successful" if i have chosen the more mainstream choices, but i doubt i will be as assured as now that i'm happy for my choice. Passion, that's the key to avoid regrets.

Apr 07, 2013
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Chase your dreams! NEW
by: Yue Xi

Hello Vickii,

It was a great journey the past 13 weeks with you and the team as we worked hard to translate our dreams and ideas on paper. Glad that we have all learnt new skills and challenged ourselves, especially during the breakout sessions. Hope you will continue to chase your dream of baking and I would gladly be your customer in the future. Do keep the friends and networks you have made because you never know what will come out of them in the very near future. (:

Apr 07, 2013
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fun ebc experience :) NEW
by: Denise Lui

hi vickii, tickbucket sounds like a really good idea!! anyway im glad that ebc was fun for you as it was for me. :) i cannot agree more that even though the course has ended, the entrepreneurship journey has only just begun for everyone because Prof and the guest seminars have all equipped us with the much-needed and valuable advice we can possibly find in helping us start out a small business. and since you have the passion in baking, i'd say go for it! maybe someday you can start a quaint cafe! :)

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EBC-2012/2013 (Term2) - Jermaine Kang Shu Hua

by Jermaine Kang Shu Hua
(Singapore)





When I was younger, I looked up to my 2 uncles who were very successful businessmen, starting their own businesses when they were in their early twenties. I chose to study accountancy at SMU as I felt that it was a very versatile degree. However, there was always a part of me that dreamed of starting something of my own. I didn't want to spend my whole life working for someone. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to be in control of the outcome of my own business. When I heard about the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation module, I checked with seniors and chose to bid for Prof Pamela’s class.

I was really thankful to find such enthusiastic teammates to do this project with. In our initial discussions and brainstorming sessions, we shared our concerns about the current activities that couples could do in Singapore and felt that it was quite limited at the moment and many couples had to go overseas to find exciting new activities to do.

We worked through the whole business idea, from the initial drafting of the idea, the financials, marketing, all the way to the planning for our exit from the market. Initially, we faced some uncertainty trying to work out the costing and the profit margins as we had to base our numbers on some approximation and research. During the process of working through our business plan, we had to make a few major changes to our initial idea in order to make the business viable. Due to this, faced a few clashes in opinions, but I’m glad we managed to work through our differences efficiently and amicably.

As part of the module, we also had weekly breakout sessions which helped us to learn to apply the theories which we were introduced in class. I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the interactive activities that Prof Pam planned for us. For example, we got to try calling venture capitalists to seek funding for our businesses, interview successful entrepreneurs, and learn the different customer service approaches of various organizations. The most memorable breakout session I had involved testing the patience of Ya Kun and McDonalds’ service staff. It was an amusing and unique learning experience that I will not be forgetting for a long time.

Throughout this course, attending the guest seminars and presentations, I have gained many valuable perspectives on starting and running a business. The skills and insights I have gained have definitely made me feel more prepared to start my own business in the near future. On the whole, EBC was a fulfilling and meaningful learning experience and I am extremely thankful to Prof Pamela, Zi Rong and my EBC group mates for walking me through the past 13 weeks of learning.

Comments for EBC-2012/2013 (Term2) - Jermaine Kang Shu Hua

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Apr 09, 2013
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Fun times NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Jerm jerm! I really glad not to have dropped EBC. I had a great deal of fun doing the project with you. I think this applies to setting up a business as well, having friends setting up the business with you will definitely make the whole journey more fun! :D But Prof once mentioned that we should never do business with friends or relatives. We should set some ground rules if we ever were to do business together :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Fun times NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Jerm jerm! I really glad not to have dropped EBC. I had a great deal of fun doing the project with you. I think this applies to setting up a business as well, having friends setting up the business with you will definitely make the whole journey more fun! :D But Prof once mentioned that we should never do business with friends or relatives. We should set some ground rules if we ever were to do business together :)

Apr 09, 2013
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- NEW
by: Jinyu

Hi Jermaine,

I liked your group's business idea the most. Thanks for giving us a great presentation, your groups efforts in this project are evident to all of us. All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Good luck NEW
by: Loo Jing Yi

Hi Jermaine, thanks for sharing your EBC journey. I agree that the breakout presentations were really interesting and I have gained a lot from it. Hope what you have learnt in EBC will come in handy in the future. All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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A Couple of Us NEW
by: Li Chun Leung

Hi Jermaine,

Great reflection. I really liked the breakout sessions as well. I think it really helped us in developing our business plan for A Couple of Us. It also made the lesson more fun and enjoyable.

I'm glad our idea worked out in the end and thanks for being a great team member too! Wish you all the best for your business! Can always look for me for technical advices! =)

Cheers!

Apr 09, 2013
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Amazing team working and learning experience NEW
by: XIA YICHENG

Hi Jermaine,

It's nice to hear from your EBC journey and thanks for the sharing. Definitely team working is important for opening up new businesses. Our team has similar experience as yours in market research and financial projections. Although it is a little tough sometimes, it's also a good opportunity to teammates to adapt to each others.

Apr 09, 2013
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Amazing teamwork NEW
by: Loon Wan Swen

Hey Jermaine,

Really happy to read that your experience in EBC was awesome and part of the reason was because of our awesome group!

It was a fun journey for me as well, to have worked with a group of wacky and creative people, including you!

Wish that you would graduate well with an Accountancy degree and be brave to pursue any business when you have a really good opportunity!


Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Eddy Goh

Hi Jermaine,

Yes testing the standards of their customer service. My group and I had lots of fun too, asking for heart shaped hotcakes and hard boil egg at Mcdonalds!

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Eddy Goh

Hi Jermaine,

Loved the slides of your group that day and if you guys are pushing this service out, I'll need help with my budget. Haha, slightly on the expensive side but interesting.

Apr 09, 2013
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accounting and entrepreneurship NEW
by: Gerald

Hi Jermaine,

i do agree with you that accountancy is a versatile degree and it will be really useful to you if you decide to follow in your uncles' footsteps one day. I felt that your team's idea really improved on the current dating websites by offering an entire package instead of just setting up 2 people for a date.

Apr 09, 2013
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Passion for your dreams NEW
by: Jayen Chua

Hi Jermaine,

I enjoyed your group's presentation throughout the semester. Thought it was a great idea. And I do hope that one day you will be successful in setting up your own business as well! :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Breakout NEW
by: Aaron Lum

HI Jermaine, thanks for your post. Yes i have to agree the breakouts were really an experience! initially i was more reserved to actually reaching out to the public for opinions or even funding, but through the course i must say i have learnt alot more about myself as well as being more vocal towards others. Thanks prof for the wonderful and fun breakout sessions!

Apr 09, 2013
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best wishes NEW
by: Stephanie Toh

Hi Jermaine,

I agree with you that this course has indeed been memorable and fun, especially the weekly breakout sessions. I am sure all of us have benefit greatly from this course and I wish you success in your journey to entrepreneurship!

Apr 08, 2013
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Couldn't agree more NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Jermaine,

I couldn't agree more with what you said. I really enjoyed the activities that Prof planned for us as well. I think it's great that you enjoyed the process with your teammates because that makes learning and working that much more fun.

I had the privilege of witnessing your team's presentation and I think that if you truly want to be your own boss, you should try to establish your team's idea. I think it can be implemented while you're team is in SMU because of the way that it is structured.

Anyway, all the best to you whether you choose to be an entrepreneur or accountant!

Apr 08, 2013
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Regular change is needed NEW
by: Rendy Sim

Hi Jermaine, I share the similar experience in adjusting the profit margin and cost structure of my business plan. Often, having an interesting idea is not sufficient as the business has to generate positive cash flows and profits at the end of the day. With that, regular changes to the business plan are required and it is inevitable that conflicts arise due to differing opinions. I am glad that your group managed to work through the differences efficiently and amicably.

Apr 08, 2013
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Thanks for sharing! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Jermaine,

I agree with you that the breakout sessions were really beneficial for us. I think all of us have really learnt a lot from the sessions! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Apr 08, 2013
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Great views NEW
by: Wenyi

Hi Jermaine, great article.

Your views on " I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to be in control of the outcome of my own business. " greatly resonates with me.

I share the same dream as you.

Apr 08, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Delia

Hi, I love your group's idea. I think it is true that there are limited things/places for couples to explore in Singapore. Anyway, the most memorable breakout session for me is also the one involving assessing service crews. It was fun and we laughed so much doing it. Thanks for sharing and all the best!!

Apr 08, 2013
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Thanks for Sharing Jermaine! NEW
by: Jonathan Ng

Hey jermaineeeee! haha. thanks for sharing! I think the breakout activity on testing "customer service" was certainly beneficial to all of us in many ways - first. it helped us understand what good customer service entailed, and second. it helped us really train our guts when we approach people. All the best after graduation!

Apr 08, 2013
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A couple of us NEW
by: Ringo

Hey Jermaine, your business idea has a rather interesting name! Hope it went well for you and your team throughout the course of the module. Anyway, i did notice that this course has a much larger group than usual, 7-9 people in a group and i do agree that conflict can arise very easily with so many opinions. But yet that is the reality of things, where is it impossible to function alone. Even in a small department in future will comprise of about 10 people running it. There is absolutely no escaping the fact that we are not alone even if we wanted to be! But i am sure that we can grateful that through this module, we are not able to work better in larger groups of people and as such, it was not a waste of hard work and effort!

Apr 07, 2013
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Go ahead and be an entrepreneur NEW
by: Haja Mohaideen

Hi Jermaine,

One of my profs told me this. I am from SIS. I shared with him that I am not really interested in technical role and am actually kinda interested to do events management. He told me that, what I have learnt in SIS is like a tools in a toolbox. If I wish to do events management, I can use some of the skills that I have learnt in SIS to automate some processes. It is something that someone from non-IS background cannot do. Similarly, accountancy would have definitely taught you some skills that you can put into practice in whatever you wish to do.

All the best and hope one day you can start your own business and be successful in it!

Cheers,
Haja

Apr 07, 2013
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Tell us more about your project NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Jermaine,

Unfortunately I am not in your EBC class to listen to your business pitch, however, your small snippet of what your project has piqued my interest. Hope you will share the link to your group's teaser so that we can find out more.(:

Wish you all the best and hope that with your accounting degree, you will never forget your dream of starting your business and will pursue it upon graduation. I am sure your accounting skills will go a long way in helping you. All the best!

Apr 07, 2013
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Be like your uncles NEW
by: Tian Chong

Hi Jermaine,pursue your dreams. I believe that if you have the passion and you are willing to put in the hard work, you will be as successful as your uncles one day.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Rowell Soon

It feels very strange to need to clear EBC in Year 4.
Because I didn't plan my mods too well, I ended up taking all senior year mods by year 2 and then had the whole 'clearing mod' mentality for the graduating year.

Can't really blame me when I tried to console myself that at least, you know, it would be a nice wrap up and opportunity to draw upon knowledge from other modules, especially for the final project, and then done deal. The curriculum wasn't content heavy, because at this point things simply made sense when you have gone a bit deeper into the components of creating a business for the past 3 years, right?

More or less. But the real gems tend to fall out from prof/classmates' mouths when you least expect it. The moments when we went slightly 'offtrack' away from the formal study materials which stated the rules, we had the chance to hear interesting perspectives of how to re-think, re-interpret those rules, how to bend them, how to leverage, how to draw nonobvious connections, lessons from experience.

Even some basic motivations and perceptions must have been turned upside down and thoroughly retaught. One such moment would be when prof shared about the assignment of sales targets down the hierarchy.

Whoa.

That's definitely not in the textbook- but is definitely a killer out in the working world today...worse is that its a silent killer! Another would be about outsourcing everything- and not focus on the immediate appearance of the company, but build the company based on its involvement in the value chain. Emotional buy in, ruling by both heart and tough love. No surprise that the guest lecture was the highlight of the course. Over 4 years you see two kinds of guest lectures. One where the lecturer is surfing on all-out bragging rights, and one where the guy genuinely takes the time to come and share, about ideas, principles, people, failure... Feels really lucky to be able to hear these guys.

Prof you know you could write a book on this- the EBC textbook is one which is more or less carved in stone, stating the basics of getting an idea to survive past the idea stage; this book is about tough lessons learnt bringing ideas from mere survival to success... A la Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy! Nugget sized insights, an actual cheat-sheet for the newly budded and wandering entrepreneur. Business is a melding of hard and soft, art and science. The soft and art part tends to be the hardest and most expensive lessons to learn, but sharing them truly makes a difference and gives the next generation a better head start, a better moral compass, a guidance...

Break-out sessions were downright frantic. How the heck are you supposed to call so-and-so, right in the morning, and ask them to finance/support your idea?
Madness!

Then I realised how important this skill is and how sneakily prof/TA has put this into the seminar schedule to let us get a taste of the hectic, 24/7 entrepreneur unafraid of failure, rejection, constantly pressing towards a goal- be it disturbing a bewildered editor of a magazine on how to get a feature, poking a banker in the ribs on getting funding, attempting to get funding from a VC,sneaking into other people's businesses and observing the way they handle potentially new customers, and other essential nonsense which any serious entrepreneur must do daily to survive the stark reality of entrepreneurship- to dare to call, ask, in the face of possible rejection.

How many of you guys have gained a thicker skin at the end of 13 weeks?

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Apr 14, 2013
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Thicker Skin NEW
by: Phua Weijie

Hey Rowell!

Thanks for helping out with the Guest Seminar. It was great to be working with you on the coordination of elevator pitches.

Now that you mentioned it, I totally agree at the point that the syllabus has been carefully crafted to imbue some of the necessary soft skills required that can't be taught by any textbook!

And the point regarding the sales targets and the proper transparency and communication of goals down the line was an eye opener and game changer as well! =)

Thanks for sharing!

Apr 12, 2013
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First Hand Experience is the Best! NEW
by: Vincent

Dear Rowell,

I totally agree with your point about the calling part that prof probably wanted to find out how much info we can get/product from talking to someone for the first time.

I think as entrepreneurs, we must be prepared to spend a lot of time to establish connections and to accept rejections as they come along. But it's all part of learning to be successful.

That said, congratz on surviving 4 years of SMU!

Apr 12, 2013
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Thanks. NEW
by: Jane

Hi Rowell, it was nice reading your journal. I think many of us would feel the same way and yes, my skin is thicker too i guess. haha

Apr 10, 2013
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Fight for it if you want it! NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Rowell,

I liked how you ended your journal entry. If we don't fight for our idea who would right? I think for that purpose you need to strongly believe in your idea more than anyone else together with passion. Therefore, you need to have the thickest possible skin.

You never know from who and how you will get help. Also, thank you for summarizing the things we have learnt, reading your journal makes my jaw drop on the number of things we have learnt over the past 13 weeks. It's absolutely amazing!

Apr 10, 2013
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Fight for it if you want it! NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Rowell,

I liked how you ended your journal entry. If we don't fight for our idea who would right? I think for that purpose you need to strongly believe in your idea more than anyone else together with passion. Therefore, you need to have the thickest possible skin.

You never know from who and how you will get help. Also, thank you for summarizing the things we have learnt, reading your journal makes my jaw drop on the number of things we have learnt over the past 13 weeks. It's absolutely amazing!

Apr 10, 2013
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Congrats! NEW
by: Anonymous

Congratulations on your Graduation, Rowell! I agree that this course has pushed us out of our comfort zones and I am happy that we all have had a chance to do something that we might not have done otherwise. Cheers!

Apr 10, 2013
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Thicker Skin Fo Sho NEW
by: Jillian Goodenough

I got a thicker skin for sure, haha. But I think it's something people need to have in life no matter what you do. Anyway, this was your final sem right? Good luck!

Apr 09, 2013
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Good Points NEW
by: Wei Zheng

Hi Rowell,

I fully agree, one of the things i liked the most about the course is the fact that many of the things taught cannot be found in any textbook! That is what makes this whole lesson unique and memorable. For me the changing of fixed cost to variable cost is a critical one. Its done very widely outside but not talked much about in most classes.

Apr 09, 2013
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Learning from the Experiences of others NEW
by: Cherine Ng

Hi Rowell, I agree with you that Prof should definitely write a book about her experiences and wealth of knowledge over the years of teaching to help educate the next generation! I quote Alfred Sheinwold "Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won't have time to make them all yourself." With the fast-paced and ever-changing world of today, the propensity to fail would definitely be higher and the chances of learning all there is to know based on one's effort alone is so slim.

Apr 09, 2013
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good luck NEW
by: Gerald

Hi Rowell,

Firstly, congratulations on making it through SMU and good luck on your life after graduation. Secondly, I do agree with you that the break out sessions very week really forced us to split the work and make frantic calls and emails to get the information we need for the presentation really trained us to work quickly and without fear of rejection.

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2 - Ang Wei Zheng

by Ang Wei Zheng
(Singapore )



Like most of my peers, I had originally taken up EBC as a means to clear my T&E requirements for graduation. However, having taken Professor Pamela’s TWC class all the way back when I was in year 1, I knew that a meaningful learning experience was before me. Looking back on the past 13 weeks that came and went so quickly, I think I can confidently say that this was one of my most valuable learning experiences in SMU. Not only was I exposed to a whole range of ideas and concepts, as a class we were provided some insights from Professor’s own experiences which can never be found from any textbook. All of amongst the many things that I have picked up from this course, there are three things that really stuck out to me.

The first is the idea of failure. This has been touched upon many times in our second journal but I feel that the importance of this deserves another mention. In a society where everyone is expected to succeed, and succeed on the first try, failing has largely been seen as a taboo. Sure no one wants to fail, but I have learnt through the guest seminar how powerful failure can be. It can even be what sparks the success of your next business. However, this is not to say failing is anything easy to do. In fact from the sharing done during the guest of seminar, I have realized one more thing about entrepreneurship: it is hard. It is hard not only because you have to weather the adversity before you, hopefully with a strong partner, but also because there is always the possibility of losing much of what you have invested. This is not only money, but also time and energy. A big risk appetite is one thing, but a grit made out of steel is also necessary to succeed. As Patrick Liew’s vivid illustration of his near failure showed, it can be tough work!

The second take away for me can be broadly categorized as life’s lessons. If there is one thing I like about Professor Pamela’s teaching style is that she provides clean clear illustrations of the real life realities of starting your own business or the business landscape. I will always remember that discussion we had in class about changing all a company’s cost from fixed to variable. Certainly items such as utilities and rent should be moved towards variable costs, but I found the idea of shifting employee costs to variable really interesting, though a tad disturbing. However, I could find little business arguments against that decision, a company with only variable costs will not die but a firm with fixed costs will always face that danger. This is something that can already be seen happening in vast majorities of the business world, outsourcing your non-core departments has become the name of the game. Ironically, I know of firms that even have their entire Human Resources department outsourced! This has implications for both entrepreneurs and future employees alike.


Lastly, my third take away was how much you actually learn from a project group with a diverse background. I had bidded for EBC with three other friends but through this 13weeks journey we have made many more. As part of the BlitzFit group, I simply love how all of us with our varied disciplines and majors were able to bring different ideas and concepts to the table. Refine each other’s comments, ideas and suggestions; laugh together and just really enjoyed learning together. I think that beyond at University, it is not only the content that is important, but also the bonds and networks you form with people from a various disciplines and career paths. This makes EBC one of my most memorable teams in my years in SMU.
All in all, I am really glad to have taken this module. It delivered not only on the content but it also made the whole experience fun with its varied tasks and breakouts. Thank you Professor Pamela for another amazing module!

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EBC-2012/2013-Term 2-Muhd Ismail

by Muhd Ismail
(SMU)

Planning in progress...

Planning in progress...

Planning in progress...
Sometimes, planning can be tough...
We have an interesting opportunity ahead!
Thank you for making this semester an enjoyable learning experience!

Introduction
In Singapore, entrepreneurship education is taken with a pinch of salt. Afterall, who wants to be an entrepreneur? Why not be a professional who earns big time and have security over your job prospect?

Confusion
All these questions ran my mind as I stepped into SMU. Without any knowledge about entrepreneurship, I took a dive by establishing a technology-based start-up with hopes to compete with retailers at Sim Lim Square. Boy, I was wrong - very wrong.

The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. You believe that you can work at your own pace. Sometimes, your partners cannot accomodate to you and you have to sacrifice your time and fuel to deliver your goods to your clients. In moments such as these, you are wondering why the hell did I get myself into this mess? And to top it off, you run into debts because your did not keep check of your supplies and many products in the shelves just couldn't be sold because they are hard to liquidate (turn into cash). Your partners are not willing to fork out cash because they are busy running other businesses. What do I do?

I used my savings to cover up the losses and started cursing my partners. However, what I did isn't the right thing to do - there are many issues pertaining to the model I ran: We lacked vision, mission and culture. We do not have a business plan to guide us. Only intuition and wit to set the path for our future expansion. Unfortunately, human intuition is flawed. Even the greatest genius among my group cannot turn the tide and challenge my business's impending doom.

Opportunity
Opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship is always plentiful. However, to learn entrepreneurship, one must always take knowledge with an open mind. Learn to love what you are learning and that is the mantra that keeps me going now. Although my experience in a failed start-up scarred me, I cannot turn down the offer to share my experience, learn and just...learn.

It was time that I started plucking the courage and finding a source of entrepreneurship education at SMU. My first encounter with entrepreneurship course is EBC. I have decided that it is time to get my motivation running again because I really desire to learn and not to repeat the same mistakes again. This time, I bidded the module with hopes that I am able to bring back something. And to my great surprise, I bring back more than knowledge. I bring back more friends, pitching skills, qualities to be an entrepreneur and most importantly - the essence of knowing and loving one another.

Lessons
Prof Pam Lim is an excellent facilitator. She guided us through a series of entrepreneurship education like building lego sets: Step by step, don't rush your way. I find comfort knowing that I have an instructor who had been in business and shared her experiences with us. Experiences are unique and desirable. Unique because each of us perceive circumstances differently. Desirable because this is the fuel that affirms my belief that one day, I can be successful as well.

Another life lessons learnt was working in a huge group. Although many start-ups begin with at least 2 members, working in a huge group allows me to explore my group's dynamics really well. In a huge group, you get to see how each of us, each with different talents, contribute our skills and knowledge into the project. I am proud to say that I have one of the best working teams in SMU.

Dynamics
Normally, we often cite the social phenomenon of 'social loafing' when large groups are formed. However, the dynamics presented in my group exceeded my expectations. Everyone is so eager to be the contributor and each of us learn to take up leadership roles and initiatives at different points of time. What struck me is initiative and team-spirit. Entrepreneurship is not about being alone in the business. You need support - lots of support from your partners, friends and most importantly, your family. Doing business is about understanding the relationship between your team and yourself. We believe that someday, we will need each other more than we could. There is trust.

Blitzfit
Where do we go from here, you'd say? The idea of trust becomes very prominent in our group and it has become our culture. This culture of trust is manifested through our Blitzfit product. We believe that shoppers are not getting enough, retailers are spending too much. Why not we bridge retailers and shoppers together and build trusts among them? Afterall, a good business is when you have sustained sales and we want people to keep coming back and enjoy this relationship through our Blitzfit experience.

Central to Blitzfit, many ideas were contributed. Our business plan was conceptualized - all with the contribution from my fellow team members who worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure that we get our information right! I told myself that I will never go to a business without a solid plan and I am happy to begin with something, finally.

Where do I go from here?

"Where we go from there... is a choice I leave to you." - Neo, Matrix

Ultimately, the end of my EBC session is sad farewell for my classmates, my team and myself. We had fun together. In this process of fun, we gain experience and knowledge that cannot be taught else where. It is important for my future budding entrepreneurs to have some experience in the field of business before embarking one yourself. Life is like a box of chocolates, you will never know what you are going to get. Indulge in the joy of learning and embrace the friendship and experience that come along with it. I thank you for your time with me and to my groupmates, all the best for your future endeavours.

Comments for EBC-2012/2013-Term 2-Muhd Ismail

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Apr 12, 2013
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Never Give Up! NEW
by: Vincent

Dear Ismail,

Prof Pam is indeed a wonderful teacher who has taught us many valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and business creation!

I'm sure that that after attending this module, you'll be much more prepared for the situations that may arise should you decide to start another business!

A quote from the movie, The Dark Knight: "Why do we fall? So that we may learn to stand on our feet". Never give up on chasing your dreams!

