EBC-2012Term2-Lee Meng Yong

by Lee Meng Yong

team ThePOD

team ThePOD

Bidding for Entrepreneurship and Business Creation (EBC) alone was the decision I made when I took Entrepreneurship Management (EM) with Prof. Pamela Lim 2 semesters ago, when I met the most wonderful group mates in SMU which we all 7 of us still keep in touch and meet up regularly even though all of them have graduated except me. Coming to EBC class, I was hoping again to find the kind of friendship that inspired me so much. As the class is coming to an end, the EBC journey is again fruitful and exposed me to a different ideas and concepts related to entrepreneurship.

My team worked on the idea of capsule hotel in Singapore, called “The POD”. Honesty, in the beginning I was quite skeptical about the idea. It was smaller than a backpacker’s hostel, more expensive than budget hotel and I though the concept just won’t sell in Singapore. While I remembered it was harder to accept and improve on an idea than to put down an idea, my group mates eventually convinced me to try the idea, and to make it work.

My group really did a lot of brainstorming and discussion about The POD, all the way from themes to pricing to locations there is exchange of ideas. We eventually settled down on the idea which I believed would work. Unlike a typical capsule hotel, The POD had concepts, ideas and selling points from all of the hotel industry. Such as we try to implement the design from boutique hotel and the backpackers feel of closeness from the backpackers’ hostel. And eventually I am really convinced that The POD is something different from other hotels or capsule hotels, and the idea is good enough to give it a try.

Other than our own idea, we did learn a lot from our classmates. Good ideas we could learn from them and bad ideas we could improve on them. What I particularly like is the "Parti" group. While not everybody accepts their method of showcasing their idea, I personally admire their courage and hard work. For their last presentation they focused more on their hard work than just to use their natural flair for presentation they have. They give me this feel of very hardworking entrepreneur trying to make things right.

Other than the skills and knowledge we learn from class, we are also treated with guest seminar to hear from the real mavericks, 3 very talented people who took the non conventional route to success. They spurred me to rethink about what I want to do with my life. They are real inspiration and I hope one day I have a story to tell, just like them.


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EBC-2011/12Term2-Chia Jin Xing Lionel

by Lionel Chia

"EBC? What's that?"

That was the most common question I hear from my friends and SMU peers when I mentioned the modules I am taking this term. At the start of this term, while BOSS bidding was still underway, some voices urged me to drop this module and focus on "more important things". 13 weeks on, I'm glad that I ignored them all.

Note to Readers: The next 2 paragraphs are unrelated to my EBC journey, I somehow found myself typing them while writing this journal so I'll just include them here anyway here the sake of completeness. Read if you want. Skip if you don't. I care not.


I'm someone who can be said to be relatively new to the whole idea of entrepreneurship. Sure, the word was bounced around quite a bit during my Secondary School and Junior College days, but nothing more than lip service and niceties spoken by administrators and bureaucrats. I entered SMU with the idea of graduating 4 years later and starting a high-flying career (complete with high salaries, bonuses and company-sponsored trips, of course). Little can I imagine things to be anymore different. Starting a business? Meh.

SMU changed all that. My first real taste of innovation and entrepreneurship was introduced by Prof Soon Loo. During his TWC module, he pushed us again and again and again. Through him, I was able to open my perspectives and get a taste of doing something really fun: innovating. It was through the 13weeks of near-death experience (I kid you not) that whet my appetite of being an innovator and businessman. Since then I've been involved in a few projects here and there, but lacked any real clue how to bring things further.


I came into EBC wanting to know just one thing and one thing alone: how to write and pitch a solid business plan. At the end of this journey, I'm glad to be able to learn more than just that. During class, as Prof goes through materials on the slide she happily supplemented them with her own advice and thoughts. I found the latter to be more useful and practical, not that the slide content was anything bad. Regretfully I wasn’t able to jote most of them down (any kind souls reading this could share their notes?), but it was great to be able to hear from someone who’s been there and done that.

Beyond just going through theory, there were the break-out sessions. That was something I totally didn't expect at the start. Challenging and forcing us all to go out there and do things, rather than just sit in our chairs and hypothesize, was something really refreshing. I still remember the moment my team walking into a Prof's office and exiting with $10,000 worth of investment. That was quite a feat we pulled in there!

Then there was the business plan itself. I’ve done a couple of them along the way, but never with quite as much detail as the one for EBC. Working with my team mates was quite a blast, as we had so much variety and strength to bring to the table. Together we managed to come up with a really compelling idea and thereafter distil it into concrete plans. Will we get around to executing that plan? Well that’s something we’ll leave for another time.

Despite mentioning all this, my biggest takeaway from EBC is not any specific skills. I realised that those are easy to acquire. What’s far more important is probably the mindset. After 13 weeks, I would unfortunately still have to say that I’ve learnt nothing much in the way of hard skills. That is because entrepreneurship is not something that can be learnt. It’s a value. A spirit. A way of life.