Apr 12, 2013
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Thanks NEW
by: Jane

Hi Ismail, thank you very much for sharing your personal story! I'm glad you took this module and had some takeaways from it! You had been a great facilitator of discussions in class through the semester and it was wonderful to have you in my class! :D

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EBC-2012/13 Term2-Wong Jia Min

by Wong Jia Min

TBC FTW

TBC FTW

Call VCs. Approach banks. Be nasty to service staff (and see how they respond). Ask for funding.

The breakout activities Professor Pamela Lim conducted every week helped me set a new record. I was never late for the Thursday morning class and I never once dozed off in class because of the 'morning workout'.

Initially, I wondered if I have to sit through 13 weeks with someone lecturing non-stop and I thought: 'So much for entrepreneurship'. And when I least expected it, Professor Pamela Lim sent us out of class. After 2 weeks, I realised that this class was what I had hoped for. I chose EBC over EM because it seemed more practical, according to the course outline, and it proved to be so.

Coming to think of it, many things we did helped us develop entrepreneurial skills, although we did not realise it. We had the opportunity to form our own group and even that was related to entrepreneurship. It was about ensuring you made the correct first impression and selling yourself. People with networks and friends probably formed their own group and it was up to you to prove that you will be a valuable group member.

Unexpectedly, I did enjoy myself although I only knew one person from the group of 8 initially. The journey was not easy, even though Professor Pamela Lim did her best to break down the report. We went from mission and vision, to positioning statement, competitor's analysis, and so on. However, we still spent a lot of time together as a group. We stayed till late after the guest seminar to prepare for our presentation and it really showed us how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. We had to sort out many small issues regarding our cool mobile application as a group and we had to ensure everyone understood what was going on. It was like going through one of the many days of an entrepreneur. But at the end of day, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment felt by the group was indescribable. It was not definitely easy, but once you conquer it, you can taste how sweet success is.

In addition, the TWC guest seminar was another learning opportunity. Besides having to coordinate with people from other groups, we also had to sell our business idea to the VCs and entrepreneurs. It seemed pretty easy when we received the email but it was pretty nerve-wrecking having to sell the business idea to someone who has experience and probably knows how to differentiate a good idea from a bad idea quickly. Nonetheless, we managed to obtain the cheque and that experience taught me the the preparation for selling something comes way before the actual sale itself. It was necessary to know the business plan in order to answer any question thrown at us.

Lastly, I would like to thank Professor Pamela Lim and my group mates for this wonderful learning experience. My group mates have been very supportive; the breakout activities and what not certainly helped us bond as a group. I will always remember Professor Pamela Lim's stories and anecdotes as they always helped to get the point across and made the learning points more memorable. It was nice having a Professor who shared with us bits and piece of her life. Thank you!

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Apr 10, 2013
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Friendships NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Jia Min,

Thank for your entry. I would like to add on that when doing a business together with a group of people, you will end up spending a lot of time together. Wonderful friendships may be forged along the way, but it is important to keep them separate from the business matters. Because those friendships should not come in the way of operating the business. On that note, all the best in your future endeavors.

Apr 10, 2013
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Friendships NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Jia Min,

Thank for your entry. I would like to add on that when doing a business together with a group of people, you will end up spending a lot of time together. Wonderful friendships may be forged along the way, but it is important to keep them separate from the business matters. Because those friendships should not come in the way of operating the business. On that note, all the best in your future endeavors.

Apr 09, 2013
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Working with Strangers NEW
by: Priscilla

Hi Jia Min,

I also initially knew two members in my group and I was also apprehensive at the start about the group dynamics. It is indeed heartening to see strangers becoming good friends and I guess that is all part of the SMU experience that gives us an opportunity to work with strangers and to better prepare us for the working world! Glad that you enjoyed EBC! :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Hello NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Jiamin

Thanks for sharing! I agree that the weekly breakouts made the classes more engaging and it exposed us to many things we cannot learn from texbooks. It's nice to know that you've enjoyed your EBC journey and to know of the friendships you've forged during the process!

Apr 09, 2013
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Hello NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Jiamin

Thanks for sharing! I agree that the weekly breakouts made the classes more engaging and it exposed us to many things we cannot learn from texbooks. It's nice to know that you've enjoyed your EBC journey and to know of the friendships you've forged during the process!

Apr 09, 2013
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teamwork NEW
by: Rachel Kwan

Hey Jia Min, yes I do remember the time our group stayed up late after the seminar to prep for our presentation. Although it was a really really tiring 2 nights, we were all in it together as a team. And i think that all those long hours spent discussing on our business plan (and digressing at times) were fun. Glad to have you as my groupmate! (:


Apr 09, 2013
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Good luck NEW
by: Loo Jing Yi

Hi Jia Min, thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that the guest seminar is a good learning opportunity for us. Good job for getting the cheque. I’m glad that you enjoy EBC.

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Jia Min,

I do agree that the Guest Seminar is a good opportunity! Thanks to this seminar, we get to engage different Venture Capitalists and also entrepreneurs to learn about how to improve and innovate our product, market our product and also how to pitch our idea to potential investors!

Thanks for sharing!

Apr 09, 2013
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GOOD LUCK! NEW
by: Jin Hao

Hi Jia Min!! Thank you for sharing your experience about EBC! I'm delighted you have enjoyed yourself in this course as much as I do. Just as EBC has provided you with many interesting experiences, it has been the same for me as well. I wish you all the best in becoming your own boss in the future. Good luck!

Apr 09, 2013
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Pitching to VCs NEW
by: Sylvester Long

Hi Jiamin, thanks for your sharing! The first four fragments in your journal pretty much summed up the highlights of the module. It's really nice that you've managed to make new friends, having only known one of eight of eventual groupmates initially. Also, you're right -- pitching to VCs is a lot more nerve-wrecking (that first few seconds as you approach him/her) than it sounded on paper, but surely gratifying after you're done with it!

Apr 09, 2013
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Breakout! NEW
by: Johnson Lee

Hi!

The group breakout 'missions' have always been enjoyable and very much anticipated for the upcoming lesson.

And i love the fact that what we obtained from the people when we interviewed them were real results and responses.

Apr 09, 2013
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Teamwork NEW
by: Sng Kah Huei Aaron

Hello Jiamin,
Although I am not the one of the eight that you first know before forming this group, I never regret and truly enjoyed having you as a groupmate. From acquaintance to teammate to friends, this process is really enjoyable. From this whole project, I have learnt the importance of teamwork. It is the support that we give each other throughout the whole project that makes us successful in completing the business plan.

Apr 09, 2013
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Fruits of labour NEW
by: Rendy Sim

Hi Jia Min, I agree that making a good first impression is really important. As what Prof Pamela has always mentioned, the first few minutes are the most crucial in making or breaking the deal. This is especially true for elevator pitches where time is not a luxury. In addition, I believe the sense of satisfaction is what many entrepreneur enjoys at the end of the day. It is not so much about making the most profits but more of seeing the fruits of your labour matures.

Apr 09, 2013
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1 out of 8 NEW
by: Edmund Goh

Hey Wong, 2nd time that we have been working in a group of eight people since year 1. The breakout activities have indeed been challenging but it has also enrich us with real life experiences. It has been a fun-filled 13 weeks and I believe we all have benefited from Prof Pamela's teachings.

Apr 09, 2013
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Getting the right people NEW
by: Wan Ching

Hey Jiamin, I think that's the reason why the guests mentioned that having a good team is also important for your business to be successful. We were lucky to be so bonded even though we do not know each other when we form the group. I believe it's the common goal we have in mind that keep us together despite having to stay up late for many nights. We would not have completed the project without everyone's effort. Thank you! =)


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EBC-2012/13 Term2 - XIA Yicheng

by XIA Yicheng
(Singapore)

Before I join the EBC class, I always think that entrepreneurship is patented by a certain mysterious group of people, meaning it is something I have never thought of. However, after the whole 13 sessions, I actually find that entrepreneurship is not that hard, and that each of my classmates can make good entrepreneurs. I would thus like to share some interesting finding during the class.

Market research and market positioning

In my previous corporate reporting, marketing, strategy and analysis of equity classes, I have learnt some basics about market research and positioning. However, there is a huge difference when it comes to my own business. In the previous class, we are always analyzing other companies and the question is: whether the company valuation too low? Is there any growth points? However, it is 180 degree turnaround when it comes to my business. As start-ups do not really have much money, so every strategy is restricted by one idea: saving money! Therefore, we are focusing a lot on the downside rather than bullish on the growth opportunities. Typical questions would be: what if our business fails to capture the market? What if our positioning is wrong? As you can see, there are much more considerations and headaches when it comes to our own business.

Guest Seminar

One thing that I learnt from the EBC class is that I am not only learning from Prof Pamela and the textbook, but also from each of my teammates. It is amazing to hear about other groups’ business ideas and considerations, and it is even better to have the opportunity to hear from the guest speakers. During the session, they have shared the secrets of their success, their precious learning experience, their business value, and their positioning of themselves. Most importantly, I am impressed by their aspiration and passion. It reminds me of the time when our team is discussing the blueprints of our business. After all, the most important thing we need to open up our own shops is the passion.

After all, taking the EBC class has made me experience new and exciting things. It makes me believe that entrepreneur is for everyone who is passionate and daring. Most importantly, our business is not only a tool of making money, it is an organization to improve the society. A business will be called valuable not because of its profitability, but its value to the society and community.

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EBC-AY2012-2013 Term 2-Jane Ang

by Jane
(Singapore)


I took this module as a business option as the course title sounded interesting. I have been in a business school but have not thought much about setting up my own business until this I took this module! I was pleasantly surprised at what we had lined up for us! Firstly, when I heard about the credentials of Prof Pam Lim, I was like, "Whoa! This lady is thaaaat successful?! And she's teaching us? That's nice of her to share!" Then, I went through the course outline and realized that it was a pretty comprehensive lesson plan and that I’ll probably learn a lot from this course.

In the first lesson, Prof Pam talked about her technopreneurship journey and I was immediately intrigued by this whole idea of a tech business. I am not exactly great at using the many functions of a computer or the Internet. At best, I can only surf the net and do a little bit of easy Photoshop. Over the weeks, our business idea developed and it has to do with a web portal and I am even more excited because Prof Pam can give really constructive advice (based on her past experiences) as to how to pull it off! I felt that overall, I really did benefit tremendously from Prof Pam’s lesson as I learn that there are actually so much work to do before a business can be started up. I’ve always been bad at finance but the project work gave me a chance to learn from my peers who are finance majors. Her slides shows the main points from the textbook really well and helped our group in formulating our business plan and she shares with us a lot of great real-life experience which I would not know of if I had not taken her class.

One thing I really like about this class is that Prof Pam really emphasizes a lot of peer learning, which is a higher level learning as compared to directed learning (solely one-way lectures, read textbook, do your own assignment etc.). Sometimes there are not many opportunities to participate in class due to the break-out sessions that we have but she maximizes our learning by creating a Facebook page where we can share and discuss articles related to entrepreneurship. A bulk of what I learnt comes from the shared articles and discussion on the Facebook page. Her break-out sessions in class are always fun and enjoyable.

I felt that Prof Pam is a very sincere educator who tries her best to impart knowledge to the next generation and even goes to the extent of organizing a guest seminar so that we can hear and learn from others, and not just her. At the same time, she also created this opportunity for us to network and test the feasibility of our business ideas with experienced others.

Overall, her lessons do not just teach us how to be a successful entrepreneur but also how to be a successful person and I had a fulfilling time in this course. Thanks!

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2- Ryan Tan

The chapter has been written and it is both beautiful and fulfilling. In the twinkling of an eye, my EBC journey has come to a close and like every other module in SMU, it is perhaps time to move on? Sounds so harsh and pragmatic? But as much as the end is near, I am glad for the meaningful times I shared with 6 other awesome people.

Rewind to the beginning in week 2, where I first introduced myself to the group as a missionary from Africa. I felt great because of all the wows and eyes of amazement and hopefully respect? There, I felt the natural tendency to lead the group and to leave an indelible mark on people like I always do. With that in mind, I actively pursued lofty ideas, concepts like Augmented reality which I felt would transform the education sector in Singapore. But here comes lesson 1 - your business plan cannot take flight if it is a remote concept that only you can relate to. It was a little demoralising at the beginning but I'm glad that I did not pursue it for an extended period of time. Ryan, your flame and passion alone cannot consume the team, you need to catch their heartbeat and the idea that resonates with them. Lesson learnt, humbled but surprisingly energised for a new idea that is about to take us by storm.

But we were stucked and the ideas were held back by some invisible roadblocks. We struggled and as a team, we went back and forth, and again back and forth. It took a while before Bakebox arrived and at the end of the day, it really appeared worthwhile. Why so? Because we were on many occasions; HELPLESS. Its like so real because we did not have a solid business idea even when we are almost halfway the course. So here comes lesson 2- Persevere even when the end is nowhere near. I know it sounds so duh but this was such a loud revelation through this project. And when we just wanted to make do with something simple, something that we weren't convicted about, I am glad that we did not simply jump into the bandwagon of blindly doing it. Ryan, when you have to persevere even though the end is not obvious, bite the bullet, man-up and deal with it!

And putting them together, I gleaned a powerful lesson - Diversity does not necessarily limit a team's effectiveness. The bakebox team epitomised this truth because we represented and pursued different ideals, but a common idea binded us together in a beautiful fabric. That we could cover one another in our blindspots, our weaknesses and strengthen one another in areas where we were obviously professionals in. Thank God that we continued to find that common dream our team shared and in the day, it was worthwhile because the bakebox brought out the beautiful bakers in everyone of us.

Thankful I am for this journey with Raymond, Ann, Amanda, Deepa and Raman. Thank you for being such awesome war compatriots as we explored KFC, Rendezvous Hotel, Waxing and for standing by one another even though the going was tough. The path going through it was difficult but the fruits now we enjoy are all worthwhile. Are my objectives for EBC met? More than what I could have asked for!! Bon Appetite with the Bakebox - Baking made easy :)

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EBC-2012-2013Term2- Han Yong Deng Gerald

by Han Yong Deng Gerald
(Singapore)

Our group photo

Our group photo

Our group photo
Benjamin made me into a 9gag photo during our meeting

I am an accountancy student and I happened to see the EBC mod offering during the Boss bidding period and i decided to bid for it out of curiosity. I had no idea what to expect when I turned up for my first lesson as even my friend who bidded with me dropped the course at the last minute.

It turned out to be a great experience as it was different from any course I had done. From the weekly presentations on a variety of topics to the project where we had to think of a business we wanted to set up.

Through a really random discussion, we settled on Blitzfit, which was a technology that could provide a virtual fitting room for consumers and a digital advertising medium for retailers. It was really a unique idea.

With the idea, we began to work on our marketing plan to appeal to both retailers and consumers, operations to determine how the business would run and the financials which projected our profit and loss.

Being the only accountancy student in the team, I naturally volunteered to do what i hoped i was good at, which was the financials. I had to work out an estimate of how much money we would require to start the business and work out how much money we would need to raise through equity and loans. I found that doing the financials meant that only I knew the company inside out,i knew the answers to questions like how much we would need to borrow from banks and how many employees we would hire. I was something like a guy that went to every department to ask lots of questions.

Overall, I felt that this was a good experience for me. I was able to practice my accounting knowledge and learn new knowledge out of my course such as marketing. Best of all, I was able to work with strangers from different courses who have became my friends after the course. I really enjoyed the group discussions with them, especially the guys from the school of social sciences.

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Apr 09, 2013
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Blitzfit NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Gerald,

I believe that not only do you benefit from handling the accounts but others as well. Your effort into making accounting simple for us to understand has been one of the generous contribution to the group. I really appreciate your time and effort to make boring materials such as financials easy for us to grasp. Thanks for your time with the group!

Apr 09, 2013
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Lucky NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Hi Gerald,
I felt so lucky to have you as my group-mate and on top of the class learning, you have added to my learning as well. With the accounting knowledge you have, it provided a different perspective on different issuer from a social science student(myself). Nice working with you!

Apr 09, 2013
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Learning NEW
by: Ang Wei Zheng

Hi Gerald,

I think through this process of dealing with financials and going about asking for financial information, you grew not only as an accountant but also as an individual. Estimating how much money was required and finding out how much to raise through equity and loans in my opinion, provided you insight of what is needed to start up a company of your own if you ever want to. It was a real pleasure working with you and as one of the social science fellows, must say it is a pleasure working with you.

Apr 09, 2013
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Diversity of skills NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Gerald,

Having been a fan of The Apprentice series in the past, I believe that the best teams are made up of a talents with a diversity of skills. As an accountancy student, you stepped up to take charge of the financials and that is commendable. My team also started off being uncertain about our numbers but we were able to work things out as the weeks progressed.

Apr 09, 2013
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Acct Knowledge NEW
by: Aaron Lum

Hi gerald, thank you for your post. I'm glad you have been able to use the knowledge that you have acquired in your school to other courses such as EBC. I believe you will be able to apply it in the future as well. Here's wishing you success in everything!

Apr 09, 2013
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Accountancy Knowledge NEW
by: Aaron Lum

Hi gerald, thank you for your post. I'm glad you have been able to use the knowledge that you have acquired in your school to other courses such as EBC. I believe you will be able to apply it in the future as well. Here's wishing you success in everything!

Apr 08, 2013
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best synergy NEW
by: Stephanie Toh

Hi Gerald,

It is great that you are able to contribute to your team according to your forte. The only accounting student in my team was in charge of the financials part too. Even in the real working world, I believe that the best synergy comes from having a team of individuals who focus on what they do best. However, we should also possess a minimum knowledge of the other business functions if we are going to be the entrepreneur running the company.



Apr 07, 2013
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good experience NEW
by: Denise Lui

hi gerald, blitzfit sounds like a good idea! i think having different groupmates adds value to the overall capabilities of the group. similar to my group, the accounting students also worked on the financials and i guess the strength of each groupmate complements the weaknesses of another, which is what matters afterall! im glad that ebc has been a great learning journey for you as it was for me! :)

Apr 07, 2013
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Nicely Done NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Gerald,

It is good to hear that you were able to use youe skil set to help your team achieve its goal. I think the fact you were able to enjoy the perspectives of students from other faculties is a real positive as well and I hope you guys were able to learn from each other.

Apr 06, 2013
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Financials NEW
by: Ze Hui

Hi Gerald, doing up the finances for the company is definitely not an easy feat. These numbers are what will determine whether the company gets funding or not when you present to venture capitalists/ angels, etc. My group was initially unclear about the numbers because our accountancy group mate did those for us and we focused on the other parts of the business plan, but we managed to get on track through his thorough explanations of the numbers every meeting.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Samuel YONG

by Samuel YONG
(Singapore)

BLITZFIT!

BLITZFIT!

Initially, I took up EBC because it was one of my major requirements and the T&E requirement as well. I had no idea what i was getting myself into, plus it was my first time taking up a friday morning class.

I heard very good comments from seniors about Prof Pamela Lim, and how committed she was to teaching her students. I was not disappointed in my first lesson with her. Her teaching style and her views on business issues made me feel very comfortable and engaged in class. This special environment that Prof Pamela is able to create in her classes are unlike any others in SMU.

The breakout sessions were very useful, as they made us step out of our comfort zones and explore the real world. One session that struck me the most was the one where we had to 'make things difficult' for some of the food outlets nearby school. It was a very enriching experience as it taught me a lot about being tolerant, and putting myself in the shoes of others. These are things that cannot be learnt from the textbook alone.

One of the best takeaways that I have from this module is probably the people I met in my group. Project meetings are always filled with laughter with all the jokes thrown around. Working with 7 others in a group was certainly a very different experience, especially after being accustomed to working with 4-5 only in most of my previous modules.

My EBC experience has been a really awesome one! I would do it again if I had the choice to do. Thank you Prof Lim for an awesome 13 weeks! (:

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Apr 14, 2013
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Comfort Zone NEW
by: Purva

Hi Sam,
Thank you for your post! I think I completely agree with you that this course was full of different challenges. It was a pleasure to push ourselves and walk out of our comfort zone into places that were unusual. The fact that our group sizes were so much larger added to the challenge of coordination and also created the much loved diversity factor! I think it is a mutual feeling of positive regard for this course and i hope that each of us has a substantial take away :)
Good Luck!

Apr 12, 2013
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Thanks NEW
by: Jane

Hi Samuel, I thought the group size was very big too! But it gave us a chance to learn how to work in big groups and also tap on each other's experiences when we created our business plan. There were higher chances of us being in a group of people with diverse majors and that was pretty helpful! :)

Apr 11, 2013
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Experience NEW
by: Coco Mercy

Hey Sam,

I too, enjoyed the breakout sessions very much! It was one of the main reasons that kept me awake on a Thursday morning haha. The big group didn't work for me as much as it did for you but I'm glad I experienced it (again, after LTB) and re-learnt some pointers wrt working with people. Hope to see your business set up soon!

Apr 09, 2013
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Reply NEW
by: Jonathan Lim

Hi Samuel,

I also took this course this sem and I like the relaxed manner in which the class is conducted. I also quite agree with you that the breakout sessions are useful because it trains people to think out of the box and to work efficiently under certain time constraints which to some extent replicates what is to come in the workplace. The projects are also quite practical and will definitely come in handy for everyone in the future.

Best Regards,
Jonathan

Apr 09, 2013
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Reply NEW
by: Jonathan Lim

Hi Samuel,

I also took this course this sem and I like the relaxed manner in which the class is conducted. I also quite agree with you that the breakout sessions are useful because it trains people to think out of the box and to work efficiently under certain time constraints which to some extent replicates what is to come in the workplace. The projects are also quite practical and will definitely come in handy for everyone in the future.

Best Regards,
Jonathan

Apr 09, 2013
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Awesome break out sessions :) NEW
by: Kok Zi Yi

Hi Sam! I enjoyed the break out sessions very much too. For me, the break out sessions were something that I looked forward to and is definitely the highlight of each class with all the groups coming back with their takeaways from the real world.

Apr 09, 2013
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Great working with you NEW
by: Ang Wei Zheng

Hi Samuel!

I couldn't agree more, the breakout session were fun, imaginative and really brings to the fore the important things that we as budding entrepreneurs must understand not at the concept level, but sink deep into our hearts and brains.

Lastly, i must say it was a real joy working with you and the rest of the BlitzFit team. I mean honestly, though the meetings were long, it was always filled with so much laughter and fun that time just flies by.

Apr 09, 2013
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Unconventional group sizes NEW
by: Aashna Shaparia

Hey Samuel,

The point where you brought about the larger group size in this class had totally slipped my mind! The opportunity to have 9 people in my group, one like never before created such an enriching outcome and some good friends in school to say the least!

Was great reading your post! You encapsulated the 13 week course so succintly but yet so clearly :)


Apr 09, 2013
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Breakout sessions NEW
by: Rachel Kwan

Hey Sam, glad that you enjoyed the breakout sessions as well. Think that was one of many students favourites. It really allowed us to get a hands on experience and talk to service staff, investors, or fellow entrepreneurs. Glad that you had an awesome EBC experience(:

Apr 09, 2013
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I <3 WORKING IN GROUPS! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Sam!

I totally agree with you. I have definitely learnt alot from my peers over the last 13 weeks. They have taught me to think out of the box and to brainstorm ideas. It was extremely enjoyable working with the team and i believe that the skills that have been taught in class will definitely help us in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, I share the same sentiments as you :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Blitzfit NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Sam,

Thanks for your time with the group. Working with a huge group is an eye-opener. You may never know who might be working with until you know the person better! The most important take-away is how we are able to get together, despite our differences, and manage to pull it off quite well. Congrats!

Apr 09, 2013
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Blitzfit NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Sam,

Thanks for your time with the group. Working with a huge group is an eye-opener. You may never know who might be working with until you know the person better! The most important take-away is how we are able to get together, despite our differences, and manage to pull it off quite well. Congrats!

Apr 09, 2013
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loving the lesson NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Hey Sam,
Same sentiment for the breakout session and the meetings we had. Learning is not just purely from books, we do learn from experience and hands on like what we did through the breakout. And yes! Learning should be boring; it should be filled with laughter that makes the learning enjoyable at the same time.

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2 - Cassandra See

I <3 EBC!

I <3 EBC!

I vividly recall my correspondence with BOSS prior to the start of the semester. In my mails, I had to explain to BOSS why I wanted to be assigned to an EBC class even though I had sufficient e-dollars to bid for other modules. As EBC was a T&E module and I’m currently in my final year, priority in bidding was given to others. By the time the module was opened to all for bidding, few vacancies were left and I was pretty worried that I would end up having to take some other module because I didn’t have a choice. I really wanted EBC because I had thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted much from other entrepreneurship courses, and I was pretty sure I would enjoy EBC the same. More importantly, I know that entrepreneurship isn’t something that can really be taught, and hence, to be able to teach it must really say something about the professor and I was really looking forward to class. So, the underlying reason I gave BOSS was simple: As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have started my own businesses in the past 3 years and I know that the course would definitely be beneficial for me in very practical and tangible ways.

True indeed, EBC has proved to be a very enriching journey. The three biggest takeaways from this module which I strongly believe, will be very important to budding entrepreneurs are: 1) Getting your hands dirty, 2) Zeroing in on the right business plan, and 3) Enjoying the process.

Getting your hands dirty. I guess the majority would agree that Professor Pam Lim’s method of teaching through breakout sessions and an external seminar was one of the anomalies that really made this course stood out. From contacting the press to cover our business idea to speaking to venture capitalists for funding, learning through all these actual hand-on practices I must say, is doubly effective as compared to classroom teaching as many a times, we all know what to do, but doing itself is another thing. Getting us out of our comfort zone to taste the real world was a nostalgic yet refreshing experience, and along the way, I picked up small little tips that I can put into good use for my businesses. One of the most memorable sessions was the one whereby we had to go to 3 different companies to assess their customer service. As my business operates within the service industry, I always knew that good customer service and support was a pivotal piece that can make or break a business, but I never really went down into dissecting the compound to understand what elements help to make up good customer service. What I learnt from going through the breakout session were the importance of first greetings to make customers’ presence be felt, and more importantly feedback forms, which are often taken very lightly but can significantly help in the understanding of customers’ concerns and potentially improve the business.

Zeroing in on the right business plan. No doubt we have learnt in class that the actual often deviates from the static business plan that was created at the initial stages of the business but that doesn’t dismiss the need for a business plan. There are important elements that are laid out in the document and will be carried forward to perpetually. Things like mission and vision statements, I used to be very naïve to think that these are just compulsory things that a company should have or it is a good to have. But I have learnt, that these statements are crucial as it not only serves to align the goals of the co-founders, but also communicate the existence and aspiration of the company to employees and customers. I have also learnt that figures speak a thousand words of the company. One of the main purposes of the business plan is really to get funding from investors and hence it is very important to have an impressive, but nevertheless realistic and convincing valuation of the company so that investors will want to be on board. Questions raised by students in class like, “is the business idea a fad? Or what is your target audience and market size?” are also important in the considerations of the viability of the business. All these concerns have to be addressed before the business plan is ready, and above all, I feel that the ability of the business idea to be pushed out into the market hinges upon the entrepreneur’s ability to sell his or her business idea. I strongly believe a successful entrepreneur has to be able to articulate himself well. I recall what Prof Pam Lim said in the earlier lesson, that is, it is usually the person from the sales department that makes it to the CEO position, and it totally make sense. These are the people that bring in cash for the company, and I guess, a successful entrepreneur has to be the best salesperson in the company to convince people about his business idea, his company and his goods or services.

Enjoying the process. It is often the case whereby people jumps into a business idea all excited in the initial stages, only to find it very taxing at the later part when problems starts to crop up and repeated problems occur. Having been through a change in management in my own company, I know that it is not easy at all working with people close to you or working with outsiders, even when your mission and vision of the company are aligned. This is often the case when things aren’t going smoothly in the company. As much as we dislike, it may come to a point when you question: Were the time and money invested on the business worth it? Were the tension created between business partners as a result of the business worth it? When original founders of the company leave, it can potentially dampen the morale of the management team, and this might very well threaten the existence of the company. Once again, the naïve me used to think that being an entrepreneur has a lot of benefits like recognition and freedom, but on hindsight, the known unknown sides such as internal conflicts as well as lost time with friends and family may have led me to choose to work for people instead of being the boss. These are very real sacrifices that has to be made as mentioned by Prof Pam Lim from her own personal experiences. But I guess personally for me, it is because I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the sense of fulfillment attained from my businesses, which greatly outweighs cons of being an entrepreneur. So while it is true that all of us aspire to succeed in life and of course, if we choose to be an entrepreneur we would definitely want our business idea to materialize and be brought to greater heights, I guess it should never be done at the expense of compromising the experience. Going back to the classroom, working with a large team of 8 strangers for my EBC module was surprisingly one of the greatest enjoyment. We all know that it is never easy working in big groups because there will be a lot more differing opinions, but having said that, the joy of working with a big group is that more expertise and ideas were also brought to the table, together with more support and more laughter! I am glad that my teammates and I had the common consensus that the enjoyment of the process of learning and working together is more important than just purely doing well, and hence I’m really thankful for this bunch of people who worked alongside with me and helped me so so much in the many areas that I’m lacking!

Thank you friends and thank you prof Pam Lim for all that you guys have taught me!

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EBC-2012/2013Term2 - Joash


Its amazing how this course has taught me so much, and even more amazing to meet a bunch of crazy friends and how I established new friendships.

When I first bidded for this course, I did so not knowing what other mods I should take. Reluctantly, I bidded with my friend and wasn't too sure of what I was going for, but I guess a part of me always wanted to start a business.

The first day of class went and gone by, and found out that my buddy and I had to scramble with others to form a group. Now, that was a bummer as we wanted to form a group ourselves with the friends we knew. To add on, the original group members(both year 4's) were already planning to drop this mod, because of its 'fluff-ness' and weren't exactly being too helpful.

Now indicators were popping up for me to drop this class too, but like I've mentioned, entrepreneurship has always been tugging at my heart somehow. And my decision to stick to EBC under Prof Pamela with my current group mates was something that I am definitely not regretting but thankful.

Fast forwarding towards the business plans 'phase', my group presented a plan that was unlike any other groups. We don't exactly have a product, we don't have (technically) initial start up cost and it was something different instead of the usual food related or some special item that we invented. It was a service, to be more precise, a consulting firm that we presented. But the best part about it was that our group strongly feels about this idea, the kind of feeling where you know its right. Combined with statistics on the need for our service, I have learnt that your product or your business does not need to come up with something new, but it depends on other factors such as marketing, financials and most importantly, whether you believe it will work.

Currently, my group would be going deeper and actually establishing the connections to lay the foundations of our presented business plan. By summer, we hope to get our company registered and running, and I must say that this has always been something that I wanted to do during my tertiary life.

EBC taught me several hard and soft skills, academic as well as truths out there. I find this highly crucial and essential because I come from the school of thought where everything(almost) we learn from academics cannot be applied to the real world. Yes we talk about formulas and laws that remain true, but the assumptions are always from an 'ideal and perfect' world, full of 'if x is deterministic or remains constant' kind of nonsense. I'm definitely thankful that Prof carries with her a wealth of experience that I doubt academia could ever match up to. Personally I learnt more from the group sharings/presentations as well as little stories here and there from Prof on what entrepreneurship really is. Thrilling and exciting, I get to see so many ideas generated and presented here in this class. And this is what I call innovation, putting your idea in the market and making it work.

Looking back, I thank God for a wonderful class, group mates, friends as well as Prof Pamela herself for an interesting journey in SMU. By far, this is definitely one of the coolest mod ever. Bid for it.

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Apr 14, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Jonathan Chong

Hi Joash

Really glad you chose to stay on for EBC despite some setbacks early on. It's nice to know you gained so much more than just knowledge about entrepreneurship from this module but also picked up soft skills and of course met a great bunch of friends! All the best in your future endeavors!

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Joash, I agree with the point you made about entrepreneurs needing both soft skills and hard skills. I think Prof Pam did a great job in letting us see the soft skills side through the breakout sessions. I also feel the same way about the “realness” of EBC in our real world, it’s one of the few modules I can see myself applying the concepts taught in class. Hopefully we will be able to see the application of what we learn in other classes!

Apr 09, 2013
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Yayyy NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Joash

So glad that our business plan was awesome! All the best in learning VBA this summer and after that you and JunHao can start up this business while I can be the investor!

Apr 09, 2013
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Awesome Group! NEW
by: Liu JunHao

Hey Joash,

I'm glad our business plan turned out great though we didn't have a conventional 'product' like many businesses did. It was great working with you and hopefully our business idea will turn into reality this summer!

Apr 09, 2013
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Friendship NEW
by: Li Chun Leung

Hi Joash,

Thanks for sharing. I strongly believe that having good relationships is one of the fundamentals in a good business. I am glad that you found yourself some crazy friends to work with on your project.

Happy Birthday! Wishing you all the best in everything you do!

Apr 09, 2013
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thank you NEW
by: Hannah Chua

Hi Joash, thanks for sharing! I really do agree with what you said about learning a lot from the sharings done by our classmates. It was great that Prof Lim made it a point to get groups engaged in sharing their ideas every week, as it definitely brought a lot of fresh perspective to the class. It was also great that Prof was forthcoming in speaking in her capacity as an experienced entrepreneur herself. Glad you had fun!

Apr 09, 2013
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Rubber meets the road NEW
by: Ang Wei Zheng


Hi Joash!

I think you put it rightly when you said that “EBC taught me several hard and soft skills, academic as well as truths out there”. And it really is the thing I love about EBC, it is pretty close to where the rubber meets the road, where you are faced with launching an actual business and really take into consideration what are all the various issues that you will be forced to deal with as an entrepreneur.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Joel Koh

My EBC Group

My EBC Group

If you were to ask me, I'd say that my journey in entrepreneurship & business creation has just begun. This course has broadened my perspective of entrepreneurship more than any books or talks can. At the beginning of the course, I set out with the objective of keeping my mind open and learning as much as possible about business creation. While I initially doubted how entrepreneurship can be taught, since this course, I have learnt so much about starting a business. Surely, I have met my objective of learning how to set up a business.

There are many takeaways I share out from this course. Most of them relate to the know-hows of starting a business. Each providing me with greater insight to the essentials of being an entrepreneur. Yet, I feel that my greatest takeaway is the entrepreneurial spirit that this course has shone upon me. From the many brilliant examples of entrepreneurs and business ideas, I have absorbed a great deal of inspiration and perspectives that have fuelled a greater motivation in me to aspire to start my own business.

The journey with my group has been truly enjoyable. Blessed with the memories of each project meeting, breakout and presentation, I am grateful for my understanding team members. I also like to give thanks to the wonderful TA, Zi Rong and Prof herself for their wisdom and encouragement throughout the weeks.

With an improved grasp of knowledge in business creation and a rekindled aspiration to start out on my own, I hope to set out on my entrepreneur journey soon!

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Apr 12, 2013
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Best Wishes NEW
by: Vincent

Dear Joel,

Thanks for being such a wonderful teammate. Indeed, EBC has taught us many important knowledge about being an entrepreneur and starting a business. I wish you all the best for your journey on becoming a successful entrepreneur!

Apr 12, 2013
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Time to get started NEW
by: Coco Mercy

Hey Joel,

It's definitely time to get started! It's never too early to become an entrepreneur, and things are definitely much easier in school now that we have so many resources we can tap on. If you ever need a business partner, you've got one here! (:

Apr 12, 2013
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thanks NEW
by: Jane

Hi Joel, thanks for being such a wonderful group mate and friend. I think being in the same group gave us similar experiences. It was fun and do keep in touch!

Apr 09, 2013
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True for many NEW
by: Loon Wan Swen

Hi Joel,

It's true that this course is but a start for many budding entrepreneurs. It's really the foundation knowledge that everyone needs to know before they can safely embark on an entrepreneurial journey.

Hope that you will become a boss one day yourself, and may the journey be rewarding!

Apr 09, 2013
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Enjoyable experience NEW
by: Gerald

Hi Joel,

I am glad that you have enjoyed your EBC group project as much as I have. I agree with you that through examining successful entrepreneurs in the course, I have learned about the different factors and abilities needed to start a successful business.

Apr 09, 2013
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Just the beggining NEW
by: Dex Neo

I'm sure for many of us, our journey has just started as well. Prof Pamela has taken the measures to make sure that this class isn't just about prepping us for the outside world, but she also pushed us out the door to experience it! We already have taken the first step, we just need to continue.

Apr 09, 2013
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Greater perspective NEW
by: Jermaine Kang

Hi Joel,

I can relate to how you feel about the entrepreneurial spirit of the course. Besides learning about how to draw up a business plan and seeking funding, an important takeaway from this course is the various entrepreneurial perspectives that we have gained from the guest seminars. I feel the the insights and skills picked up really broadened my understanding of the business world.

Apr 09, 2013
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Entrepreneurial Spirit NEW
by: Aaron Lum

Hi Joel! thank you for your post. I must say that the greatest thing that i took away was the entrepreneurial spirit of the course! I also think prof did a wonderful job in spurring us up to start up and inspiring us through her own passion and entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks for sharing! And all the best in entrepreneur journey!

Apr 08, 2013
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Entrepreneurial spirit NEW
by: Stephanie Toh

Hi Joel,

My greatest takeaway from this course is the entrepreneurial spirit too. Prof Pamela has been a great source of motivation to us throughout the entire course and I am particularly inspired by Mr Patrick Liew from the Guest Seminar too. I wish you success in your aspirations in becoming an entrepreneur!

Apr 08, 2013
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Entrepreneurial spirit NEW
by: Tan Yu Sheng

Hi Joel! I completely agree with you that the greatest takeaway is the entrepreneurial spirit of this course. Inspiration to spur people to start-up is the key we need to encourage more budding entrepreneurs. Thanks for sharing! And all the best in entrepreneur journey!

Apr 08, 2013
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Hi! NEW
by: Chelsea Tan

Hi joel! Yes i definitely do agree with you that this module has definitely equipped me with the know-hows as to how to start a business. Entrepreneurship cant be taught just by any other person, but rather it is important that the person have the relevant experience in the business world. Prof Pamela Lim is a great example of such a person who has immense knowledge in the business field and with many years of experience. As such, she was able to provide us with the relevant tips and learning points as to venturing out into the business world.

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EBC-2012/2013T2-Leah Hang


Entrepreneurship Business Creation was to me, just another course I had to take in order to fulfill the T&E requirement in school. Entrepreneurship was also something I had never thought of doing - it was reserved for those with lofty ambitions and the risk-takers. Needless to say, I had little expectation on the first day of the EBC class for the semester ahead.

I wouldn't say that my opinions on entrepreneurship had changed drastically at the end of the semester but EBC had certainly taught me a few things that I believe would prove beneficial in the future:

Coming up with a viable business idea was a difficult one for me particularly because I was never able to see the loopholes within each proposal. To me, every business idea sounded great - as long as it served a need that was currently lacking in society and was feasibly possible, it was a foolproof business plan. But the brainstorming process that my group and I carried out in preparation for the various informal presentations and the actual business proposal itself helped me to hone my analytical skills with regard to pinpointing the loopholes within each idea presented. Working with 7 other people, I was also given the chance to hear from different perspectives whilst formulating my own opinion. Nearing the end of the course, this transpired in the critical reviewing of the business proposals presented by each group and it surprised me to know that I was now capable of doing so.

My perceptions on entrepreneurship had also changed throughout the course period. I still think it takes a lot out of a person to chase entrepreneurship endeavors, but behind each entrepreneur is a dream of which he or she draws motivation from. Whilst it is a relatively more risky path to take, the fact that an entrepreneur is in control of how he or she would go about executing the business mitigates this risk. In other words, we are able to make decisions about which business idea to pursue, how we should go about doing it, the networks we want to tap on and so on. In reality, our success or failure is not bound to external winds of change but to our determination at wanting to make things happen.

Finally, the entrepreneurship journey in EBC was particularly enjoyable because of my awesome teammates. Throughout the semester, I found myself looking forward to going for class and EBC meetings because I know I would be having a great time. That being said, we were able to have fun and learn from each other's entrepreneurship journeys at the same time. Some of us have had experienced the difficult road to pursuing entrepreneurship dreams and it was inspiring to hear from them.

I guess having those low expectations at the beginning of the semester turned out for the better. Looking back, it was a journey filled with new insights of which I would not have gained if not for the course. Hearing from experienced entrepreneurs like Pamela and the speakers from the guest seminar opened my eyes to the entrepreneurship world of which I was unfamiliar with at the start of the semester. I am also confident that many more students would benefit tremendously from this course like I did.

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Apr 10, 2013
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HI LEAH!!! NEW
by: Mingmin

Hi Leah,

I know I sound a little over enthusiastic in my title but hey, probably caught your attention right.

I guess we probably shared similar sentiments at the start the course, being non-chalent and not exactly passionate about entrepreneurship (with my being a little more apprehensive about what the course has to offer). But you're right, towards the middle of the semester it seemed as though EBC offered more than what we initially expected. We gained great friends from our group through this course, and what was more valuable was the learning experience we gained from the class and each other. The diverse opinions that we shared were eventually reconciled and we made a decision for our project. It was indeed a great journey.

Love,
Ming

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Leah! I feel the same way as you about looking forward to EBC classes! Other than that class is at 8.30am, I really enjoy classes due to my groupmates and the interactive nature of the lessons. EBC is also one of the rare modules where I actually pay attention to the presentations of other groups because I sincerely find it interesting. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in EBC!

Apr 09, 2013
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Finding the right team members is the most important. NEW
by: Nathaniel Boon

I agree with your sentiments that you could not have succeeded without the right partners (team mates).

I would say that a good business opportunity is not even 50% of a successful venture. It's probably on 10%. The other 90% comes from having people who are equally on fire, talented and willing to work their fingers to the bone to keep the idea going and propping each other up.

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Leah!

Same like you, initially i didnt have high expectations about this course. But after 12+ weeks, i realised that i actually learnt alot from this class. In addition, i also agree that this module will not be as enjoyable and smoothsailing if not for great groupmates!

Thanks for sharing.

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Jouney NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Leah!

Same as you, intially i didn't have high expectations about this course. But after 13 weeks, i felt that i've learnt alot about creating/setting up a business. I have to agree with you that things are much more simplier and fun with awesome teammates.

Thanks for sharing!

Apr 09, 2013
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Sense of acheivement NEW
by: Jayen Chua

Hi Leah,

Like you, I never wanted to be an entrepreneur because it was "more risky" and less stable. However, throughout the course, taking charge of our project and business idea changed my perception as well. Despite the risks and hard work, entrepreneurs are rewarded with the huge sense of achievement that few employees will enjoy.

Apr 08, 2013
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Teamwork, that counts NEW
by: Ghee Kiong

Hey Leah,

Thanks for your sharing.
I have the same sentiments that entrepreneurship sounds really easy at first. And i guess when the group is bigger, they tend to provide different perspectives.

I am glad that our group members trust each other and it was this teamwork that tide us through this course!

Apr 08, 2013
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Great Team Work NEW
by: Nigel

HI Leah, Thanks for sharing your experience in this course with us. Its always great to see a team functioning well together and i think your team really did a great job demonstrating a sense of unity. Working in large groups can indeed be very difficult, However i think it adds a greater level of satisfaction if you are able to do it right:)

Apr 08, 2013
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Great Team Work NEW
by: Anonymous

HI Leah, Thanks for sharing your experience in this course with us. Its always great to see a team functioning well together and i think your team really did a great job demonstrating a sense of unity. Working in large groups can indeed be very difficult, However i think it adds a greater level of satisfaction if you are able to do it right:)

Apr 08, 2013
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Great Job! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Leah, we share the same sentiments on EBC in the beginning of the semester. What makes or breaks the business is not just the idea itself but how well the entrepreneur can cater it to the needs of his customers. Having a good core team to share visions and common goals on the business idea is essential as well. This will tide the business through thick and thin.

Apr 08, 2013
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That's a huge team! NEW
by: Haja Mohaideen

Hi Leah,

Great to hear from you that you enjoyed the process.

One thing I learnt is that when have too many people in real business, it becomes tough to make decisions and manuever the business. In academic setting, it would be fun. But in reality, it might be a double edged sword.


Apr 07, 2013
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Well Said!! :) NEW
by: Junlong

Hi Leah!! We share similar expectations and views on entrepreneurship at the beginning of the semester. I agree that it all begins with an idea and it is important to come up with a good business idea since it all begins from there.
Also, I think having teammates who understand each other is essential as it makes or breaks the business!

Apr 07, 2013
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Defying initial expectations NEW
by: Sylvester Long

Hi Leah, thank you for your sharing! I'm glad the course defied your expectations, and you had clear takeaways - for instance, being able to critically review business proposals by others. It seems like you've forged real bonds with your groupmates - I think, more than anything, a business's greatest assets are its people; good to know you've been inspired by them and had great time embarking on this journey with them.

Apr 07, 2013
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good job! NEW
by: Denise Lui

hi leah, i really enjoyed your group's presentation! and i cannot agree more that it was a good experience working with 6-7 others who offered a variety of input and perspective along the way when the group had to beef up the business plan. i too am glad to have met my groupmates and have really enjoyed the valuable personal experiences Prof always shares to us in class. :)

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Vincent Quek

I have always subscribed to the idea that we are able to learn and acquire much more knowledge through outdoor learning and others, than compared to textbooks, articles or readings.

The many short and different experiments that we conducted while interacting with people during the breakout sessions as well as the engaging class discussion during the EBC classes were both fun and rewarding at the same time as I learned about entrepreneurship and business creation.

My greatest takeaway from this class would be that to succeed as an entrepreneur, I really need to do a lot of homework and prepare well (SWOT analysis, Marketing 4Ps, Funding, Operations, etc.) instead of just diving head-in without a plan. As cliche as it may sound, "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" and I believe many businesses do not succeed in the long run because of this.

Also, people are what makes a business successful, so having the right team, the right employees that share that same vision, values and goals are especially important as well.

As a parting note, I would like to thank Prof Pamela for imparting wisdom to us and making the class so interactive and engaging. Also, to our TA, Zi Rong for helping us with all the timely reminders and for sharing with us his experiences as a previous EBC student and also his takes on being a successful entrepreneur.


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EBC-2012/2013Term2- Ng Jin Hao

MY BELOVED EBC GROUP

MY BELOVED EBC GROUP

How often do you set to give yourself an ultimatum and decide to embark on something that nobody would dare venture into? How often do you chance upon that day when you finally find enough resolution to tell your friends and family that you made a decision so crazy, no one else would even bat an eyelid at? That, I believe, is entrepreneurship - a notion that will and can consume you entirely, because once you step into it, it is an untested entity that only someone as passionate you, an entrepreneur, is able to set ablaze and show the world what you got.

How often have I told my parents about my great plans, to which they criticize and call me insane, each and every time. Which is why, it was to my delight when I chance upon this course in SMU. Prof Pamela’s classes were like no other, like entrepreneurship, you are not given a set of guidelines to follow and create, instead, obstacles and unexpected situations conjure and every corner, just like how she has never failed to surprise us with her interesting break out sessions.

Over the last few weeks, I have done things far out of my comfort zone. Writing a 40 page business plan, cracking for ideas to improve on them, posing as Iron Man, asking for fundings, pitching our ideas to venture capitalists, and I even took a step further to send our business plan to my idol, Patrick Liew. ☺

Many a times during the course, I felt like I was tracing the history of a real business, recalling turning points and epiphanies. While working with my group mates and other classmates on this module, I got to listen to many insights, which I would never have thought of by myself. The process was powerful, since it required me to carve out time to reflect on where I’d come from and where I was going. When, under what circumstances, and from whom did I first became interested in entrepreneurship? I don’t really know the answer to this question, but what I do know, is that Prof Pamela has only added a comma to my answer, because she has ignited a inextinguishable flame in me which will not cease until I have crafted my personal entrepreneurship in the future.

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Apr 14, 2013
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Ironman. NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Ironman. Stay awesome, stay hungry, stay humble.

Apr 14, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Jonathan Chong

Hi Jin Hao

I really enjoyed your team's presentations, not least you dressing up as tony stark for one of them. I'm glad you enjoyed the time spent working with your group and all the best with your business plan!

Apr 14, 2013
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A Star Struck Child! NEW
by: Purva

Hey Jin Hao,
It was a delight to see that this class added a comma to your answer about entrepreneurship!
While I have always dreamt of stepping out and being on my own, the underlying sentiment with most people was to walk the safer path. We would all probably be much better off listening to our heart and chasing those dreams we saw as little kids with stars in our eyes.
Here's to hoping that you can find those stars and the dreams too :)
Good Luck!