At the end of this journey, I’m glad to be able to look back and say that I did not regret taking up this module. Thank you Prof and all classmates for your guidance and support during this journey. Hopefully we will be able to meet again in future, as proud entrepreneurs who once walked the same path together.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-XU ZHAOXI


From the overall 12 lectures, I have learnt a lot first-hand experience from both the professor and guest speakers. Those experiences cannot be easily learnt from anywhere else that's why they are really invaluable to me. So it's really a great idea that now I can spend some time to write down my learning journey during this course.

The most important thing I learned from this course is that it's very important to have a good and helpful mentor for your career. During our class, professor Lim always emphasizes in class that managing the relationships with people is the most important thing when doing business. A helpful business relationship once developed, can be beneficial through out your whole career. Only after that I realized that doing business is not as simple as I imagined. It takes time for us to develop such skill because it needs experience. So it's very important that we can have someone who has more experience to guide us so that we will not make as many unnecessary mistakes.

The second point I learnt is that it’s very critical that you are willing to take wise risks. The tricky part is that you must be smart enough to tell whether the risk is wise. The guest speakers mentioned the same issue that there are always people stopping the entrepreneurs whenever they want to do something new, even if it only evolves a very small risk. However, we all know that a business cannot grow bigger without taking proper risks. Sometimes there are too many different opinions coming from different directions that you don’t know who you should listen to. In the end, it’s still very important that you can follow your heart and believe in making changes.

Lastly, the dynamic team work has also provided me with a great chance to interact with the local students. Honestly speaking, I was a bit worried during the first class when I learnt that we need to do presentation on a mini project each class. I was unsure about the work load and I was wondering whether everything will go smoothly. It takes the effort from each of the group member in order to deliver a quality presentation every week within only one hour’s time. My group members have been very helpful throughout the whole semester. They generously shared their perspective from a local student's point of view on many things with me, which is priceless to a foreign student like me. Through our group project the Pod, I had a greater understanding of Singapore’s hospitality industry and how to set up a business in Singapore from scratch.

Through the whole term, I was very lucky to have the chance observing how other groups came out with the complete business plan from scratch as well. It’s very interesting to see how people from different cultural backgrounds sharing different perspectives and coming out with a bunch of creative ideas together. In our class, we have students coming from different countries so it’s really beneficial for us that we can hear the comments from various perspectives. Among all other groups’ projects, I like honey drop the best. Actually last time I had also thought of something similar as well because I’m very health conscious and I like honey a lot as well. They’re very innovative in the sense that they make honey as the theme for their restaurant. Almost there’s honey inside almost everything but I would not get tired of it. The most surprising part is that they even made the sample honey sweets for us to try. When you open it, you will see a small note inside with a very thoughtful message.

Overall, even if I'm not going to set up my own business in the future, it's still very important to have the entrepreneurship spirit and the determination to be successful. Now I feel very lucky that I have listened to my friend’s advice to take this course. I have definitely learned more than what I expected.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Wilson Tham Wei Siong

by Wilson Tham Wei Siong

I enrolled into Prof’s EBC class hoping to learn more about the basics of entrepreneurship and I am glad that I have learnt so much from Prof’s unique teaching pedagogy – breakout sessions and no holds barred class discussions! There were many learning points throughout my EBC Journey so it is quite impossible to state all of them. Here are just some of the most memorable ones for me. :]

Our group’s entrepreneurship journey started when we decided to work with Leonard after he came and spoke to us about UV technology. We wanted to help Leonard in developing his business by coming up with a commercially viable solution for UV-LED printing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I believe we underestimated the difficulty of trying to roll out something which can be commercially viable immediately. Market research and interviews also told us that the small printing shops industry wasn’t ready for UV-LED printing as well. The costs involved in getting the special kind of ink, and having to modify the printers did not sit well with the small-scale printing shops who were very sensitive to costs. This threw our plans into disarray. How were we going to help Leonard then?

After brainstorming on the different ways that we could help Leonard with his business, we decided to focus on UV-technology cleaning solutions to increase the awareness and acceptance of UV-technology in our daily lives. We believe that this would help to propagate the use of UV-LED printing in the future. UV-LED Printing technology may require a few more years of research and development before it can achieve significant cost-reductions which would appeal to small-scale printing shops in Singapore. Therefore, this episode taught me something about entrepreneurship: As an entrepreneur, we have to set realistic goals for ourselves. As we aspire to achieve great things during our journey, we need to understand the limitations of things which are not within our control – the development of a technology and whether it is the right time to push out something which is relatively new in the market. Just like Mr Yee Jenn Jong who faced the problems of slow internet speeds and high costs of development in 1996 when he was pushing out elearning; if it is not the right time for one idea, we just have to wait it out and find the right opportunity to strike in the future.