Apr 11, 2013
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Feng Shui Future NEW
by: Coco Mercy

Hey Andy,

You've got great presentation skills and people skills, on top of your Feng Shui skills! I'm sure you'll be able to get something started for real one day. If you need help with brainstorming, I'm here to listen! (:

Apr 11, 2013
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HELLO NEW
by: JN

Hey Jin Hao! Glad you enjoyed EBC class and we sure share the same sentiments! I enjoyed talking to Patrick Liew too and he is such a good speaker! I'm pretty sure you will be able to strike the same impression in the future given how much you have actively contributed in class. perhaps one day I will be able to patronize your business!

All the best!!!

Apr 09, 2013
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Congrats NEW
by: Hans Carter

Hey Jin Hao,

Just want to encourage you and let you know that your sharing has certainly strike a chord with me, entrepreneurship at times can seem abit crazy, but like you said, once you start it you never go back

All the best to your journey :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Guest Seminar :) NEW
by: Aashna Shaparia

Hi Jin Hao,

I also believe that the interaction with Mr. Patrick Liew was really great and I'm glad we had the opportunity to do so with Prof and the TA's hard work in making this possible.

All the best for your entrepreneurial ventures in the future:)

Apr 09, 2013
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Good job! NEW
by: T Pirakash

Great Job Andy! Best of luck for your business, and I hope that all your effort will pay off :)

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: Kok Zi Yi

Hi Andy, it's great to hear that EBC has helped you step out of your comfort zone and I'm sure your courage and efforts will pay off if you persevere and keep doing what you're passionate about. All the best and I hope that with your courage, you'll be able to achieve as much as your idol one day :) Thank you for being an awesome team mate!

Apr 09, 2013
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Stepping Out NEW
by: Priscilla

Hi Andy,

Well done on taking the initiative to share our business plan with Patrick Liew! :) It is not easy to step out of your comfort zone but I'm sure you found that it was a step that was worth taking eventually! Thanks for being an awesome group mate too! All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Step out NEW
by: Rachel Kwan

Hey Jin Hao, thanks for sharing. Glad that this module has allowed you to step out of your comfort zone, and for sending your BP to Mr Patrick Liew. All the best for that(:

Apr 09, 2013
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Stepping out of the comfort zone NEW
by: Lee Chia Lin

Hi Andy,

It takes great courage to step out of the comfort zone, and you had done a great job! EBC has definitely challenged everyone intellectually and these are invaluable experiences we hardly get in school. You had been a wonderful team mate and it is great working with uBox team! Let's hope dreams will not remain as a dream, but become a reality for uBox:)

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Jin Hao,

Thanks for sharing your expereiences. I share the same sentiments as you actually. Also, i enjoyed your wonderful group presentations. I hope that you will continue pursuing on your dreams! Good luck

Apr 09, 2013
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comfort zone NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi JinHao,

Firstly, i would like to commend on the iron man presentation that your group put up. It left a deep impression on me.

Prof Pamela class has certainly provided a platform for us to carry out tasks what I would term "insane". Tasks such as being difficult to someone else on purpose on one of our breakout session. But it is from these "insane" tasks that we learned the most from. You have taken the first step out of our comfort zone, and may the flame in you burn on and bring you one step closer to success.

Apr 09, 2013
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Best of Luck! NEW
by: Sng Kah Huei Aaron

Hi Jin Hao,
I really admired your courage to dress up as iron man for your presentation and also to send the business plan to Mr Patrick Liew. Being courageous and daring to make decision is certainly a trait of an entrepreneur. I hereby wish you good luck in your personal entrepreneurship journey.

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EBC-2012/13T2- Vasudha Himatsingka

by Vasudha Himatsingka
(Singapore)

The representation of an entrepreneur in simple terms.

The representation of an entrepreneur in simple terms.

What is an entrepreneur? And what makes an entrepreneur so special? Why would I want to be an entrepreneur versus simply taking up a job? It was these last 4 months that helped me realise answers to all of these questions.

Prior to the start of this term, I took the course because it was a requirement for business students. After coming to class I realised that this is really a great option for me. Entrepreneurship is all about taking control, being in control of your own life, doing what you want to do, exactly how you want to do it.

Although EBC was a morning class and I usually detest going for morning classes, I can safely say that I really enjoyed attending the classes which were so full of energy, fun and interaction. Prof's teaching approach (research and presentation on the spot) was something I had experienced earlier with TWC, and it's one that I feel is very conducive to learning.
EBC taught me a very important skill, it taught me how to turn an idea into something real.

Through the means of useful marketing and financing skills, I now know how a simple thought can flourish into a successful business. Devising a business plan is something that every person doing business, regardless of being an entrepreneur, should know and should be able to chalk out. Also, the various learning points about marketing skills such as product life cycle, market research, marketing mix and how one can improve on a product based on customer feedback are extremely useful. The important question of how one can finance their business using different options such as IPO, bootstrapping, friends and family, as well as commercial organisations such as banks and loans are also handy. For every person who wants to kickstart their own business, it is important to have wholesome knowledge on the subject, each aspect of it, to be really really good at it. EBC taught all of these aspects, including everyday management, personnel management, the importance of keeping good records, and also protecting the company by owning majority of its shares. It captured the essence of it completely and that's something which is, truly, something commendable.

On a final note, I'd like to say that finding solutions to problems faced in our everyday lives can bring us to places we'd have never dreamed of; risk does bring with it great rewards, and the feeling is very satisfying indeed.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-JinQuan

It has always been my dream to be an entrepreneur. I have seen many different business ideas and different perspectives on startups during this course. It has open up my eyes to the world of entrepreneurship. While what I am describing may be generic and many might feel the same, but what I have experienced and felt will always stay with me.

One of the most important lesson I have learnt was that an elaborated business plan might not be a good one. There are too many factors involved to pinpoint a key to a good start up. There can be an amazing idea, but bad planning and assumptions. There can also be a very well researched and planned business, but the idea and concept does not intrigue people.

As we slowly firmed up our business plan, I believe one of the main shortcoming of the course, is that we are not taught to test our assumptions, probably cause there is not enough time for it. Nevertheless, the course has pretty much showed us the way of being an entrepreneur. We still have much to learn and we can only learn if we truly step out and try being an entrepreneur.

All the best to anyone who read this!!

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EBC-2012/13 Term2 - XIA Yicheng

by XIA Yicheng
(Singapore)

Before I join the EBC class, I always think that entrepreneurship is patented by a certain mysterious group of people, meaning it is something I have never thought of. However, after the whole 13 sessions, I actually find that entrepreneurship is not that hard, and that each of my classmates can make good entrepreneurs. I would thus like to share some interesting finding during the class.

Market research and market positioning

In my previous corporate reporting, marketing, strategy and analysis of equity classes, I have learnt some basics about market research and positioning. However, there is a huge difference when it comes to my own business. In the previous class, we are always analyzing other companies, and the questions are: whether the company valuation too low? Is there any growth points? However, it is 180 degree turnaround when it comes to my business. As start-ups do not really have much money, so every strategy is restricted by one idea: saving money! Therefore, we are focusing a lot on the downside rather than bullish on the growth opportunities. Typical questions would be: what if our business fails to capture the market? What if our positioning is wrong? As you can see, there are much more considerations and headaches when it comes to our own business.

Guest Seminar

One thing that I learnt from the EBC class is that I am not only learning from Prof Pamela and the textbook, but also from each of my teammates. It is amazing to hear about other groups’ business ideas and considerations, and it is even better to have the opportunity to hear from the guest speakers. During the session, they have shared the secrets of their success, their precious learning experience, their business value, and their positioning of themselves. Most importantly, I am impressed by their aspiration and passion. It reminds me of the time when our team is discussing the blueprints of our business. After all, the most important thing we need to open up our own shops is the passion.

After all, taking the EBC class has made me experience new and exciting things. It makes me believe that entrepreneur is for everyone who is passionate and daring. Most importantly, our business is not only a tool of making money, it is an organization to improve the society. A business will be called valuable not because of its profitability, but its value to the society and community.

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 Jeremy Ho

by Jeremy Ho
(Singapore)

The Unwinedables

The Unwinedables

The Unwinedables
One of the three doesn't wanna share

Like spoonfuls of Campbell Soup, each lesson under Prof Pamela is a new adventure.

Having taken Technology and World Change under Prof Pamela back in Year 1, I knew from the start that lessons in EBC will involve plenty of opportunities for us students to learn through teaching.

Much has changed in these three years, especially breakout sessions under Prof Pamela. What used to be hour-long brainstorming and research sessions have evolved into missions to harass service staff, call up SPRING and ACE to ask for grants, and media organizations to pose as potential advertisers.

Thinking back about these sessions never fail to bring a bright smile to my face as EBC has very much defined my last semester in SMU.

Many grateful thanks to Prof Pamela and her faithful teaching assistant Div, who has put in so much effort to communicate Prof's wishes to us effectively.

The end of this course is the start of a new journey, and EBC has provided me with so much knowledge that I cannot wait to graduate and conquer the world.

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Apr 14, 2013
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Conquer the world! NEW
by: Phua Weijie

But don't forget to bring us along as you do!

Never stop blowing people's minds. Stay awesome.

Apr 14, 2013
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Great Journey NEW
by: Jonathan Chong

Hi Jeremy

Glad to know you've learnt much throughout this module. Indeed, my perspective of entrepreneurship has been changed. And I wish you all the best in going out there to conquer the world!

Apr 14, 2013
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Salut NEW
by: Joshua Lee

Like nibbles of balut, each comment from you never fails to blow my mind away.

It was great working on the project with you and yes thank you div!

Life has not been the same since we ceased being housemates:(

À bientôt

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EBC-2012/2013Term2-Deepa Nadarajan

To be honest, I enrolled for this module, EBC simply because it was a T&E requirement and I had to clear it in order to graduate. At the start of EBC class, the concept of entrepreneurship was something that I was unfamiliar with. Apart from the myth-‘entrepreneurship will make you rich’, I did not have any concrete knowledge about it. Also, I could never imagine myself as an entrepreneur, starting my own business!

However, looking back, I’m really glad that I took this module. Over the past 13 weeks, I have gained many insights through the weekly sessions, guest seminars, and Prof Pamela Lim’s personal experiences and thoughts on entrepreneurship thus far.

My favourite aspect of the course would be the weekly breakout sessions. Given that entrepreneurship cannot only be taught in a class-based setting, such activities provided us with a hands-on experience. Needless to say, these activities also promoted team cohesion.

In addition, the guest seminar was yet another learning opportunity. It served as an eye opening experience. All of us were given the opportunity to sell our business idea to the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, who were present at the seminar. This experience itself has taught me the level of preparation and effort that is essential to make a successful sale. It was nerve –wrecking for my group to sell our business idea to an experienced person, equipped with relevant industry knowledge. Nevertheless, we were relieved that our efforts had paid off when we managed to obtain their business cards and cheques.

In summary, here several takeaways from the EBC course-weekly lessons as well as guest seminar:
1) Be passionate about your business idea
2) Lead a meaningful life
3) Do not be disheartened when you fail; Failures are the stepping stones of success
4) Establish and maintain good contacts and networks
5) Respect and love your employees

Lastly, special thanks to Prof Pamela Lim, the teaching assistants and my group mates for providing me this memorable and meaningful experience. EBC has indeed been a wonderful journey for me. :)

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EBC-2012/2013Term2-Chan Bingxin

by Chan Bingxin

To be honest, I only took up EBC because I needed a T&E elective to graduate and I had a friend who was bidding for this class because she heard it was interesting. The only impression I had about EBC was “just set up a company lor”, never did I know that setting up a company required so much detail and more importantly, a passion for the business.

I’m very thankful to have Prof Pam as the professor. The years of experience she has and her brutally honest nature allowed us to know what was required in a business in the real world. I had always thought that having many employees was a sign of success for a company, but now I would never forget how Prof said that they were, in fact, fixed costs for the company and they brought about relationship problems which nobody likes to handle. The breakout sessions also allowed us to apply the theories learnt in class. I feel that what we’ve learnt from personally experiencing the theories (e.g. calling venture capitalists, testing the service standards of retailers) definitely had a greater impact than by purely reading from the textbook.

The guest seminar was a major turning point for me. It highlighted 3 things to me – 1. Failure is very real, its consequences are severe, 2. Having passion for the business is of utmost importance in ensuring the long-term survival of the business, and 3. There are still kind people out there in the business world who would help others even if it means earning less money. I was greatly heartened by the 3rd point and was very touched by the sincerity of the guest speakers.

Lastly, I enjoyed the times spent with my groupmates as we had a great deal of fun together and I learnt a lot from them. Having had mainly accounting courses for the past few semesters, this was one of the rare times where I got to work with people of different majors. The difference and contrasts in interests and skills were obvious, but this made project meetings fun because I was truly amazed at the IT skills of my groupmates or the passion and knowledge they have for marketing. This really brought across the point about a company needing to be managed by people of different skills and expertise.

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2- Ng Xinghui

by NG Xinghui
(Singapore)

Prior to taking the class, I have heard from friends about how EBC is really useful in business sense and about how their aspirations to becoming an entrepreneur grew bigger after having done the course under Prof Pamela Lim. Since young, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, partly due to my family background with a house full of entrepreneurs. I like the liberty of making decisions that will drive your business and the thought of pursing your interest is an incentive that can hardly come by if you work under others. I thought I knew a considerable amount about entrepreneurship, but I realised how naive I was after 13 weeks of lessons.

Surely, everyone is able to “Google” the steps into being an entrepreneur and learn the ropes of starting up professionally. But you will not be able to learn or appreciate much on the baby steps taken to how it will structure or shape your business in future, which is really vital to sustain your business. The foundation of the business is not just about the right partnership or how sellable your idea is, it is how you pitch your idea to investors or stakeholders who can impact the sustainability of your business. Even if your idea may be spectacular or have the first mover advantage, something small (or seemingly negligible) can crumble it into pieces. Example, the pricing strategy of your products can ruin your business. The rule of the thumb is that it is always harder for you to increase the price after having set it at a lower price. Pricing strategy could be your brand equity and newbies to entrepreneurship would not know that how severe an impact will bring to their brand if huge discounts were offered just to entice people at the beginning.

The learning journey to being an entrepreneur has been a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of Prof Pamela’s class, because one thing for sure, she brightens our morning with her happenings or jokes (sometimes). Not only does she share her real life experience with us, she provides a conducive learning environment for her students and personally, I like that a lot. For a module to provoke your creativity and bring out the logicality, the right setting has to be there. The setting for Prof Pamela’s class was formal yet a little informal. Formal when groups had to give presentation whereas informal where free opinions were shared by students in the class. The combination made learning easier and more interesting when groups came back to share their experience for the last 40mins or so.

Morning classes with Prof Pamela are never a chore to attend, and she will guarantee that you leave her class awake with ideas and drive to entrepreneurship! Thank you prof for the wonderful and enjoyable 13 weeks, and the little entrepreneurial aspiration in me grew stronger just like how my friends did!

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EBC-2012/2013Term2-Purva Chopra

by Purva Chopra
(Singapore, Singapore)

It has always been a matter of wonder for me as to how chance occurrences and commitments without expectations are the ones that result in maximum satisfaction. Entering the EBC class without any kind of requirements as to what i would get out of this course, made this journey a very enjoyable experience for me.
The difference began in the very first class when I realised that this was not going to be one of our usual classes with lectures and assignments. While those formed an integral part of the things that we did in this class, the real learning points became the practical journey undertaken in a span of almost 3 months. The uniqueness of the course was shown through the various activities and projects that we did in every break out session. It was particularly effective in my opinion, as we were forced to step out of the comfort of the class room and explore the real world to see what people did on a daily basis. It was effective as it combined the class room learning with the real world and reinforced the basic concepts.
I think for a student, the most important aspect of a lesson is to see what one can get from the professor. It was a delightful experience in this aspect, as prof shared with us her real life experiences and made us so much wiser. At every step, there was a short story which became an essential part of our lessons. This is what I enjoyed the most. The creation of a safe learning environment for the students helps facilitate the most effective learning process. In our EBC class this was done very successfully. Now each time I think of taking an action with respect to my dreams, or my business plan i am always reminded of these constant learning messages that she gave to us in her own way. It was a very warm and caring environment under which we were expected to undertake challenges that would push us out of our comfort zone.
As an entrepreneur, it was a highly enriching journey for me because of the magnitude of the learning that i amassed during this course. Being a kinesthetic learner, the teaching style appealed to my sense of learning as we carried out the activities. Also, the sharing sessions with real entrepreneurs through so many different platforms helped me understand the joys and sorrows of taking this path. I understood that no matter what you do, for a person who begins to launch out on his own, any and every experience is a step towards increased creativity and challenge. This journey helped me realise the true meaning of entrepreneurship and excellence.
The business plan that we were meant to come up with, served as a point of reference and guidance for future endeavors. There were many points of difficulty that we faced as a group, but this made me acknowledge the value of conviction in one's own beliefs. It is easy to lose faith and jump from one idea to the next, but the true test of character is when one makes a decision and chooses to stick by it, to ensure that there will be an actualisation of the plan. Overcoming obstacles while believing in your own ideas is something EBC helped me affirm at every step as an entrepreneur.

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EBC - 2013 Jan to April - He Zongyi

by He Zongyi
(Singapore)

Sincere thanks.

Sincere thanks.

1a. I am an Accountancy student, so I have to admit that I chose EBC because I heard from my seniors that this is a really "slack" course, no exams (so happy!) but need to spend some time on projects. As an accountant that needs to practice so many papers and read up on so many FRS and statements, I always try to choose the slightly "slacker" non-Accountancy modules to give myself a easier job.

I came to class with a really slack attitude and am delighted to see so many Breakouts where I can take chance to "slack" again.

But after 1-2 lessons, I realise that I really like the way Prof structures her lessons. For example, she will let a Team present first, for us to know the hard facts of certain chapters and then do a case. Later, she will break us out to do some "real-time" learning, I especially enjoy the interviews and calling up of companies, then she will summarise everything at the end of the lesson.

I like the way Prof guides us. I use the word "guide", because professors are not teachers.

Actually, in my 4 years in SMU, the biggest takeaway, is that I see the differences between professors and teachers.

As a piano teacher myself, I have to admit, I "teach". I teach my students how to read notes, I teach them how to play a piece and even help them burn the CDs and print out music notes for them.

I wish to become a professor one day, where the students I guide, are students that want to improve and learn themselves. Students are those that really want to prepare for each seminar properly, and really pay attention, and don't need me to plead to tell them to do their homework.

2. One of the objectives I set for myself, is to examine how I can turn my own blog at
http://zongyi.blogspot.com
into a sustainable, long-term, full-time business.

Right now, I am doing fine with 2-3 Advertorials per month, but I am no where near those bloggers from USA or even Singapore.

After applying what I have learnt in this course, I realise that, actually blogging is a very personal thing and unless I sign up with an agency (and get commissions only), there is actually no one that wants to invest in my blog. Because, my blog is all about myself, my opinions, my pictures, my life. It is not a product. Yes it might be a service, but it is really quite difficult to make it a full-time job.

I have applied a few concepts on Marketing, Selling, Cold Calls and strategy that I learnt in class to my blog.

For example, I learnt to put very pretty pictures of myself at my blog to tease people to read my blog. The first picture of every post, must be the best looking to attract maximum attention.

In fact, because of how Prof mention the importance of knowing my numbers, I even set up a proper financials of my blog in my computer. Such as the rates per advertorial, the cost of photoshoots and the cash flows per month.

All in all, I really enjoyed EBC. Thank you very much!

Comments for EBC - 2013 Jan to April - He Zongyi

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Apr 09, 2013
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Good Job NEW
by: Wong Jia Min

Hi Zongyi!

I have to say that promoting your blog here is a smart move! Continue doing what you do and all the best to you!

Apr 09, 2013
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Ms. BeautyBank NEW
by: Devana

Hi Zongyi!

You post is extremely candid and I really admire your ability to be so frank about many things. Like you, I also had the slack attitude for the first 2 classes.

All the best and yes, don't stop chasing your dreams! Ahem ahem Professor He. And, I like how you market your blog. It shows your dedication and passion for your work.

Last but not least, it was a joy to have you in the team. I still remember how you "convinced" us about the vending machine idea. :)

All the best for your future endeavours!

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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Same sentiments :) NEW
by: Chan Bingxin

Hi Zongyi,

I think it's great that you're applying concepts learnt in class into your blog! Although you don't seem to like accounting much, accounting knowledge is also tremendously important in a business, especially the financials section.

I also like how you pointed out the difference between teachers and professors who guide us. I think as we get older, we realise that we are studying not for our parents, not to pass exams, but for ourselves to absorb more knowledge and apply it in the working arena in the future. Hopefully you can get your piano students to learn for themselves and you'll be more of a guide than a teacher.

Apr 09, 2013
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HUAT AH NEW
by: Jinyu

Zongyi, you are the most unique person i have ever met. and none of the people i know are successful professional bloggers. so based on my flawless logic, i think your character is the successful professional blogger character. Keep at it!

Apr 09, 2013
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Accountancy NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Zongyi,

It doesn't matter where you are from - in fact, that is the beauty of the entrepreneurship class. All of us are from diverse background and each of us have the capacity to contribute our knowledge in our own respective fields. In fact, this makes the learning process even more engaging because you get to understand the different viewpoints, manage differences and reach consensus within the group. I believe these skills are required when we pursue our own interests outside.

Apr 09, 2013
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- NEW
by: Loon Wan Swen

Hi Zongyi,
Really like that you are candid about your experience in EBC as well as your blog.
I knew that this module is nothing like CAT or FA/MA in terms of workload but I expected that there would be a lot of project work and discussions.
I am glad that it was not just another "slack" module because I have learnt a lot from it. Hope you have some takeaways from this course and that it will help you in your future work.


Apr 08, 2013
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All the best NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Zongyi,

You seem to have a vision of where you want to be and where you want to take your business. I applaud you for that. I hope you will be able to achieve your dream though the road will be tough. If it doesn't work out, at least you have a backup plan to become a Professor

All the best moving forward

Apr 08, 2013
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Blogpreneur NEW
by: Aaron Lum

Hi, i think your plans of turning your blog into a full time business is indeed intriguing and courageous as well. I have to admit the responsibilities and risks that an entrepreneur like yourself needs to take is tremendous and i can only wish you success in your entrepreneurial plans in the future. All the best!

Apr 08, 2013
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Explore your marketing strategies NEW
by: Stephanie Toh

Hi Zongyi,

It is inspiring to see your passion for your blog and how you intend to turn it into a business. It is a good start to knowing your blog better by doing up the financials part because I am aware that accounting is your forte. However, you should also explore the marketing strategies and find yourself a competitive advantage that will differentiate your blog from others. All the best in pursuing your dreams and I believe that you will succeed one day because of your passion that goes a long way!

Apr 08, 2013
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You don't need pretty pictures! NEW
by: Rowell

Yo ZY,

Really liked the idea of beauty bank and it will work AS LONG AS YOU GUYS SOLVE THE CANNIBALISATION PROBLEM! Ah wells.

Anyway I think you can plan a blog, very much like an enterprise right. I dont think you need pretty pics as a selling point because if you sell a blog on pretty pictures how to last for more than one generation? But if you sell a blog about ideas- ideas are immortal.

Just 2c! Pretty gets you surface attantion but thats just about it!

Apr 08, 2013
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Blogging NEW
by: Delia Ho

Hi Zongyi! Blogging is definitely the ideal career because you get to work from home, try free stuff, and take nice pictures! It is definitely possible to make it a full-time career but in the long-term, you may also want to consider other career options because people preference's change and trends in technology die! So, I'm glad that you're also teaching piano etc to ensure yourself a sustainable income. Good luck!

Apr 08, 2013
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Blogging NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Zongyi! Blogging is definitely the ideal career because you get to work from home, try free stuff, and take nice pictures! It is definitely possible to make it a full-time career but in the long-term, you may also want to consider other career options because people preference's change and trends in technology die! So, I'm glad that you're also teaching piano etc to ensure yourself a sustainable income. Good luck!

Apr 07, 2013
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Blogging as a business NEW
by: Jermaine

Hi Zongyi,

I'm a reader of several local bloggers and I find it interesting that you are also considering blogging as a full time business. I am a subscriber of some YouTube celebrities and many of them have made it big by starting out with a single video. I believe that turning it into a full time business is very achievable, just that it takes some time to gather more readers.

All the best for your blog!:)

Apr 06, 2013
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Blog NEW
by: Ze Hui

Hi, it is interesting to know that you plan to turn your blog into a full time business. Perhaps your blog could be successful if you made some tweaks to it, which may attract more readers.

Apr 06, 2013
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different from accountancy NEW
by: Gerald

Hi,

I am from accountancy too and i definitely agree with you that this mod was much more lighter than accounting mods. Even though the readings were lighter, I still learned quite abit from the course.

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Lagdameo Raymond Angelo Gonzaga

by Raymond Angelo
(Singapore)

I think that within all of us, there is this intrinsic drive to be an entrepreneur. Who wouldn't want to be their own boss? Who wouldn't want to leave a lasting legacy behind? Who wouldn't want to escape from the never-ending cycle of work and to do something that you truly believe in? Why take orders from the "man" when the "man" can be YOU?

Yet, despite this drive, not many people do become entrepreneurs. To become a successful entrepreneur, I believe you need two things. First, the motivation to get started and to keep going. And second, the knowledge of how to get to where you want to be; a basic framework from which you can build on your ideas. While I do not have the former, I most assuredly have been able to acquire the latter through this wonderful module.

Every week, we learned about things which make a business work. We learned about the marketing, the sales, the budgeting, and even how to source for investments. These were all very general, yet enough to help me should I want to start a business on my own. Moreover, the module was designed such that we do not learn only from the slides and the textbook - we got the chance to go out there and put actual companies to the test (like when we disturbed the unsuspecting cashiers at Mc Donald's), and to try out some of the concepts on our own (like when we interrogated the good people at IIE).

Lastly, the module required us to come up with a business plan and presentation where we had to put the concepts that we have learned to good use. In crafting out the business plan, we encountered many obstacles, and we realized that some things are indeed easier said than done. Is your business really going to be profitable? When you come up with your sales forecast, how did you go about doing so, and is this believable enough such that a prospective investor would be bought over? Throughout the course, we were forced to confront questions which are often overlooked, yet are so vital to running a business.

Our business - The Bake Box - seems simple enough. Bakers who are bogged down by the hassles usually associated with baking, such as buying the ingredients and looking for the recipe, will be allowed to go on our website and order a recipe that they want to bake. We will then deliver a box to their doorstep with the precise ingredients and the recipe inside it.

As we crafted the business plan, various complications arose -what will the operations be like? How much will we price the boxes? What recipes should we include? How do we get people to purchase the box? Answering these questions wasn't easy; we had to put in time to look into various cost, produce collaterals, research on recipes, and the list goes on. In essence, we covered everything that needs to be learned in running a business.

It was a really challenging task, and I'm very glad to be part of a team which was well-equipped to face surmount the seemingly impossible. We each had our own expertise and interest, and we really complimented each other's working styles. I'm very pleased that everyone was willing to contribute in whatever way they can, and all in all, it was great fun working in this team. Which was a stroke of luck, I guess, for we didn't know each other before this - we were a group of strangers, cobbled up together, and looking back, we've come a long way, and have produced something truly great.

I'm thankful for my group - Ann, Amanda, Ryan, Deepa, Raman (not Ram) and Teri for going on this wonderful journey with me, being really great to work with, and making classes and meetings that much more fun. A big thanks to Prof Pam Lim for making the class enjoyable as well, and for being so open with her feedback and for being always so willing to share with us her experiences. Lastly, a big thanks to the class for being really entertaining, enthusiastic, and for making my Facebook more active than it ever has been.

So after 13 weeks of EBC, am I going to be an entrepreneur now? Not quite. But at the very least, should inspiration strike me, at least I can confidently say that I'm ready.

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EBC-2012/2013Term2-Deepa Nadarajan

To be honest, I enrolled for this module, EBC simply because it was a T&E requirement and I had to clear it in order to graduate. At the start of EBC class, the concept of entrepreneurship was something that I was unfamiliar with. Apart from the myth-‘entrepreneurship will make you rich’, I did not have any concrete knowledge about it. Also, I could never imagine myself as an entrepreneur, starting my own business!

However, looking back, I’m really glad that I took this module. Over the past 13 weeks, I have gained many insights through the weekly sessions, guest seminars, and Prof Pamela Lim’s personal experiences and thoughts on entrepreneurship thus far.

My favourite aspect of the course would be the weekly breakout sessions. Given that entrepreneurship cannot only be taught in a class-based setting, such activities provided us with a hands-on experience. Needless to say, these activities also promoted team cohesion.

In addition, the guest seminar was yet another learning opportunity. It served as an eye opening experience. All of us were given the opportunity to sell our business idea to the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, who were present at the seminar. This experience itself has taught me the level of preparation and effort that is essential to make a successful sale. It was nerve –wrecking for my group to sell our business idea to an experienced person, equipped with relevant industry knowledge. Nevertheless, we were relieved that our efforts had paid off when we managed to obtain their business cards and cheques.

In summary, here several takeaways from the EBC course-weekly lessons as well as guest seminar:
1) Be passionate about your business idea
2) Lead a meaningful life
3) Do not be disheartened when you fail; Failures are the stepping stones of success
4) Establish and maintain good contacts and networks
5) Respect and love your employees

Lastly, special thanks to Prof Pamela Lim, the teaching assistants and my group mates for providing me this memorable and meaningful experience. EBC has indeed been a wonderful journey for me. :)

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Guan Wenyi

I wish to thank Prof Pamela for generously sharing her experience and journey as an entrepreneur.

I believe taking EBC has been one of the more useful modules in SMU. It has been very real life related as compared to some modules which are purely theoretical.

I wish to outline some of my key learning experiences

1. Just do it
Over the past 13 weeks of EBC, i have learnt the importance of having the courage to approach those that you need help/info from. I think we have been trained since young to rely on ourselves as much as possible. But this course has made me realise that if you want something done, you cannot hope for it to happen. You must execute it (eg. in class presentations required us to speak to travel agents, bank staff and people from all walks of life).

2. Entrepreneurship is fun and rewarding
I think Singapore's education system produces good workers. But few venture / believe they can eventually make it big enough. This is where EBC comes in to help us develop our mindset that everything is possible as long as we try, build a solid team and dream big. Also the past 13 weeks has allowed us to see the process of how sound business ideas can be developed over discussion and refined along the way to make them possible.

3. Write a Business Plan
While i had originally thought that writing a business plan is time consuming and wastes some time which could have been used by the entrepreneur to kick start the business, i believe the business plan is crucial as it allows me to identify loopholes in the business. Moreover, it also allows me to generate a road map on how i should be executing the business while identifying potential competitors which could derail my plans. The business plan is actually a very useful tool to allow us to pen our thoughts so that we can thoroughly evaluate the soundness and robustness of the idea.

i very much enjoyed the class and would recommend it to anyone deciding if they should do this course.

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Apr 11, 2013
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Agreed! NEW
by: Coco Mercy

Hi Wenyi,

I absolutely agree with your points 1 & 3, they were amongst my own learning points too! Sometimes it's just so difficult to overcome oneself to take risk and just do it. Hopefully the momentum from EBC stays on and purges us forward to make things happen in the near future!

Apr 09, 2013
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The EBC Journey NEW
by: Devana

Hi Wenyi,

It is nice to know that EBC has inspired you further. Like yourself, I better understood the importance of writing a Business Plan. And, yes I am glad that EBC is not a purely theoretical module, thankfully SMU has a good mix of mod types.

All the best!

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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Writing a BP NEW
by: Rachel Kwan

Hi Wenyi, thanks for sharing your key learning experiences with us. Initially I also thought that a business plan was not needed for a business as long as we had a plan in mind and discussions with fellow partners. But like you said, its where we cna find loopholes in our plans and alter our ideas in order to fill those gaps in order to ensure that the plan becomes a success. Glad that you enjoyed EBC class(:

Apr 09, 2013
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Yeah, Just Do It NEW
by: Wong Jia Min

Hi Wenyi!

I pretty much agree with what you have said. Instead of brooding over an issue, why not use the energy getting things done? Even if you get rejected, as least you know you have tried! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I am glad that EBC has taught us something new!

Apr 09, 2013
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thanks NEW
by: Hannah Chua

Hi Wenyi, thanks for sharing your takeaways from the course. I really do agree with your first point about taking the first leap. It's a very fundamental part of starting your own business, or getting started on anything for that matter. Prof really did reinforce this point through the out-of-school activities that she got us engaged in, and I'm glad for that too.

Apr 09, 2013
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thanks NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Wenyi, thanks for sharing your takeaways from the course. I really do agree with your first point about taking the first leap. It's a very fundamental part of starting your own business, or getting started on anything for that matter. Prof really did reinforce this point through the out-of-school activities that she got us engaged in, and I'm glad for that too.

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EBC -2012/13 Term2- Manojna Pinnamaneni

by Manojna Pinnamaneni
(Singapore)

I took this module, at the beginning of the term, because I was in dire need of entrepreneurial inspiration. What do I mean by that? It means that, reflecting on my CCAs, and various other dealings with social businesses, I realized that I do badly want to be an entrepreneur someday. But I had not the head or tail clue of what it entailed. I had ideas floating around in my head, about the things I wanted to pursue, but I had no idea how to evaluate if it was feasible, what would be my first steps etc. And hence I took up this course,to know what my first steps should be and to force myself to ask questions about my ideas that I would be too unmotivated to ask. However at the end of this course, the biggest learning point of this course has been presentation. Not just presentation in terms of slides, but in terms of relaying your idea across, grabbing the attention of your customers, investors etc and about making an impression.

Presentation to investors: I realized that firming up a business plan and fitting it into the needs of the market is relatively easy. The variables are all there and you have to fit your business in such a way that customers have a demand for it. To prove this, I can go so far as to say that I would see all the business plans in the class working out, were they to be implemented because all of them do address a need. However it is much harder to convince people that this need exists. When presenting to investors, it is important to appeal to them as a customer, and then give them a sense of the market with the use of facts and figures and show how your product fits in and is likely to make profits. Easier said than done, this class taught me how exactly to go about doing this.

Presentation to potential customers. While it hard to present to investors, it is even harder to present to customers. Unless your product is addressing a dire need, most businesses have to convince their customers to part with their money for their wants. For this, we need to convince the customer that they do want the product and the product will benefit them. All of this requires close knowledge of a customers lifestyle and presenting in a such a way that the customer is willing to alter his or her lifestyle to accommodate your product in it. I have learnt lessons on how to present and how to appeal to my future potential customers in this class, and that is quite valuable

It has been a great experience joining and learning in this class, Thank you prof, for the lessons learnt!

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EBC - 2012/13 Term 2 - Lee Zheng Sheng Johnson

by Lee Zheng Sheng Johnson
(Singapore)

Choosing to do module was never about just clearing a requirement to me, even though I am taking a Strategic Management major.

I wanted to learn how to start a business and manage a business, and that was the mindset I had going into classes.

The classes and guest seminar have provided me with a great deal of foundation and (secondary) experience for starting my own business.

The classes have always been interesting and never been too much emphasis on theory, rather real-world and hands-on experience was always encouraged. By sending the groups on a 'mission' almost every class to understand how the real world works, it truly shows the difference Prof Pam wants to communicate with respect to other modules.

Constantly engaging us to explore the real world, she emphasized how important application of the theory is rather than just learning by the book.

My most important take away have always been when Prof Pam mentioned that her own personal Ps besides the 4Ps in marketing was PASSION. And she has constantly reinforced this message throughout the semester.

In addition, the guest seminars all also had PASSION as commonality. So besides all the technical aspects of business plans, marketing and finance, I have come away with a very important lesson; No matter what business we want to start, the biggest obstacle should not be the technical aspects, because we can study to overcome them, but most pertinently, we need to have faith and passion in the business we start in order for it to become successful.

Thank you Prof Pam and Zi Rong for the great learning experience, the early class at 830am is well worth it.

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EBC 2012/2013 Term 2 Tan Shu Li Priscilla

by Priscilla Tan
(Singapore)

Team uBox!! :)

Team uBox!! :)

I enrolled into EBC under the persuasion of my friends because they told me that Prof Pam Lim, who is the instructor for this course is very nice. Besides that, I honestly had no idea what to expect from the course given that I had no intention or even interest in starting a business. However, I did set a goal for myself, which was to have fun while learning. I think sometimes I get too focused on grades that I forget to have a good time and to really enjoy the lesson and pick up the useful skills along the way.

To be honest, I never felt like I was cut out to be an entrepreneur. Mostly because I have never seen myself as becoming an entrepreneur because I am somewhat risk averse. I have always admired entrepreneurs for their courage in embarking on something they truly believe in, for the zeal and passion to fight on despite the odds. Many businesses we now support started from humble beginnings and grew to mighty giants. I was particularly impressed by Mr Patrick Liew’s down-to-earth personality. He even took time to listen to our pitch, showed genuine interest and even offered to help us kick-start our business. It is indeed heartwarming to see how experienced entrepreneurs like him are willing to offer a helping hand to “newbies” like us.

After 13 weeks of EBC classes, I learnt many practical lessons and soft skills that are useful and transferable. An important skill is communication, which is crucial because one can have the greatest ideas, but if one is unable to clearly articulate them, it would be of no use.

I would also like to thank Prof for her sincere words of advice and insights as well as her unique teaching style that makes every EBC lesson interesting and fun. I am also really glad to say that my group and I also survived writing a business plan. It was definitely tedious trying to harmonize everyone’s ideas and thoroughly thinking through the feasibility of each suggestion. However, it forced me to streamline my thinking even more and to more critically analyse each portion and weed out the unnecessary parts to better allocate our resources. It really could not have been a one man’s show and I am truly thankful and grateful to my team for giving constructive views, and taking the initiative in any way.

Comments for EBC 2012/2013 Term 2 Tan Shu Li Priscilla

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Apr 14, 2013
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Hi NEW
by: Joshua Lee

Hi Priscilla,

Thank you for your journal.
Indeed i have to agree that the project would have been so hard to complete without a team. Makes you wonder how entrepreneurs start a business by themselves. Respect.

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EBC - Term 2 - Nguyen Kim Ngan Ha

by Nguyen Kim Ngan Ha
(Singapore)

I have to say I never want to become an entrepreneur because there are a lot of risks to take. What you invest in is not only time and money but also the expectation of yours and others. I am afraid of letting people around me down. But why I chose this course? I want to see how the people who want to be entrepreneurs think; how crazy they are; how smart they are; how meticulous they are and most importantly how rich they are. Of course, how can you going to open a business without capital? I always say to my friends who talk to me about their ideas that "you have money or not? if not then it's just a talk =))".

Yah, that was when I was in VN where the opportunities for business are very limited (not mention that the start-up entrepreneurs in my country have nearly absolute 0 - chance to get loan from the bank and even after 4-5year operating they still have to pay super high interest rate... Hahaha, remember I said entrepreneurs are crazy :D But here I think the opportunities are much more opened for those who are willing to take their adventure. And look at the students in our class, they are very enthusiastic and energitic to discuss about it because for them it is possible the problem is if they want to do or not.

I think almost of the knowledge in EBC are taugt in other courses (finace in FA, business plan in marketing or enterprise development, sale in marketing, marketig analysis in marketing again).So students come to the class are not about the knowledge or the power point slides for final exam but it is all about to feel the energy of real entrepreneur. I believe this is most important that I appreciate during this course.

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Apr 09, 2013
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- NEW
by: Jinyu

Through the first few lessons, i too felt that the coursework was shallow and basic. I guess i agree that the learning in this course is through doing, and it is a subjective experience.

Singapore throws money at entrepreneurs, but do you think money is the solution? why do we have no steve jobs yet? haha. Sometimes adversity is what drives people!

Apr 09, 2013
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Believe in yourself NEW
by: Li Chun Leung

Hi,

Thank you for sharing with us the situation back in VN for entrepreneurs. I got to agree that Singapore's government is very pro entrepreneurs and they have a very good framework for potential businesses to grow in Singapore.

However, beside having a good infrastructure for your business to grow. The entrepreneur themselves have to have the confidence and faith in them for them to be successful. Without these, it will even be more difficult for them to start a business.

Apr 09, 2013
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PASSION NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Hi,
I feel that other than knowledge, passion in starting a business and keeping it running for years is the most important. Some entrepreneurs do not even know proper knowledge but they managed to keep their business surviving after so many years and I believe that passion play a big part in this. True there are many environmental factor such as support from gov or finance problem but sometime I feel that as long one is willing and dare to try, nothing is impossible.

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EBC - Term 2 - Samuel Benedict Loh

by Loh Han Si Samuel Benedict
(Singapore)

Surveying the market

Surveying the market

Surveying the market
Sashimi Snacking during Meetings
Presentation day prep

Even before the semester started, our group had already decided that we wanted to start up our own business. We wanted to absorb as many real life lessons as possible. We took this class as a platform and a Launchpad for us, young entrepreneurs. It was certainly a wonderful experience and one which I am glad I did not miss.

I have learnt that being an entrepreneur and setting up a business requires an extraordinary amount of time and effort. From sourcing for suppliers to designing our own eye catching logo. However, since our group banded together with a similar mind set of setting up a real business, I felt that the project was not energy sapping at all;
In fact, I found myself filled my thoughts with the business – with never ending questions like “what can we do to differentiate ourselves? What type of fonts shall we use for our advertisement posters?”. Those were just some of the things that kept me up late at night. But it wasn’t the pressure of getting the work done, but rather, the passion to make this into a reality. It was the desire to make sure that we gave ourselves a solid foundation to work with and build upon.

Throughout this journey, our group has faced many good times and bad. We supported and encouraged each other during the course of the project. We have really learnt that trust is an important factor in making thinks work. It could be something important, like trusting a team mate to get an important task done, or something menial. But whatever the task was, each one of us had strong faith in one another. Much like any personal relationships, a team cannot work well without trust in it.

The camaraderie was such an important part of our project as well. We had fun when the time called for it and we worked doubly hard when it mattered. Without the tenacity and support from one another, we would not have achieved so much in so little time. We had every step of the way planned and analysed.

Each and every one of us had wonderful contributions and ideas that were eventually fed into the business plan or marketing efforts. The most wonderful thing about the group is that each one of us had our own unique way of making the team all-rounded. Each of us had our own abilities and gifts that were very useful throughout our journey.

Another important factor is also having a strong team to cover each other’s weaknesses and boosts each other’s strengths. It was also vital to make sure that each member helped the team to see things from different perspectives to make sure that we did not have tunnel vision while planning for the business. It certainly also adds onto the dimension of realism into the financial projections and strategies that we would deploy in the future.

What was particularly useful during the course was also the chance for every group to actively participate and present after each break out session. Enhancing and polishing our soft skills are crucial, whether or not we decide to be entrepreneurs. It gave us a chance to learn from others good points, so that we can improve and take on pointers for our own improvement. Of course we cannot discount the contribution of our peers in class. Personally, I felt that a vast majority of them provided constructive and well-thought comments, which made morning classes that much more enjoyable.

Finally, what stuck with me the most is during the last lecture, Prof Pamela Lim shared with us her career path and a bit of her life’s testimony, she shared with us that hard work is really something that we cannot ignore and success does not come gift-wrapped.

Passion alone would not be enough without a list of other good values that we need to follow. Integrity, willingness, belief and boldness. I was really appreciative that she genuinely wanted to impart life lessons to us. Lessons that go beyond the textbook and class rooms.

I truly have no regrets during the duration of the course; in fact, I enjoyed every bit of it. All those late night brainstorming and weekend meetings spent with each other were wonderful. It was truly an enjoyable and enriching journey. To top it all off, it was a safe and controlled environment to test ideas and in our case, lunch businesses. Again, I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever taking the course and I’m looking forward to taking this knowledge and applying it!

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Apr 10, 2013
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Enjoyed the soup and the hotdogs! NEW
by: Janel

Hi Samuel,

I believe that you are the go-to person and food expert in the group so I'd like to commend you for all the trouble you all took to prepare the food to let us, your audience taste it. Your group has a good business plan and you have my support when Frankly Speaking opens.

Apr 10, 2013
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Good job NEW
by: Jillian Goodenough

Hi Sam,I have to say your group's ppt skills were awesome. Haha. Good luck with business!

Apr 09, 2013
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Great Job NEW
by: Hans Carter

Hey Samuel!

It has been a great pleasure working with you on this business venture, indeed we have learned many valuable lessons along the way, and definitely like what you said, trust is of utmost importance in any team.

Looking forward to working with you :)
Hans

Apr 09, 2013
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Sam, you're the man. NEW
by: Eugene

Sam,

It's been an ultimate pleasure to have went through this module together. As it finishes here, it's only the beginning of our journey ahead. I'm sure we will always bring ourselves back to the times we had in EBC class, te ups and downs, as we go forth to sell our good quality, value for money for to fellow Singaporeans.

It is only about to get more interesting from here!

Apr 09, 2013
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Let's go, Partner! NEW
by: T Pirakash

Thanks for the in-depth sharing sem. Working with you guys has been truly fun and inspiring, and I hope we keep this up! :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Teamwork is Key NEW
by: Priscilla

Hello Samuel!

Thanks for the wonderful sharing. Really agree that as a team, it is not only important for everyone to contribute but also to make sure that we thoroughly enjoy what we are doing because it is definitely more fun to work with enthusiastic and passionate people! Also, even though it is hard to schedule a common time slot for discussion with a big group, an advantage is the wide spectrum of views we get to hear from people coming from different schools!

Glad you have fun and good luck with the business!

Apr 09, 2013
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Teamwork NEW
by: Priscilla

Hello Samuel!

Thanks for the wonderful sharing. Really agree that as a team, it is not only important for everyone to contribute but also to make sure that we thoroughly enjoy what we are doing because it is definitely more fun to work with enthusiastic and passionate people! Also, even though it is hard to schedule a common time slot for discussion with a big group, an advantage is the wide spectrum of views we get to hear from people coming from different schools!

Glad you have fun and good luck with the business!

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best for you Samuel ! NEW
by: Guan Wenyi

Hi Samuel,

Very nice sharing. I enjoyed your group's in class presentation. I hope you all go far with your hotdogs business !

Apr 09, 2013
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Where passion give drive NEW
by: Cherine Ng

Hi Samuel I wish you and your group all the best in your venture! The stall you visited is actually one of my most favorite German sausage stalls ever! Unlike so many of us, it is interesting to note that your group actually came into this course with the interest of setting up a business. I would like to congratulate you on being able to find something you feel passionate about and where work does not feel like work to you, so many of us are still in search of that!

Apr 09, 2013
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Where passion gives drive NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Samuel I wish you and your group all the best in your venture! The stall you visited is actually one of my most favorite German sausage stalls ever! Unlike so many of us, it is interesting to note that your group actually came into this course with the interest of setting up a business. I would like to congratulate you on being able to find something you feel passionate about and where work does not feel like work to you, so many of us are still in search of that!

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Samuel! All the best with your business! I was really impressed with both your presentations, and I think you guys really worked well together. When starting a business, I think that the people you work with will be the make-or-break factor, so yeah, that's a plus-point to you guys already. I look forward to your hotdogs, no innuendo intended.

Apr 09, 2013
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great experience NEW
by: Melvin Koh

Hi Samuel, thanks for sharing! It was great working with you! I'm glad that you enjoyed this whole experience too. All the best in starting your future businesses too. I'm sure you could apply many of the things we learnt in this course. Looking forward to eating in your restaurant some day :)

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EBC G2 - Vivien

I first took this course because I had to clear my TE module. HAHA. However, as I go through the classes with my classmates and built our business plan from scratch, I felt a sense of accomplishment. We managed to have a proper business plan that I truly felt is implementable. It can be a successful business.

I also enjoyed the class as it is a very interactive class. I get to learn not only from the professor, but also from my classmates as there is presentation every week for them to voice out.

My groupmates are the biggest take-away from the class. Every meeting with them is filled with laughter and joy as we fight to complete our business plan and presentation slides. Even though it is a huge group, we learnt to work with each other and listen to ideas contributed by one another. A very fun bunch. friends I made in my last semester.

The seminars that Prof organized for us was also something that i appreciate alot. We get to listen to external speakers who are so successful and learn from them. How many students have such chance. I also learnt the importance of public speaking as I am awed by Mr Patrick Liew. He is so memorable. This makes me think that I should also build up my own public speaking style.

All in all, it was a great journey with much learning, joy and friendship built. Love you Teammates!

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Apr 14, 2013
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last sem ftw NEW
by: Phua Weijie

Hey Vivien!

It was a great joy working with you for this last sem as well.

To graduation and beyond!
[Don't forget to take risks ;), and quantify them.....]

Apr 14, 2013
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Hi NEW
by: Jonathan Chong

Hi Vivien

Glad to know that you've enjoyed your learning journey throughout this course and also had an awesome time working with your group mates! All the best in your future endeavors!

Apr 14, 2013
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I enjoyed your company too NEW
by: Vivien

Hi Vivien,

So touching to hear how we your teammates have impacted you. It was great working with you too.

To graduation and beyond :)

Apr 14, 2013
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Shared Feelings NEW
by: Purva

Hi Vivien,
Firstly,I really appreciate the brief nature of your post! It was a pleasure to read your feelings about this course in such a succinct manner.
I am in complete agreement with you about the sense of achievement one feels in implementing and completing a plan, which we did very successfully in this class. The most important thing was that we learnt much more than just what was in the text book. And as you rightly mentioned, the seminars were a great source of value add, not only in terms of entrepreneurship but also for who we can idealise as personalities.
I hope that we have more courses like this in college and enjoy the ability to get such fun group mates as you did.
Good Luck!

Apr 14, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: JN

Hi Vivien, I first took the module because I wanted to clear my T&E and i gradually started to like the nature of the class because of the excitement of being able to start my own business! :) Public speaking is a great skill and we all have a little of it, the challenge is how to bring out your personality while giving a speech. Hope you will be able to do that and perhaps come back to SMU to conduct such seminars in future! All the best!

Apr 13, 2013
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Hi NEW
by: Jeremy Ho

Hello Vivien

I'm glad that you found your group mates to be such an awesome group of friends. One very possible downside of setting up your own business is loneliness, and the best remedy for that is probably fun and awesome business partners!

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2 - Kwok Sher Yan

by Sheryan Kwok
(SIngapore)

When I enrolled in the course in January, I thought it would just increase my general knowledge, for the off chance that I might set up a business after I retire.

However, as the term went by, I was increasingly inspired by Prof, as well as the various case studies we learnt about in class. I started to wonder if entrepreneurship was for me. As I love flowers, I took up a bouquet-making course in hopes of starting a small florist business after graduation. As I approach the end of my final sem, I am now also left with one module of my bouquet making course.

The numerous break out sessions and hands-on activities in class really helped me internalise the otherwise rather dry course content. I am now proud to say that I feel like I am well equipped and prepared to commence with my flower business.

EBC has helped me in many ways, from formal knowledge on business plans, to connecting me to a potential customer base! Do contact me via facebook if you ever have any flower needs! :)

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Apr 10, 2013
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All The Best NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Sher Yan,

It is really heartwarming to hear that you plan to start your own business. I would like to add, the industry you are entering is kind of saturated. Remember to create your competitive advantage that will help you attract customers. Since no competitive advantage is sustainable, you need to constantly innovate to keep your customer base and attract new customers. All the very best:)

Apr 10, 2013
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All The Best NEW
by: Nasarath Burveen

Dear Sher Yan,

It is really heartwarming to hear that you plan to start your own business. I would like to add, the industry you are entering is pretty saturated. Remember to create your competitive advantage that will help you attract customers. Since no competitive advantage is sustainable, you need to constantly innovate to keep your customer base and attract new customers. All the very best:)


Apr 10, 2013
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Hi! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Sheryan,

I agree that the breakout sessions are very useful in learning - how to work with the team and how to put things we just learnt in class to use in real life.

Apr 09, 2013
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Great ! NEW
by: Guan Wenyi

Hi Sher Yan,

Great that you're taking on external courses like Bouquet making. It's from passion where businesses ultimately go far.

Apr 09, 2013
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Blossomed through EBC NEW
by: Devana

by Sheryan Kwok
(SIngapore)

When I enrolled in the course in January, I thought it would just increase my general knowledge, for the off chance that I might set up a business after I retire.
Hi Sher Yan!

Wow, it is really inspiring that you went the extra mile to equip yourself with the bouquet making skills. Yes, EBC has actually inspired me more to get my hands dirty and start something I am passionate about. I am really glad that you found yours!

Looking forward to seeing your flower business take flight!
All the best!

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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:) NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Sher Yan

It's good to know that through EBC you're able to make your dreams a reality! The Breakout sessions were indeed very useful and it made the classes more engaging as well. I wish you well in your flower business! :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Good luck NEW
by: Loo Jing Yi

Hi Sher Yan, I agree that the breakout sessions were very useful in helping us understand the course content in an engaging way. I’m glad to hear that you are going to pursue your interest in flower making. All the best to you!

Apr 09, 2013
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Hello NEW
by: Jeremy Ho

Hi Sher Yan

It is nice to hear of SMU graduates starting their own businesses, and bucking the trend of going into banks and other multinationals. It takes much more guts and determination to take the former route.

I'm certain taking EBC has helped you along your way to owning your own business, so all the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Biz FTW NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Hi Sher Yan,
Great to know that EBC/prof has inspired you to venture into a business. Similarly, I took EBC to widen my knowledge and hoping that this knowledge would benefit me in future. However just like you, this module had spur me to want to start a small FnB business after graduation next year. Lets buck up and start our dream business then!

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EBC - 2012/2013Term2 - Chelsea Tan

by Tan Shi Min Chelsea
(Singapore)

I had no idea such a module like EBC existed till my friend told me about it and we bidded for it. In my mind, i was thinking "aiyaaa another fluff mod again". But to my surprise, albeit all the fun from the past 13 weeks, i have managed to bring home a few pointers as well. To be able to learn under an experienced entrepreneur like Professor Pamela Lim was certainly my privilege. I feel that such a module definitely cannot be taught just by anybody, but rather a person who has the know-hows and experience in the business world.

Every lesson, we had break-out sessions. But the most interesting and memorable break out session was the one where we were given $20 and were tasked to be difficult customers. Hilarious situations ensued at PlazaSing. Some aunties got angsty at our ridiculous requests while others were more accommodating. I've got to say that Burger King definitely lived up to its tagline of "have it your way". We requested for chicken nuggets with thigh meat, asked lots of ridiculous questions, held up the line etc but the cashier was really patient with us and said ok to almost all of our requests (thumbs up).

Regardless of the fun we had, EBC opened my eyes to a entrepreneurship world that i otherwise would not venture into. I've always believed that it takes a certain skill set and personality to be cut out in this industry. 13 weeks later, this module has helped me to gain insights as to what are the crucial steps in setting up a business. My stance has since shifted from a definitive no to a probability in venturing into the business world. Perhaps, the lessons and tips learnt in this module can help my family members who are interested in setting up a business.

I would like to thank my wonderful group mates who have been such a great joy to work with. Coming up with a business plan is tedious but all the laughter during project meetings definitely helped to make it less painful.

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Apr 14, 2013
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Fun n Frolic! NEW
by: Purva

Hi Chelsea,
Thank you for your post!
I think that just like you i found this course extremely fun and enjoyable. The best bit was that this element added so much to the ability to learn and take away from the course. Grasping of different and difficult concepts became much easier. And coming in with zero expectation made the learnings even more valuable.
Good Luck!

Apr 14, 2013
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Entrepreneurship is about sharing NEW
by: JN

Hi Chelsea! I enjoyed the break out session too, and when we are back in class sharing, the relax atmosphere when everyone is very different from the other modules in SMU! I wish you all the best in helping your family with the business venture, and may you become an entrepreneur too!

Apr 12, 2013
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Fun filled! NEW
by: Coco Mercy

Hi Chelsea,

I too, enjoyed the breakout sessions very much! I'm glad we had the opportunity to do ridiculous things with a legit reason within such a protected setting during the course. It gave us a taste of what the real work will taste like when we set up our own businesses in the future. All the best for your business ventures!

Apr 09, 2013
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A new venture NEW
by: Lee Chia Lin

Hi Chelsea,

EBC has definitely equipped us with crucial skill set in setting up business, at least at initial stage of writing a business plan. I used to think that venturing into the business world was impossible too, but now I couldn't agree more with you there is a possibility of doing so. Thank you for sharing and all the best:)

Apr 09, 2013
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Breakout sessions NEW
by: Vickii Ma

Hi Chelsea!

I also find that particular break-out session the most interesting and memorable. The break-out sessions were indeed a refreshing change from the usual way of lessons that are conducted in SMU. Your account sounds hilarious! My team did not go to the same lengths... Come to think of it, we should have! Haha.

All the best :)


Apr 09, 2013
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Another path NEW
by: XIA YICHENG

Hi Chelsea,

It is really nice to see that you have gone through such a fulfilling journey in the EBC class. Yea I totally agree with you that it takes no specific skill to be an entrepreneur but the determination and courage. also. thanks a lot for sharing the "difficult customer" experience. I believe we have all learnt how important customer service is to the business and will apply it to our future journey!


Apr 09, 2013
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Opening up! NEW
by: Dex Neo

Hi Chelsea Tan! I'm glad to hear that the class has opened up your thoughts about business and that you might actually consider it now. EBC has definitely opened up my eyes to the possibilities of the business world as well and given me the faith that it is possible to start my own business in the future.

Apr 09, 2013
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Heart shape hotcakes NEW
by: Jayen Chua

Hi Chelsea,

I agree the breakout sessions were fun! Haha, for the $20 one, my group requested for heart shape hotcakes from mcdonalds, and the manager personally cut it into heart shape for us! We were all pleasantly surprised but glad to receive such good service!

Apr 09, 2013
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Heart shape hotcakes NEW
by: Jayen Chua

Hi Chelsea,

I agree the breakout sessions were fun! Haha, for the $20 one, my group requested for heart shape hotcakes from mcdonalds, and the manager personally cut it into heart shape for us! We were all pleasantly surprised but glad to receive such good service!

Apr 08, 2013
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Thigh Meat Indeed! NEW
by: Nigel

Hi Chelsea, Thanks for the Journal Entry. I must say that the thigh meat thing was one of the funniest thing i've heard in EBC this semester. Nonetheless, Prof used the exercise to demonstrate the importance of always delivering top-notch customer service. This is definitely something that all aspiring entrepreneurs should never neglect.

Apr 08, 2013
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Thigh Meat Indeed! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Chelsea, Thanks for the Journal Entry. I must say that the thigh meat thing was one of the funniest thing i've heard in EBC this semester. Nonetheless, Prof used the exercise to demonstrate the importance of always delivering top-notch customer service. This is definitely something that all aspiring entrepreneurs should never neglect.

Apr 08, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Delia

Hello. I'm glad to hear that this class actually made you consider the route of an entrepreneur. Also, I agree that doing up a business plan is extremely taxing, but we all know that at the end of the day, it is worth it because we can apply the skills we learnt to our future business plans if we ever start our own business. Even if we do not, we can pass on such skills to those who need them!

Apr 08, 2013
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"Have it your way"? NEW
by: Melvin Koh

Thanks Chelsea for sharing.

My group went to Burger King too! However we didn't have an experience anywhere near that. Instead we were shouted at in Mandarin by the cashier. Lucky you! I guess it just shows how important customer service is considering the different reactions we have after similar incidents.

Apr 08, 2013
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"Have it your way"? NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks Chelsea for sharing.

My group went to Burger King too! However we didn't have an experience anywhere near that. Instead we were shouted at in Mandarin by the cashier. Lucky you! I guess it just shows how important customer service is considering the different reactions we have after similar incidents.


Apr 08, 2013
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Memories NEW
by: Tan Yu Sheng

Hi Chelsea! I must say her breakout sessions are interesting too! I still remembered me and Jonathan(my group mate) when to Fitness First to speak with their staff. She service was excellent despite us constantly reminding her that we are pressing for time! I guess these are things that we will never get to try in other modules.

Apr 08, 2013
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Chicken nuggets with thigh meat NEW
by: Anonymous

Chicken nuggets with thigh meat LOL

Seriously!!!!!

Yes the breakout sessions are downright crazy right- totally instils that absolute thick skin just-do-it attitude that EBC people need... lol chicken nuggets with thigh meat hahahaha

Essential skills, schoolmate. Do you know SMU was almost built on MBS grounds?? Just imagine... prof gets us to go casino to negotiate down the $100 or something lol

Ok sorry but really cracked up on nuggets

Apr 08, 2013
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EBC Learning NEW
by: Ringo

Hey chelsea! I couldn't agree more that the learning style of prof pamela is indeed very unique. And the many break out sessions that we had was very effective in allowing us to learn the concept in the book by experiencing them for ourselves rather than just reading it off the text. I kind of retain more from this sort of experiential learning rather than reading continuously from the textbook. It was also an enjoyable experience, which added more the learning experience! And not to mention the extremely fun group which we were in!

Apr 07, 2013
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$20 breakout session NEW
by: Haja Mohaideen

Hi Chelsea,

I would say most memorable breakout session for me was the $20 one as well. My team went down to macdonalds and peace centre. My friend acted as he is going to confess to a girl and wanted something special. We asked for a heartshaped pancake. The cashier was like erm... Then, she asked her manager to come. The manager listened to our request and did a great job. When we told her that this is actually a class assignment, she jokingly looked at my friend and said if you cannot get the girl to marry you, I will. :)

Apr 07, 2013
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Groupmate too! NEW
by: Jane TMW

Hi Chelsea! I think because entrepreneurship was such a distant idea to me before this module, I have the stereotype that most entrepreneurship modules are fluff. Granted that there are entrepreneurs who are really successful, but most young entrepreneurs i know (i admit it's just a few that i know)are rather good at fluff. It could just be confirmation bias, and i just tend to undermine their efforts. Through this module, I understand not just the hardship behind every entrepreneurial attempts, but as well as the real behind-the-scene process (ok, just the business plan, not the execution yet.)

And yes, it has been a great experience working with you guys, I'm glad i got to know you guys just in time before i leave the school =)

Apr 07, 2013
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Hi groupmate! NEW
by: Marilyn Lim

Hi Chelsea! It was great knowing you through the group and I've got to agree that you guys were a joy to work with! Also, I have to agree with you about the break-out activity – The most memorable activity being the one when we visited F&B outlets at PS and acted as really bad customers. Nevertheless, we still took away important points from this activity.

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EBC - 2012/13Term 2- Reanne Lim

Entrepreneur and Business Creation is one of my most enjoyable modules taken in SMU (out of the 17 others). The unique teaching style of Prof Pamela Lim has allowed my learning to expand beyond classroom teachings through real world scenarios and first hand experiences. The lessons I’ve taken away from her classes are really valuable and what I find lacking in many other modules or schools.

EBC was a module that I bid by ‘accident’, after I dropped my EM module in the last few bidding windows available. And, I am really thankful for that last window of opportunity to have that last slot in the class. Before bidding for this class, I have heard great reviews and ravings about this special professor, not only from her Facebook post sharings on my wall but also from her previous TWC students. Hence I decided to give it a shot and bid for this module alone.

After 12 weeks of lessons, I have to say Prof has really lived up to her name. I am really glad to say I have taken away a lot from our multiple class discussions that were really fruitful in polishing my group’s final business idea proposal as well as developing our individual thoughts and presentation skills. In the classes, Prof Pamela Lim will share her personal experiences as an entrepreneur herself, that are realistic and relevant for us to better understand the course content. The engaging and lively discussions weekly have provided an open platform for all students to voice out our opinions and queries. The Guest Seminar in week 11 was a highlight too, being able to hear about the guest speakers’ personal experience, their ups and downs as an entrepreneur, was truly enlightening. The most important life lesson I took away was that: It is true that success does not come easily, however it is better to try and fail than never have tried.

Lastly, I would like to thank my great team of Blitzfit members. It was amazing how a group of 8 (some strangers, some friends), which came together 10 weeks ago, could cooperate and work together seamlessly to produce our final business proposal. I had a great time working with every single one of you and I love the fact that each of us has our individual strengths and expertise that we were able to utilize and contribute to this project in many different ways. Integrating all our parts together, I am proud to say we have designed a business idea that is original and truly ours.

Thank you prof and my Blitzfit group mates for such an enjoyable journey in EBC.

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Apr 09, 2013
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Dare to take the first step! NEW
by: Kok Zi Yi

Hi Reanne, I agree with you success does not come easily, however it is better to try and fail than never have tried. If we do not take that first step out, we wouldn't know if we would be able to be the next steve jobs or bill gates right? :) Courage is definitely one of the key qualities an entrepreneur should possess and I believe that Prof and EBC have done a great job instilling in us that surge of courage needed through the weekly break out sessions. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Apr 09, 2013
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Blitzfit NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Reanne,

Thanks for sharing your valuable input. It has been a real pleasure working with the team. In fact, I get to see multiple perspectives on how/what a business plan should be like. I am glad that we are able to steer the ship and provide direction where there is consensus.

Apr 09, 2013
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absolutely agreed NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Totally agreed with you on the learning experience. I do not believe that entrepreneurship related module could be taught through textbook alone. Bringing in her experience and guest speakers provided the students more insights than what the textbook would bring.

Apr 09, 2013
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absolutely agreed NEW
by: Anonymous

Totally agreed with you on the learning experience. I do not believe that entrepreneurship related module could be taught through textbook alone. Bringing in her experience and guest speakers provided the students more insights than what the textbook would bring.

Apr 09, 2013
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Well said NEW
by: Ang Wei Zheng

Hi Reanne,

I fully agree with you that polishing up the business proposal was perhaps one of the biggest learning points for me. It is through those long hours in the GSR, putting our ideas through the fire that I really came to appreciate the importance of a feedback, of team support and how different lenses and approaches really make the whole project a good one. It was a pleasure to work with you and I really learnt a lot from your razor sharp intellect which cuts out all the fluff and leaves the core idea.

Apr 08, 2013
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Lucky you! NEW
by: Mark Krygsman

Hey Reanne! Lucky you for getting this module by accident. I too, found the guest seminar a great highlight and the takeaways from listening to the 3 speakers are priceless!

Apr 08, 2013
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Agreed! NEW
by: Haja Mohaideen

Hi Reanne,

I have to agree with you that it was prof's experience has added value to this course. She gives her opinions if she does not fully agree and adds her own thoughts in to what the textbook says. Also the sharing session by other entreprenuers has helped to gain more knowledge and it is down to earth rather than staged.


Apr 07, 2013
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Hi! NEW
by: Chelsea Tan

Hi reanne! yes i do agree with you. Prof's style of teaching and lesson plan is definitely almost extinct in smu. I really do hope that other profs will make their lessons more enjoyable like how prof lim does it!

Apr 07, 2013
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Agreed NEW
by: Tian Chong

Hi Reanne,I have to agree with you that EBC is one of the most interesting module I have taken in SMU. I enjoyed all the breakout sessions even though I have to admit that it is sometimes quite stressful. Nevertheless, I managed to learn a lot in her class.

Apr 07, 2013
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Agreed! NEW
by: Denise Lui

Hi Reanne, I'm glad EBC was an enjoyable experience for you as it was for me! I cannot agree more that Prof's sharing on her personal experiences as well as those of the invited guests during the seminar helped us understand more about the day-to-day experience and challenges of entrepreneurs. :)

Apr 07, 2013
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Couldn't agree more NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Reanne,

I have to say that I too dropped EM in favor of EBC and it was a really good decision. Being a final year student, it is no exaggeration to say that this is one of my favourite classes during my 4 year stay.

Prof Pamela really is amazing and made learning enjoyable. I also have to agree with you about the teammate aspect of the course. The journey taken with a group pf strangers in order to acheive a common goal is not something to be forgotton as well.

Thanks for sharing and I echo your sentiments!

Apr 06, 2013
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Unique experience NEW
by: Ze Hui

Hi Reanne, similar to your sentiments, I feel that prof has a very unique way of teaching. And she really does take learning out of the classroom, especially with the large scale guest seminar she organized. She allowed for so much interaction between entrepreneurs, VCs, and students, which really value-added to the whole course.

Apr 06, 2013
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hi NEW
by: Gerald

Hi reanne,

I bidded alone for this course too and I agree with you that it turned out to be a unique experience compared to my other mods.


Apr 05, 2013
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Great job! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Reanne,

I think Prof's an amazing person and like what I posted on my journal, I actually learn more from her experiences as an entrepreneur. Anybody can simply read and ingest the details of the textbook, but experience-wise, its a different thing altogether.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-T Pirakash

by T Pirakash
(Singapore)

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!
Field trip!
Expensive field trip :(

I was very fortunate to end up in EBC class with one of the best groups that I have had the chance to work with. From day one, the members in my team were committed and motivated to treating the class as an outlet for us to truly grow and implement something that we could look back on and be proud of. While class might have ended, our journey still continues, and I hope that the benefits of the business we create will be felt by everyone in our class.

I took EBC without much expectations as I wanted to get a feel of Strategic Management modules. I originally was going to bid for the Entrepreneurial Management (EM) class, but do to serendipity, my friends were forming a group and I decided to bid for this class together with them. Turned out to be the best decision I made this semester :)

I won't go into much detail about what we covered in class because I see that many of my peers have already painstakingly detailed their lessons here. Instead, I would just like to re-iterate what I have been telling my friends the whole semester. The usual questions I get range from, "eh EBC is easy right?" to "wah must be super fluff". My response however, was that I felt this class was the best one that I've taken because we actually went out and did things.

The breakout sessions were extremely useful in calling us to action, and in many situations we had to go out of our comfort zones to approach strangers or create an unpleasant situation so that we could gauge how service providers would react. Getting out of the classroom was the best way for us to learn, and it also kept us constantly engaged. I highly doubt that this class would be as effective if prof had kept us in class for three hours and just dispensed entrepreneurship theory to us. Having come up with presentations with a short period of time and then stepping out to present in front of the whole class for virtually every session also taught us the value of working quickly and efficiently. I dare say that it has also made all of us better presenters.

Beyond the activities in class, my group and I spent most of our time on our project and business. Countless hours were spent brainstorming, sourcing for suppliers, going on field trips, dealing with offices, crunching numbers and ultimately coming up with the business plan. While the hours might have been long and tiring, the effort we put in was worthwhile, and we really learnt how much effort goes into getting a business to be set up. At the end of this class, I can safely say that I throughly enjoyed and challenged myself. If there is any opportunity to take another similar class, I will definately do so. Thank you Prof Lim for a great class and a fun semester!

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2 Lee Chia Lin

by Lee Chia Lin

uBox Team

uBox Team

Before attending EBC class, entrepreneurship was a foreign concept to me. Aside from knowing that entrepreneurship comes with great risk, I hardly know anything about entrepreneurship and would never imagine myself as an entrepreneur.

However, throughout the term, I came to realize that entrepreneurship is a journey that requires great rigour and determination. Although not everyone can be an entrepreneur, it is still doable. At least through EBC class, this class had clarified some of myths of entrepreneurship I had.

Myth #1: Entrepreneurship is all about cash- I had this perception that to an entrepreneur, money is everything. Since individual is starting a business from scratch, without necessary amount of money, it is nearly impossible to start a business. People who came in to be entrepreneurs are all about striking rich. However, after taking EBC, I came to realize entrepreneur need to have a belief in starting business. Without a firm belief that brings value to society, it is not sustainable. Especially after attending guest seminar by three distinguished entrepreneurs, it hit me even harder that having a firm belief is really important to an entrepreneur. It is this belief in adding value to the society that keeps entrepreneurship going.

Myth #2: Entrepreneurship is only about selling your ideas and products-my concept of entrepreneurship was limited to selling ideas and products. After all, the ultimate aim of starting business is to get your idea to the world. However, little did I know that to be an entrepreneur, you need to know everything, if not, almost everything. Ranging from research to marketing, sales strategy, management and operations, financial plan, valuation and funding, an entrepreneur at the start-up stage needs to be jack-of-all-trades. If not, how is one willing to invest in your business when you do not know how business works in all aspects?

Myth #3: Entrepreneurship is only for risk-lovers-probably this point is still subject to debate, but I have a different take to this view after EBC lesson. Entrepreneurship does come with a risk, but being a risk-lover does not mean you are suited for entrepreneurship, nor make you a better entrepreneur. In fact, successful entrepreneurs are the ones who look for right time to venture, not ones who make unwise gambles.

Myth #4: To be an entrepreneur, you must invent something novel-there used to be a misconception that entrepreneur must have original ideas, but after EBC, it is clearer. You do not have to come up with very novel business ideas nor business products to start a business. It can be something that others are doing out there, but not yet done in your target market. An entrepreneur is one that shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield. Therefore, entrepreneur can be the one that builds a better mousetrap than others, not necessarily one that invents mousetrap.

Myth#5: Entrepreneurship are for people who dislike working under the command of bosses-while this point might be true to some extent, but entrepreneurs may not necessarily hate working under the authority of others. People become entrepreneurs because they seek control and empowerment of their own life.

Finally, as the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Entrepreneurship is definitely a life long journey ahead once taken up.

I would like to thank Prof Pamela for making EBC a purposeful lesson for everyone, and also thank my wonderful group mates. I had learned a great deal from you all, and hopefully, our uBox is not just a dream.

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EBC-2012/2013Term2 - Joash


Its amazing how this course has taught me so much, and even more amazing to meet a bunch of crazy friends and how I established new friendships.

When I first bidded for this course, I did so not knowing what other mods I should take. Reluctantly, I bidded with my friend and wasn't too sure of what I was going for, but I guess a part of me always wanted to start a business.

The first day of class went and gone by, and found out that my buddy and I had to scramble with others to form a group. Now, that was a bummer as we wanted to form a group ourselves with the friends we knew. To add on, the original group members(both year 4's) were already planning to drop this mod, because of its 'fluff-ness' and weren't exactly being too helpful.

Now indicators were popping up for me to drop this class too, but like I've mentioned, entrepreneurship has always been tugging at my heart somehow. And my decision to stick to EBC under Prof Pamela with my current group mates was something that I am definitely not regretting but thankful.

Fast forwarding towards the business plans 'phase', my group presented a plan that was unlike any other groups. We don't exactly have a product, we don't have (technically) initial start up cost and it was something different instead of the usual food related or some special item that we invented. It was a service, to be more precise, a consulting firm that we presented. But the best part about it was that our group strongly feels about this idea, the kind of feeling where you know its right. Combined with statistics on the need for our service, I have learnt that your product or your business does not need to come up with something new, but it depends on other factors such as marketing, financials and most importantly, whether you believe it will work.

Currently, my group would be going deeper and actually establishing the connections to lay the foundations of our presented business plan. By summer, we hope to get our company registered and running, and I must say that this has always been something that I wanted to do during my tertiary life.

EBC taught me several hard and soft skills, academic as well as truths out there. I find this highly crucial and essential because I come from the school of thought where everything(almost) we learn from academics cannot be applied to the real world. Yes we talk about formulas and laws that remain true, but the assumptions are always from an 'ideal and perfect' world, full of 'if x is deterministic or remains constant' kind of nonsense. I'm definitely thankful that Prof carries with her a wealth of experience that I doubt academia could ever match up to. Personally I learnt more from the group sharings/presentations as well as little stories here and there from Prof on what entrepreneurship really is. Thrilling and exciting, I get to see so many ideas generated and presented here in this class. And this is what I call innovation, putting your idea in the market and making it work.

Looking back, I thank God for a wonderful class, group mates, friends as well as Prof Pamela herself for an interesting journey in SMU. By far, this is definitely one of the coolest mod ever. Bid for it.

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Stephanie Toh

How I ended up taking this Entrepreneurship and Business Creation module in SMU was accidental because one of the T&E modules that I could double-count with my marketing elective was suddenly cancelled midway during my term on exchange. However, I would count that as a blessing in disguise if not I would not have such a great opportunity to learn from Prof Pamela and my other classmates.

Entrepreneurship is something that has crossed my mind before because I was inspired by my Prof when I went on a Business Study Mission to Taiwan back in Year 3 Term 1. I remembered how our Prof was encouraging us to have an entrepreneurial spirit and we went for the BSM trip together with his students who founded Tocco Studios, Vincent Lai and Andy Soh. Looking at their success today, not only do I feel inspired but I realized that this EBC module has played a part in their entrepreneur journey too. This module has taught me the importance of having a business plan and the process of crafting a business plan. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with my team on our Beauty Bank idea, beauty products vending machine business. I am so proud that our team persisted in this business idea throughout the entire term and determined to make it work.

Learning about entrepreneurship is not just from theories and models presented in textbooks but what I found more valuable in this course is the experiential learning as well as learning from the experience of successful entrepreneurs. I will bear in mind some of the key learning points that Prof Pamela has taught us such as our business should be driven by passion and not profit. In order to be a good entrepreneur cum employer, we should treat our employees with respect and humanity. This reminds me of Mr Patrick Liew’s core value where his organization is built upon love. Above all these, honesty and ethics are values that should not be compromised. I have learnt that planning is very important, that is why having a good business plan is half the battle won. I have also learnt to embrace failure and view it as a learning process and bridge to success.

This course has encouraged me to be bold in pursuing my dreams. I am unsure if I will be an entrepreneur in the near future but if my business has the ability to help people, I believe I will go ahead and make a difference in the lives of others.

Comments for EBC-2012/13Term2-Stephanie Toh

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Apr 12, 2013
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Great Mindset NEW
by: Vincent

Hi Stephanie,

You willingness to help others is really admirable. I recalled Mr Liew's point about private companies being the ones with the most resources to carry out humanitarian aid and social causes and I really believe it to be so.

I'm sure the lessons learned during EBC will be very helpful for you, irregardless whether or not you want to be an entrepreneur. There are, after all, many more ways to bring a positive impact to our world apart from being a business owner!

Apr 12, 2013
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Thanks NEW
by: Jane

Hi Steph, unlike you, i never had an interest in entrepreneurship till i embarked on this EBC journey. I do feel the same about Mr. Patrick Liew, and with his ideology, I think he is a successful businessman and a successful person. It's great that we have had so much to learn during this short sem right? :)

Apr 10, 2013
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Mr Patrick liew is an inspiration NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Stephanie,

I agree with you that Mr Patrick Liew's speech is an inspiration. His style of speaking is what we all have to learn too.

Apr 09, 2013
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Team Beauty Bank NEW
by: Aashna Shaparia

Hi Steph,

Thanks for being such a pleasant group mate to work with. Your ideas and dedication were a big part of making the Beauty Bank work out!

Was great working with you!
GO Beauty Bank!

Apr 09, 2013
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Having a good business plan NEW
by: Liu JunHao

Hi Stephanie,

Prior to taking EBC I never thought that having a business plan was important. But after taking this course I realise the importance of a business plan and how it would set the foundation of the business. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Apr 09, 2013
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Stephanie NEW
by: Jinyu

Dear Steph,

What about the learning from your groupmates!

Thanks for being the consistent contributor in our group. Your work ethic will definitely serve you well. Take care!

Apr 09, 2013
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Experiential learning NEW
by: Lee Chia Lin

Hi Stephanie,

Couldn't agree more with the great takeaways from experiential learning! Getting our feet wet with business plan and pitching, it is definitely the most gratifying and invaluable learning experience I have from EBC. Hope you will realize your dream by making it a reality one day! All the best:)

Apr 09, 2013
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Experiential learning NEW
by: Chia Lin

Hi Stephanie,

Couldn't agree more with the great takeaways from experiential learning! Getting our feet wet with business plan and pitching, it is definitely the most gratifying and invaluable learning experience I have from EBC. Hope you will realize your dream by making it a reality one day! All the best:)

Apr 09, 2013
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Business with a heart NEW
by: Devana

Hi Steph!

It was really nice to have you on the team. Like you I learnt more about the importance of having a business plan and yes, I am also very happy that I got to hear Mr Patrick Liew’s take on business management with a heart.

And, from our conversations and your post, I get that you have a bone for social entreprise. It is really nice to know someone who is driven to contribute from the heart. All the best with your future endeavours!

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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Blessing In Disguise NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Dear Steph,

I couldn't agree more. I believe that EBC is not just a platform where we learn but we put these skills to good use. We get to feel the 'theories' when we conduct our field study. And to me, that is the most valuable lesson I bring home today.

Apr 09, 2013
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Pursue your dreams! NEW
by: Johnson Lee

Hi!

I agree, Prof's module and her method of teaching have encourage many students to see entrepreneurship in another light. And equipping us with business starting knowledge, i hope that more students take that leap of faith as well!

Apr 09, 2013
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Stephanie NEW
by: XIA YICHENG

Hi Stephaine,

Thanks for sharing your experience. All the experience we have make the person we are today. It is great to hear about the experience in not only EBC but also other exposures such as BSM. Sometimes during the business plan formulation, I am sure the common feeling is whether the business will work out. If we persist and walk through the details, we will make it work out. Thanks for the sharing again and all the best with your future journey.

Apr 09, 2013
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Go with it! NEW
by: Loon Wan Swen

Hi Stephanie,

I really love what you wrote. Hope that you will find something that can be fulfilling for yourself, as well as beneficial to others in the future! I think CSR is very important and it should be done with true motivation to create positive impact on the others. Glad you have such kind thoughts!

All the best!


Apr 09, 2013
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Accident turned out well NEW
by: Gerald

Hi Stephanie,

Similar to you, I also bidded for this course by "accident" and it turned out very well for me too. I think that your team's beauty bank idea is a very good idea as while it is already successfully done overseas such as in Japan, it is not done in Singapore yet, thus it could be a success here as well.

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Eddy Goh

Hi Stephanie,

I have to agree that planning is important, and this can be done through business plan. However, I feel that we also need to cultivate ability to handle deviations from the plan and on top of that stay focus on the direction too. That i feel is the most challenging and satisfying to entrepreneurs.

Apr 09, 2013
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Hi NEW
by: Tian Chong

Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing. It is really nice to hear how your previous Prof inspired you. I have to agree with you that this module really taught me a lot, especially the part on how to crafting a business plan.

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Jin Hao

With a little hard work and perseverance, entrepreneurship is not impossible. Failures and obstacles may come along the way, but it will only be through these entities that you become the best of the best. Good luck and be bold!

Apr 09, 2013
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Experience NEW
by: Jayen Chua

Hi Stephanie,

For me, the most important part of the module is also the ability to experience being an entrepreneur myself (through the project). I hope it will inspire many to be brave and become entrepreneurs if they have the interest to!


Apr 08, 2013
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EBC sharing NEW
by: Samuel

Hi Stephanie,

much like you, i have also felt that this course has taught me to be bold. We need to do the things that others do not dare to and to venture to places that have not been explored before. Thanks for sharing with us!

Apr 08, 2013
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ebc NEW
by: Leah

Hi Stephanie,

I agree that one should never compromise ethics or honesty in a business. As we see in the real world, many huge companies can crumble from making simple mistakes and i do believe that those that manage to stay strong have embraced strong core values. I also enjoyed the guest seminar speech a lot, especially Mr Patrick Liew's presentation. I learnt a lot from him about treating employees right and embracing failure. It is also encouraging to hear that you want to make a difference to people's lives from your entrepreneurship endeavors. Here's wishing you all the best in your journey! :)

Apr 08, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: Tan Yu Sheng

Hi Stephanie! My sentiments are the same as you, honesty and ethics are values that should not be compromised. I enjoyed the guest seminar a lot too. Mr Patrick Liew's speech certainly left a deep impression. All the best in your endeavours as an entrepreneur! In my humble opinion, entrepreneur with a social cause to help others is a noble person.

Apr 08, 2013
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Indeed an Insightful Journey NEW
by: Jonathan Ng

Hi Stephanie! Thanks for sharing! I too learnt a great deal from Patrick, which I thought was one of the highlights of this course. The passion in which he conveyed his message was certainly commendable and is something I certainly wish to emulate!

Apr 08, 2013
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Entrepreneurship and values NEW
by: Ringo

Hi Stephanie, i agree that the guest seminars turned out to be a very nice addition to the course. I too was kind of dreading it at the beginning. However, the guest speakers did come across as very sincere and frank in sharing their past stories with us and to hopefully impart some of them. And some of these values i feel are transferable. Not only in running your own organization in future, but also in the way we deal with our loves ones and those around us. Values such as taking failure in our stride and loving ours, are really fundamental values which make us stronger and better people in general and which that out of the way, we will be able to move forward much more easily in life.

Apr 08, 2013
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EBC NEW
by: Delia

HI Steph, it was definitely nice working with you on our group project. I agree with you that one major takeaway from this course is how to properly write a business plan, and the importance of having one. If not for this course, I would never never have thought of having one if I ever start a business in the future. Also, you sound like you are really interested to start a social enterprise! I wish you all the best and may your dream of owning one in the future come true! (:

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Melvin Koh

by Melvin Koh
(Singapore)



Initially I didn’t consider taking EBC as I wanted to clear some of the other university core modules. However, with much persuasion from my friends, I decided to try out this module as it seemed different from the standard modules SMU offers for year two students. I joined the class with a group of 4 other friends and have not regretted ever since. Not only did I have great company, I also had a lot of fun learning something interesting and new each lesson. Thus I would like to share my experiences and insights derived from this course.

Finding out about the weekly “breakout” sessions were a treat. It was a refreshing change as, not only did we get a break from the lengthy lectures that we occasionally experienced in other classes; we were also challenged to put our creativity and efficiency to the test. These sessions also helped to forge a great bond among us as we attempted the weekly “missions”.

Starting out we learnt about executive summary and the different types of investors. However, the next breakout session took the cake for me. We went to Mcdonald’s and Burger King and unleashed our mischievous selves. At that point of time I was initially quite shy, afraid of offending the staff, but really more afraid of the potential embarrassment I would face. However, with the support of the team behind me, I plucked up the courage to approach the cashier with my carefully crafted plan. What unfolded was really quite unexpected. I asked for a Mcgriddle meal, only to change it to an Egg McMuffin after the order was keyed in into the cash register. While they were preparing it half way, I decided to ask them to change the egg to scrambled eggs and asked them to cut a hash brown in half. I requested for one half to be placed in the burger. Even though the staff was very polite, he did not manage to deliver what I had demanded for. However, he did provide a knife after, to assist me in cutting the hash brown. I was very impressed by his willingness to serve and accommodate my every request. Further, this whole exchange was caught on camera. These antics made for a funny presentation which elicited laughter from the audience which was gratifying. This taught me a great lesson that having the right attitude and treating your customers’ right is the key to a successful business, especially if it is a start-up trying to gain a larger market share.

I liked that idea that we had to go and explore something during the breakout as that not only improved our confidence with speaking with others but also helped to improve our general knowledge. I learnt how to go about doing things like getting an advertisement on the newspaper, advertising in cinemas and at bus stops. Also I found ways in which we could get free publicity in the newspaper by trying to sell them the attractiveness of a story. I think that the best way to learn entrepreneurship is not through just learning the content or route memorising but rather through doing it and gaining the experience in the process. I was pushed out of my comfort zone many times and was thus forced to learn on the job and try things out myself. I think that I became stronger in the process.

Another very memorable breakout session for me was the trip to the chocolate shop. We were just walking along Waterloo Street looking for a unique shop when we chanced upon this interesting small shop located at the corner of the street. Eager to get our business, the staffs were very enthusiastic to serve us and kept piling different chocolate samples on our hands. They made a conscious effort to be friendly yet not overly intimidating. They even gave us chocolates to take home to our friends as an incentive for them to patronise their stall in future. I realised that this is a very smart idea as they are using us a “marketing tool” to indirectly reach out to our friends. I think this is a very good way to reach out to potential customers.

After my group had decided on our idea to sell franks or what is more commonly known as hotdogs, we decided to take a field trip to find out what kind of franks appeal to people the most. After all, the product has to be good and you have to believe in it before you can even consider selling it. We eventually went to popular hotdog stalls in Chinatown, Great World City and IKEA and gathered important information as to why those stalls did so well at the various locations. This field trip was particularly fun because of the intense navigating we had to do around the maze of streets in Chinatown. The hot and humid weather, coupled with sudden downpours, threatened to ruin our mood. However, the sense of accomplishment after finding the stalls and the reward of the delicious hotdogs saved the day. Our perseverance was rewarded.

After many brainstorming sessions and appointments with different suppliers to sample the variety of hotdogs, we ended up with a variety of uncooked hotdog samples. Next up was the hotdog tasting session! This was particularly memorable for me, as I had never cooked so many different hotdogs in a pot before. Sampling each hotdog like true hotdog connoisseurs and giving food ratings, it was quite fun initially. However, at the end of the tasting sessions, I didn’t want to eat another hotdog again.

Another interesting event was the guest seminar. I feel that I can learn a lot from these speakers who have been there and done that. What struck me was that they all had major setbacks and were able to recover from it and become stronger. I think this determination is a key trait for being an entrepreneur.

Preparing for the presentation was another exciting matter as we had to wake up really early to ensure that the food was ready before the class. Kudos to my group mates who cooked the hotdogs and soup. I will always fondly remember my group cutting bread in the GSR and preparing the special sauce in the morning. Our delivery of a presentation that thoroughly engaged the audience marked a fulfilling end to my EBC journey.

Prof has been a true inspiration for me during the course. Hearing her story about how she so quickly climbed up the corporate ladder and then eventually decided to take such a bold leap to set up her own company but yet still manage to have 5 kids in the process never fails to amaze me. I fully agree with her that “hard work” is of paramount importance if you want to succeed in future. Prof really showed me that despite how busy your schedule is, having work life balance is still possible.

To top it all off, it was especially gratifying to receive such good comments from Prof and my fellow classmates. Although it involved a lot of hard work and time, this whole experience would not have been possible without the encouragement of Prof and the support of my fellow group mates. Given a chance I would not hesitate to relive my experience all over again.

Comments for EBC-2012/13Term2-Melvin Koh

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Apr 10, 2013
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Melvin Koh NEW
by: Samuel

Hey Melvin,

It was a really good journey :) im glad we came together and decided to take EBC! haha! this has been the BEST project grp i've been in so far!
Thanks for being a part of the fun we all had! :)
Study hard for the exams mel!

Apr 10, 2013
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All the best for your Frankly Speaking business venture. NEW
by: Janel

Hi Melvin,

I really enjoyed your group's business idea and can't wait for it to be open in LKCSB. I think that you have identified a pressing need in the student community and have worked hard to address it.

All the best!

Apr 10, 2013
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Hey NEW
by: Jillian Goodenough

Hi Melvin, thanks for some very entertaining presentations. Good luck with the hot dog business!

Apr 10, 2013
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Good Work NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Melvin,

After reading through your post, I can tell that you had a very interesting EBC class. Alot of fun and experience.

Apr 09, 2013
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Great Job! NEW
by: Hans Carter

Hey Melvin,

It was a pleasure working with you over the course of the 13 or so weeks!

Definitely one of the best module we have taken together thus far! Really hope that the entrepreneur fire in you doesnt dissipate in the future!

Cheers
hans

Apr 09, 2013
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Thanks Melvin, you're the man. NEW
by: Eugene Say

Melvin,

This journey in EBC wouldn't have been any better without you in our Frankly Speaking team. I am glad to have such a reliable, cool and initiative brother who make us all great! As we move forward in our Hotdog journey, I'm sure we will look back to these times in EBC class and recollect the crazy moments of going everywhere to eat every hotdog possible, and also pissing off the staff at Burger King during breakout.

The end is just the beginning :)

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: Michelle Quek

Hi Melvin

Thanks for sharing! I think that your group's business idea is really great.So is the food. I am looking forward to the day Frankly Speaking operates at SOB! And I wish your group all the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Good business plan NEW
by: Loo Jing Yi

Hi Melvin, thanks for sharing your interesting EBC experience. I think that your business idea is really great and I enjoyed your presentation and samples. Hope everything works out well for your team ☺

Apr 09, 2013
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Great Business Plan! NEW
by: Liu JunHao

Hi Melvin,

Thanks for sharing your EBC experience. I really enjoyed your group's business plan presentation and the samples given out were delicious! All the best in making Frankly Speaking a success!

Apr 09, 2013
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All the best for Frankly Speaking NEW
by: Sylvester Long

Hi Melvin, thanks for sharing your journey for your business! I really enjoyed your in-class and final business plan presentations. Fully agree that the breakout sessions were a treat. Also, it's great that you didn't think of attending the module initially, but now you've been inspired to start the business with the rest of your team. I look forward to trying out your hotdogs when you open shop in School of Business in the coming days ahead!

Apr 09, 2013
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Delicious Franks NEW
by: Rendy Sim

Hi Melvin, interesting read on your EBC journey. I agree with you that the breakout sessions were indeed memorable. Never in my life have I tried to make life difficult for customer service staff before but the EBC breakout session brings me out of my comfort zone to experience what a nasty customer is like. Great business idea on selling hotdogs (franks), I would love to be in your EBC class to sample them. :)

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EBC - Term 2 (AY 2012/13) - Nathaniel Boon

by Nathaniel Boon

Some final thoughts...

EBC has been a long and demanding journey for me. This class has been equal parts creativity and hardwork, and it has left me enriched with a far deeper understanding of what an entrepreneur has to go through in developing the groundwork of his business. And indeed, it inspired me so much that I am going to THE Entrepreneur college in Wellesley, Massachusetts for my international exchange.

Over there is where I can apply the strong fundamentals I've learned in developing a business of my own in a practical manner. Overall, EBC has laid the base and propelled me to pursue the dream.

In my journal, I reflect on what I've figured to be the 4 "special ingredients" every Entrepreneur needs.

Ingredient !: The X-Factor aka Being personable.
Try to listen, question, get help and delve into guidance and advice that makes sense or intrigues YOU, not just what people tell you makes sense or what is the current common thought. If you are special enough to be successful, it’s because you have your own mind and perspective that’s different and it’s the advice YOU consider and hold onto that matters (if you simply just listen to experts and do what they say because they are soooo smart then you should work for them and not yourself).

Ingredient 2: Experts are overrated, know when to Just Do It.
Many experts will always only be able to provide the "armchair" point of view - they've likely not actually experienced situation on the ground. What I'm saying is - doing your homework, but know when to tune them or take they say with ample servings of salt.

Ingredient 3: Do what you love
Do what you love — I know it’s cliché but truly getting that point is harder then it seems. You are an instant success if you’re doing what you love because otherwise you’re working hard at something you don’t love just to pay for the things you do love. Yes, entrepreneurship can be financially rewarding and being profitable (or rather, adding value) should be a goal, but if you're going to set up a business purely for the money, you're going to burn out and people can tell you're not passionate about it.

Ingredient 4: Be kinda Obsessed
Drive hard and focus on your core. Most anyone can make any one thing great if they focused on it and dedicated their life to it. Linked to the above ingredient, if you're passionate about something you will experience some measure of obsession about it - such as constantly figuring out how to make your recipe tastier, or get a better variety of clothes to offer customers.

Ingredient 5: Don't let the brainstorm become a flood.
Don't leave an idea in the "ideation" stage too long. Conceptualizing abstractly too long can kill an idea. Create, draw, promote, attempt, try, share, and do as much as possible even if it seems unneeded or premature. Don’t let technical know-how stop you. A movie can be cartooned without a camera, a car body can be made with clay, and a site for something to help a user base can be an office excel spreadsheet that is passed around via email in its infancy. You’d be surprised how much can be learned and/or gained traction from such things. Get your hands dirty!

Ingredient: Be a doer more than a thinker.
Every idea can be great, and needs less "planning" and more "experimenting" to become a star. Just stick with it (and mind you that doesn’t mean simply bull-headedly pushing a singular concept – that’s “lazy hard work”). Stick with improving an idea, listening to users, reacting and adapting yourself and idea to what you learn and come across. If you do all the above, you most certainly will succeed, right? ;)

Overall, the journey has been long but enlightening. In this course, we "learn to learn", and find answers on our own with some guidance from the Prof. No spoonfeeding is done, and none should be needed for an entrepreneur who wants to set out him/herself. (Though the helping hand is always appreciated!).

Comments for EBC - Term 2 (AY 2012/13) - Nathaniel Boon

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Apr 14, 2013
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Exceeding what is required NEW
by: Phua Weijie

Hey Nate,

It was great working with you this sem. Your exceptional work ethics really inspired me.

Even your journal exceeds your own expectations by sharing 6 different ingredients instead of the 4 ingredients initially stated.

And I think in addition to your ingredients, one more might be to under-promise and over-deliver. Something that you have shown time and time again.

Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey and enjoy your exchange! =)

Apr 14, 2013
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Cool NEW
by: Joshua Lee

Hey Nate!

Good to see that this EBC course has inspired you in so many ways. It was a great experience doing the project with you. Enjoy your upcoming exchange.

Looking forward to hearing your success story of you doing a business that you love.

Apr 13, 2013
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Wow NEW
by: Jeremy Ho

Hey teammate!

It's been a great journey doing EBC with you, and I know you'll excel as an entrepreneur! I'm glad to hear that taking EBC under Prof Pamela has inspired you so much as to dive deeper into the entrepreneurial path.

Good luck!

Apr 12, 2013
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X hits the spot NEW
by: Vincent

Dear Nathaniel,

I also believe having that "X" factor is what defines an entrepreneur from another. That said, it probably also determines the culture of the company and I believe people definitely would want to work under someone who they view as unique and different!

Apr 12, 2013
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All the best! NEW
by: JN

Hi Nathaniel! You have pretty much covered the main ingredients for entrepreneurship, and any additional top-up would be illustrating the same points you are trying to bring across! I like how you identified that ides should not take too long to conceptualize, because time is everything to starting your own business. Hope you will be able to visit MIT during your exchange and bring back some interesting technology from there (very far-fetched but hey, who knows?). All the best!

Apr 12, 2013
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Thanks NEW
by: Jane

HI Nathaniel, thank you for sharing. It's wonderful to see your reflections summarised so neatly into bite-size "ingredients". I do also agree that a great deal of creativity was needed in this module and i believe in most businesses!

Apr 11, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Nathaniel,

Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey with us here. You have summed up the EBC journey really well and I hope you will enjoy your trip in US. This is indeed a class that needs special ingredients to excel and i believe that everyone of us do indeed possess that. Work hard and strive hard! I believe you will come back and be in the guest seminar giving a good speech.

Apr 11, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Nathaniel,

Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey with us here. You have summed up the EBC journey really well and I hope you will enjoy your trip in US. This is indeed a class that needs special ingredients to excel and i believe that everyone of us do indeed possess that. Work hard and strive hard!

Apr 11, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Ong Eric

Hi Nathaniel,

Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey with us here. You have summed up the EBC journey really well and I hope you will enjoy your trip in US. This is indeed a class that needs special ingredients to excel and i believe that everyone of us do indeed possess that. Work hard and strive hard!

Apr 11, 2013
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Recipe to success NEW
by: Dee Chong

Hi Nate,

Glad to see that EBC has inspired to so much that you are going to THE Entrepreneur college in Wellesley, Massachusetts to further your entrepreneurial aims. I wholly agree with your recipe to being a successful entrepreneur. They are all essential ingredients. On top of that I think with passion, determination and the support of your friends and family, anything can be achieved. Learn lots from you exchange!

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EBC-2012/13 Term 2- Alnishyia Raj

by Alnishyia Raj
(Singapore)


"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Mark Twain


The last two/three months was one that was extremely tiring but at the same time equally fruitful. The class is conducted in a way that is very different from the normal conventional classes in SMU. I have definitely been able to apply the theories and concepts that was taught in class and in the textbook and have applied it in real-life scenarios. It was extremely fun brainstorming the business plan and learning from each other. This module has allowed me to think out of the box and learn so much from my peers. The final project and the breakout sessions has also allowed me to interact with them on a more personal level. Not only have i forged new friendship but i have also strengthen my existing one throughout the 13 weeks.

The breakout session particularly, was something that I felt was extremely useful because we could do independent learning and I felt that the time was good for brainstorming with my other groupmembers.I thought it was a learning experience going around and trying to apply the concepts in the textbook to real-life scenarios. It allowed us to learn alot and also to share it with our classmates after that.I remember going to La Senza and Hotel 81 once with my groupmates to learn more about their service standards and relating it to the concepts in the textbook. It really did help in getting us to understand the service quality standards in the industry. The breakout sessions have truly made the EBC experience a memorable and unique one.

Also, i felt that the theory that was shared in class was something that was useful to one who intends to start a business. For example, one of the groups presented on the different financing strategies that can be used in Singapore. I feel that these theories and examples are extremely useful and there are definitely many practical uses to it. The Facebook page has also been extremely interesting with many of many classmates sharing articles that have defintiely deepened my knowlege. It provides different perspectives to every-day problems and it definitely helps in equipping us with the relevant skills to be independent thinkers.

In my opinion, EBC has definitely been one of the most interesting module in SMU that really has a real use to it. After taking the module, i am more inspired that ever to start my own business. Also, with such a dedicated and insipiring professor like Prof Pamela, i know theres someone i can definitely turn to if i need advice on starting my own business in the future. I end of with the following quote:



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EBC-2012/2013 Term 2 - Rendy Sim

by Rendy Sim

Entrepreneur and business creation - my first impression of this module was " Wow ! Is this a module where I get to start up my own business and yet clear a TE module at the same time ? "


Now as we are nearing the end of the semester, I would like to answer myself "Well.. not really. There is actually much more to that." Many young ambitious youths aspire to be an entrepreneur, to make that first million and lead a comfortable life. Often, people tend to just focus on the success of businesses and overlooked the sheer amount of planning and hard work required. Well, I am guilty of that too.


I used to think that with a creative idea and probably some amount of luck, one could succeed as an entrepreneur. I am thankful this course has proven me otherwise. From the various topics taught in class, I learnt that detailed planning and forecasting is crucial to the survival of a start-up. With that, the crux lies in preparing a detailed business plan with honest and reasonable financial budgeting. Having an interesting idea that does not resonate well with your targeted consumers is probably not going to last you very long.

In hindsight, I would like to thank Prof Pamela for introducing such an interesting style of teaching in class. The breakout sessions are definitely Uniquely in SMU. These sessions require us to work together as a group under stressful time constraints in preparing for a short presentation. Such situations are common in the workplace and I am glad that we are given the opportunity to experience and cope with them throughout this course. I was previously from Prof's TWC class exactly one year ago and I have always looked forward to every breakout session as I believe it will assist me in my own personal development.

As we embarked on different journeys in life, be it as a salaried employee or an entrepreneur, never be afraid to face setbacks and learn from our experiences; be it good or bad. Perseverance, I feel, is the key essence behind many successful individuals. With that, I would like to share a quote by Sir Winston Churchill:

“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Comments for EBC-2012/2013 Term 2 - Rendy Sim

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Apr 14, 2013
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Rhymes and Reasons NEW
by: Purva

Hi Rendy,
Thank you for your post! First, I would like to thank you for being such a great team mate. It was a pleasure working with you and and your detailed work ethics. The break out sessions would never have been a success without your valuable inputs.
We are on the same page as to how this course clarified our misconceptions about being a successful entrepreneur. The amount of effort required by the business plan was a pleasant surprise and I think it really helped each of us in broadening our perspectives as to working of the things around a new business.
Good Luck for your future endeavours and I hope to work with you in the coming years :)

Apr 14, 2013
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Thank you! NEW
by: JN

Hey rendy, thanks for the share! I think prof's break out session was a great way to understand the different working style of various teams and work together more efficiently! It was great having to work with you and may your dreams to be a salaried or non-salaried come true! Hopefully, our business idea too :DDD

Apr 09, 2013
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Problem Based Learning NEW
by: Li Chun Leung

Hi Rendy,

Thank you for sharing! I agree with you in regards to how interesting Prof Pamela's teaching pedagogy is.

Actually, it's quite similar to that of Republic Polytechnic style of teaching. It's called Problem Based Learning, PBL in short. We get a problem at the beginning of the day and we are require to solve this problem (related to the module) and present to the class our findings at the end of the day.

I believe that this method is really useful, especially for modules like this.

Wishing you all the best in everything you do! Cheers!

Apr 09, 2013
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Beyond creativity NEW
by: Eugene Say

Hi Rendy!

I'm really glad the module helped you to see that a constructive plan with considerations of everything beyond creativity would be needed for a business plan. It is great to be able to identify this in the module, than to fail at a business venture to learn it :)

All the best for your business ideas Rendy!

Apr 09, 2013
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Financial Projection is Tough NEW
by: Priscilla

Hello Rendy,

I find that financial budgeting and projection is one of the most tedious and hardest part of the business plan. It is the most uncertain as it relies on economic conditions and response of the customers and it is not uncommon that the financial statements of the first year will deviate from the projected one. Great to see that you learnt a lot from this module! All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Useful breakout sessions NEW
by: Guan Wenyi

Hi Rendy,

Thanks for sharing. Yes, the breakout sessions required us to focus and get the work done quickly and efficiently.

While each breakout session was compact, it really made me realise that one should get to work quickly because in the real world, one is never going to have the luxury of excessive time.

Apr 09, 2013
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Thanks! NEW
by: Wan Ching

Hi Rendy, thanks for sharing! I also get to know the importance of planning after this class, but I also realize that we should not be too rigid as well, and alter our plans according to the changes in our external environment (especially competitors) =) All the best in your future business!

Apr 09, 2013
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Continuous Effort? Way to go Man! NEW
by: Ghee Kiong

Hey Rendy,

Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us.I certainly agree with you that success would only come with continuous effort and it is the key behind many successful stories. However it is easier to say than done, that leads to a lot of failures for all of us.So lets us believe in ourselves and keep ourselves going.

May this hands-on experience that you attained during EBC provides you with the wisdom and skills to attain even greater success.
Kudos!

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Rendy!

I totally agree with you that this breakout session every week is an unique experience! I really love it because it gave us a first hand experience on how is it like to engage other strangers for help or even advices.

Thanks for sharing!

Apr 09, 2013
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More than just being creative NEW
by: Sng Kah Huei Aaron

Hi Rendy,
Before taking this module, I also think that entrepreneurship is about just having an creative idea. However, we really learn a lot in this class that showed us that there is a lot of hard work to be done before a business plan can even be formulated in the first place.

Apr 09, 2013
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much more than just an idea NEW
by: Edmund Goh

Hi Rendy,

I used to think the same way as you that with a good idea, one could succeed as an entrepreneur. Taking on this course showed me that its more than just the idea itself. Marketing, financing, network are essentials to a successful business. Having a good idea but not able to reach out to the consumers/target group is as good as not having idea.


Apr 09, 2013
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thanks NEW
by: Hannah Chua

Hi Rendy, thanks for sharing. I really do agree that the skills learnt in this course are highly applicable to both someone who is looking to start up a business and someone who is not. I personally learnt much about being resourceful and thorough as I worked with my team in crafting our business plan.
Glad you enjoyed the course as much as I did and all the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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thanks NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Rendy, thanks for sharing. I really do agree that the skills learnt in this course are highly applicable to both someone who is looking to start up a business and someone who is not. I personally learnt much about being resourceful and thorough as I worked with my team in crafting our business plan.
Glad you enjoyed the course as much as I did and all the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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not only the creative idea NEW
by: Melvin Koh

Hi Rendy, thanks for sharing. I agree that to succeed you need not only the creative idea, but also address all the other aspects of the business such as the financials and marketing. I thoroughly enjoyed the breakout sessions as well. All the best in your future business!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Jillian Goodenough

by Jillian
(Singapore)

I started out in the class not thinking I could ever be an entrepreneur because it had simply never occurred to me to try setting up my own business. As my parents are both corporate people, I figured I'd just follow what they did. However, taking this class has really helped me see that it is not a huge scary thing to set up a business so long as I'm willing to do all the thinking and the work needed to get it off the ground. I guess this class has opened some options up to me that I hadn't considered before and for that I'm grateful.

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Haja Mohaideen

by Haja Mohaideen
(Singapore)

I took up this course as it was compulsary in order to clear my second major requirements. However, this course has helped to reinforce some of the points that I have learnt in other courses and also helped to shed some light into why my attempt in a startup was not really working out as much as I had wanted.

Most of the lessons were not new to me as I have taken other courses which went through similar topics. So I did not have much difficulty digesting the information. But, there were two important points that I took away. One, a business plan is not just a just a document for getting investors but also a guide for partners in the business. It is important that a proper document is present in order to see the progression and measure performance.

Two, I learnt that it is important to have good partner management. Through the group project, I learnt that we should lean on to individuals strength rather than to be either a one man show and trying to meddle with every thing or force people to do what they are not comfortable with. Both of it will not help in building the cohesiveness of the team.

I am glad to have met and worked with an awesome team and I wish all graduating students, HAPPY GRADUATION! WE DID IT!

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Apr 14, 2013
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Partner Management NEW
by: Phua Weijie

Hey Haja!

Thanks for chipping in to help with the Guest Seminar and making it such a success!

Anyway, I agree with you about building cohesiveness among the partners and to lean on each of their strengths instead of forcing them to do something else. The beauty of a team is that we can leverage on each other's strength and cover each other's weaknesses to be stronger than the sum of the parts.

As they say, TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.

Thanks for sharing! =)

Apr 12, 2013
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Happy graduation! NEW
by: Jane

HI Haja, yes i think amongst all the modules in SMU, this is one of my project with the largest number of group mates in a team! It gave us all a chance to learn how to work in big groups and tap on each other's expertise. Anw, i wish u a happy graduation and see you if i see you. :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Building on the strengths of others NEW
by: Cherine Ng

Hi Haja, thanks for being an awesome group mate!!! I have to agree with you that partner management is of great importance, not only in school but anywhere one works in a team. Humans are built so differently and with the varying strengths that we all have, it is hard or practically impossible to be a master at everything. Learning from the strengths of others was something that has grown on me after the years at SMU and I don't foresee myself stopping anytime soon.

Apr 09, 2013
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Test NEW
by: Anonymous

test

Apr 09, 2013
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Test NEW
by: Anonymous

test

Apr 09, 2013
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The Business Plan - plans!! NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Haja!

Yup, just like you I had the impression that the business plan was solely for external parties. Thankfully, thru EBC I have realised that the business plan forces the partners to think through everything about the business.

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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The Business Plan - plans! NEW
by: Devana

Hey Haja!

Yup, just like you..I had the impression that the business plan was for the external parties to be convinced and that the role of the business plan ends there. Oh my, thankfully I attended EBC. Imagine a business graduate thinking like that! Yup, now I will definitely put in the required effort and "reflection" when (if i do) develop my business plan in the future.

Cheers,
Dev

Apr 09, 2013
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Learning Experience NEW
by: Muhd Ismail

Hi Haja!

Indeed, the best take-away from any lesson is the knowledge and experience gained. I am glad that we learnt something about ourselves and of course, don't forget to remind others about your life's journey. We are here to learn and the best contribution is personal contribution. :)

Apr 09, 2013
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well said NEW
by: Benjamin Liew

Hi Haja,
I agreed with both your points. As a soci student I have no idea what exactly should be in the business plan but after this course, it became clearer. Next about how a team should work. In any group related task/work, there isn’t any one man that can fill everyone shoes and get the work done perfectly. Hence getting the best man to do their specialized area would produce a better result than a one man team.

Apr 08, 2013
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Keep at it NEW
by: Shaun Kumar

Hi Haja,

Sorry to hear that your previous venture did not work out. I hope that through this course, you are able to find out why and then proceed to perfect your original idea. Since you already took the first step in trying to start a business, I think you should really try to refine it and see where it takes you.

Happy Graduation!

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EBC-2012/13Term2-Rachel Kwan

I initially decided to bid for entrepreneurship and business creation because several of my friends who took this module before had strongly encouraged it and enjoyed it. I took their advice but was a little unsure as I had no business experience before this module and thought I would be at a disadvantage to those who were already entrepreneurs. Also, I wasn't sure how entrepreneurship could be ‘studied’. But I’m really glad that I took this module as I have gained many insights though the various breakout sessions, guest seminars, and Prof Pam Lim’s stories and experiences.

One of my favorite parts of the course was the weekly breakout sessions where we get to interact with service staff or seek/find out more on funding etc. as though we were entrepreneurs trying to grow our own businesses. I think this form of teaching where we have out of class activities is much more valuable than 3 hour lessons on theories – sort of a hands on experience.

Another one of my favourites is the group work where we had to come up with a business plan and present it to class. It allowed us to know how an entrepreneurs starts off – asking questions every step of the way and rewriting the BP when new information comes in, financials forecasting and seeing whether there is anything we can do to improve our business idea, and basically going back and forth to ensure that we have a sound business plan. It allowed us to understand the same process that every businessman experiences – and I feel that this is something we cannot learn from within the classroom.

Not only that, I get to share new stuff I learnt in class to friends who have mentioned to me on wanting to become entrepreneurs of their own. I would encourage them to take this as a starting platform to gain as much information as possible. Even for those who haven’t thought of being their own boss, this would be an insightful module to take to just get to know more about entrepreneurship.

Comments for EBC-2012/13Term2-Rachel Kwan

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Apr 12, 2013
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Awesome NEW
by: Vincent

Hi Rachel,

I too enjoyed the breakout sessions because I felt I learned a lot from the experiences, even though each week it was only less than an hour.

I think Prof wanted us to experience first hand how an entrepreneur has to be the one to go door-to-door, talking to different people, establishing contacts, all just to get a business up and i must say, it's not an easy feat!

Apr 10, 2013
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I agree NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree with you Rachel. I think his module has allowed me to open up my mind. I would recommend this to other friends and juniors too!

Apr 09, 2013
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Good Luck NEW
by: Li Chun Leung

Hi,

Similar to you, i chose this module because my friend recommended it and I'm glad we did not regret our decisions. This course is fun, practical and most importantly, open a new opportunity for us to become entrepreneurs.

Cheers!

Apr 09, 2013
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Hands-on Experience NEW
by: Priscilla

Hi Rachel,

I definitely enjoyed the breakout sessions too! I expected to be sitting in the seminar room listening to Prof talk but her emphasis on us having a hands-on experience made the lesson so much more fun and meaningful! Glad to see that you enjoyed the class too! All the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Business Plan NEW
by: Kok Zi Yi

Hi Rachel, yes I agree with you that coming up with the Business plan was by no means easy but it was definitely a very interesting process of considering every aspect of starting a business. It really stimulated our thinking to ensure that we covered all bases and to make the best out of our business ideas.

Apr 09, 2013
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Useful breakout sessions NEW
by: Guan Wenyi

Hi Rachel,

I agree that Breakout sessions are one of the most important elements to this course. It is the practical component that made us go and get what we wanted instead of sitting back to wait for things to happen

Apr 09, 2013
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Hi rachel NEW
by: Jane

Hi Rachel! I enjoyed the break-out sessions too! i also think that the online class participation actually helped me gain a lot more insights as we can discuss articles and best practices there :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Hi rachel NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Rachel! I enjoyed the break-out sessions too! i also think that the online class participation actually helped me gain a lot more insights as we can discuss articles and best practices there :)

Apr 09, 2013
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Business Plan NEW
by: Wong Jia Min

Hi Rachel!

It is true that many questions were asked during the process of writing the business plan and the financials had to be revised time and again. We did these as we knew it was essential to sort everything out. Thank you for being such an awesome group mate who actively participate in all group meetings and activities. See you on the 20th!

Apr 09, 2013
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=) NEW
by: Wan Ching

Hey Rachel! Thanks for "influencing" me to take this class with you so that I can have the opportunity to learn so much from prof and the rest of you. The class activities definitely enhanced our learning experience and helped us understand better how we should go about starting our own business. Glad that I still decided to join you in the end! =)

Apr 09, 2013
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Business Plan NEW
by: Wong Jia Min

Hi Rachel!

It is true that many questions were asked during the process of writing the business plan and the financials had to be revised time and again. We did these as we knew it was essential to sort everything out. Thank you for being such an awesome group mate who actively participate in all group meetings and activities. See you on the 20th!

Apr 09, 2013
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=) NEW
by: Wan Ching

Hey Rachel! Thanks for "influencing" me to take this class with you so that I can have the opportunity to learn so much from prof and the rest of you. The class activities definitely enhanced our learning experience and helped us understand better how we should go about starting our own business. Glad that I still decided to join you in the end! =)

Apr 09, 2013
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Hello NEW
by: Jeremy Ho

Hi Rachel

Like you, I enjoyed the breakout sessions thoroughly too. As far as I know, Prof Pamela is one of the few Profs, if not the only Prof, who actually practice such a pedagogy.

And the writing of the business plan really puts into perspective the many aspects that we have to take into consideration.

Thank you for your journal entry!




Apr 09, 2013
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Interactive Mod NEW
by: Ghee Kiong

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for sharing with us!
I am glad that you have enjoyed the course and i believe each one of us enjoyed ourselves too! Personally, breakout time is the best interactive segment that i ever experienced, it is where we get to interact and apply what we learnt.

Jia you!

Apr 09, 2013
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EBC Journey NEW
by: Kwan Loong Wye

Hi Rachel!

I am glad that you have enjoyed the course just as i do! Personally, my favourite part of the lesson is during the class breakout time, where we get to interact and get insights from others.

Thanks for sharing!

Apr 09, 2013
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Breakout! NEW
by: Jing Yi

Hi Rachel, the weekly breakout session is also my favorite. I agree with you that this form of teaching is provides us with a different learning experience and we can learn a lot more than what we can in the classroom setting.

Apr 09, 2013
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all the best! NEW
by: Hannah Chua

Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing! I couldn't agree more about what you said about the weekly breakout sessions. They definitely made the course more engaging and interactive. I also liked that we all had to craft a detailed business plan with our teams. It really did give me a taste of what setting up a new business would be like, and I got to see how much work and planning goes into it.

Glad you enjoyed the course as much as I did, and all the best!

Apr 09, 2013
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Practical Learning NEW
by: Sng Kah Huei Aaron

Hi rachel,
Like you, I also enjoyed your favourite parts of the course. It is through this weekly breakout sessions and group work that allowed us to learn more about entrepreneurship. We are able to apply what we have learnt in class to the real world practically.

Apr 09, 2013
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Business Plan NEW
by: Edmund Goh

Hey Rachel,

Writing a business plan is definately an important step in becoming an entreprenuer. Reviewing the business plan allows you to identify the strength and weakness of your business idea and to make improvements. It is important to constantly improve to keep up with competition nowadays. And also, thanks for being a wonderful teammate that makes these 13 weeks so much enjoyable.

Apr 09, 2013
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GOOD LUCK! NEW
by: Jin Hao

I'm glad you enjoyed your lessons and experience in EBC! I enjoyed your business ideas and presentations in class. With hard work and dedication, I'm sure you will soon be own your way to becoming your own boss too one day, good luck!!!

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EBC - 2012/2013 Term2 - Li Chun Leung

by Li Chun Leung

A Couple of Us

A Couple of Us

A Couple of Us
A Couple of Us with Prof
A Couple of Us - Logo

Of all the courses that I have been through in SMU so far, I think EBC & TE rank as one of the more interesting ones. I graduated from Republic Polytechnic and I enjoy having hands-on experience for projects in school. I strongly believe that we will learn the most through these personal experiences for modules like this. I guess I can say that I am lucky in the sense that I was able to experience both EBC & TE this semester.

For EBC, I am really thankful for my team of equally enthusiastic members. Without them, the idea wouldn't have pulled through. It amazing how our idea evolved from pet burial services to our current couple's event management service. When we brainstormed for our name, we wanted to have the word couple in it and A Couple of Us popped out. The name served two purpose, one to signify we are couple-oriented and it is us, a couple of us who manage and create the memorable dates for couples out there.

I really love the concept of how the module is being taught. Prof Pamela's structure allowed us to learn step by step on how to produce the business plan. From the executive summary to marketing to the funding processes. This process gave us a real life step by step tutorial on how to build a business. I also feel that the breakout sessions helped in giving us hands-on experiences in getting the business started. For example, we have to find out what the possible fundings that we can get and we have to call and ask SPRING regarding the ACE Fund.

I am also glad that I can apply my own skill set into the project as well. Previously a freelance designer for web and print, I was able to create a very simple website for A Couple of Us at http://acoupleof.us to showcase our business concept. I also did a very simple logo for us as well. Our team is glad that the class liked the website that we produced for the final presentation.

As for TE, it was pure coincidence that I became involved. I was pulled in by one of my friend and once Yvonne pitched the idea to me, I knew I was in. I have always wanted to start a mobile application and suddenly I have the chance of doing it under TE. For days, we churned the business plan out. We brainstormed on the functionalities and thought deeply into each aspects. The fact that we wanted it to work out as a real business pushed us even further, making sure every point made is real stuff and not fluff. Within a few days, I was motivated to create the initial user-interface and created a very simple website to showcase our app on http://www.flitchapp.com

For me, I think the defining moment for TE was the day of pitching to the investors. During the small exhibition, we spoke to many investor