Another learning point during my EBC journey was realizing the difficulty of obtaining funding as a start-up which has zero experience and no proven track record. During one of our break-out sessions, our group was tasked to interview a few banks and enquire about the different types of business loans that they have. Even though the people who talked to us promised to pass my contact details to their business loan departments, no one ever followed up on our loan requests. From their point of view, it may be too risky to lend to a small start-up like us. Hence, there was no point in following up with our loan requests. This episode highlighted to me the importance for entrepreneurs to have a credible business plan. No one will take you seriously if you only have a great idea and that is the only thing you have. The idea has to be backed by sound financial forecasts, and thorough marketing research before anyone will consider investing in your business. This proved to be a huge reality-check for me.

Helping iGroceries from the TE class also exposed me to the greater realities of implementing a business plan. Like what Prof said, in EBC we only learn the theory and basics of entrepreneurship, but in TE class, they really have to implement the business! I could really see the difference in the amount of effort one has to put in for TE class compared to EBC. Therefore, I was glad that my group had been given the chance to help out with iGroceries. I believe it was a good arrangement for EBC class students to learn more about how we can actually implement our business idea. From this experience, it also highlighted to me how tough it is to be an entrepreneur. The long hours that entrepreneurs have to spend on their businesses is not a myth. I hope Prof manages to up the Course Units for TE class so as to better recognize the efforts of all the aspiring entrepreneurs who graduate from the course in the future. :]

EBC taught me a lot about the realities of starting a business, and I believe that the practical knowledge that I have inherited from the course is a refreshing change compared to the other academic courses which I have taken. Lastly, I would like to thank Prof for making our lessons so uniquely different from the other courses in SMU! And I hope everyone in the class is able to achieve their dreams and become successful entrepreneurs in the future! (including me!) :]

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Siti Muzalifa

When I came for first lesson of EBC class, I was unprepared for the group discussion on developing 2-3 business ideas for the project. This is because I entered the class with the mindset that entrepreneurial ideas have to be something that is completely novel. Hence, I struggled to think of something creative during the first class. However, as I continued on the path of EBC, I realized that to recognize an opportunity, it does not require me to use up all my brain juices to develop an out-of-this world type of product or services. Instead, ideas could stem from challenges, frustrations, or problems faced in my daily life. All I needed to do is to realize such challenges and problems and convert it into opportunities. Hence, I learnt that entrepreneurial ideas could also be incremental, and not necessarily pure novelty.

Nonetheless, just identification of ideas alone does not make one deserving the title of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to ensure that the ideas materialized in reality and it is executed through the creation of a business that would value add to the society. Hence, to do this well, the entrepreneur needs to do the most important document taught in this EBC class, which is the business plan.

When I was doing up the business plan for my group project, I realized that I had to get down to the details for each aspects of the business. It is no longer just thinking of an overall macro view of the business idea, but I had to think of even the finest details. For instance, when discussing the iPad ordering process my group’s project on the café, 4point3, I had to create a blueprint of the process that showcase every aspects of the business that flows from the moment the customer steps into the outlet up till the usage of the date for the back-end operations.

Thus, the business plan requires me to think beyond just ‘ideation’ but also the implementation of it. Also, the business plan forces me to develop contingency plans even before setting up the business, such as the exit strategies. By having the contingency plans pen down, I will not be caught off guard without any plan in the event that the business fails.

Hence, I acquired valuable knowledge and skills from creating the business plan and the main takeaways is to always be prepared and to prepare to win. There is a wonderful quote that I wish to share from a motivational book called “Sixty Seconds to Success” in which the author Edward W. Smith wrote that, "The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win. Everyone wants to win, but not everyone wants to prepare to win. Preparing to win is where the determination that you will win, is made. Once the game or test or project is underway, it is too late to prepare to win. The actual game, test or project is just the end of a long process of getting ready, in which the outcome was really determined. So if you want to win, you must want to prepare to win. Once you prepare to win, winning is almost anti climatic."

Besides idea generation and business plan, another lesson that I found insightful was the lesson on ethics of managers. Prof Pamela has provided great examples of minor unethical wrongdoing of some managers such as Mr Durai from NKF. The lesson taught me that it just takes a minor wrongdoing of a manager to crush a person’s success that would lead him or her to a drastic downfall. When this happens, society would not be so forgiving and would forget all the contributions or good deeds that the person have done for the company and society. Instead, what remains in the minds of the public is the bad deed that he or she has done and the person’s name and reputation would forever be tarnished. Thus, this is a key takeaway that I would seriously make a point to remember always, especially since I am entering the workforce.

Another learning point that I acquired was during seminar session. The second speaker mentioned that there was lot of people who gave him “lip service” and criticize his business idea, saying that it will fail. When the second speaker mentioned that, it made me think back five years ago, when my good friend approached me to ask about my opinion on her business idea. Her business idea was to sell customized birthday cards since she loves making them and she asked me if I think the idea will work. I remembered then 5 years ago, lacking entrepreneurial skills in me, I simply killed her business idea and said that it will fail…! Thus, I realized that I have at some point in my life provided this ‘lip service’ as mentioned by the 2nd speaker! After the seminar, I came to a decision that the next time someone approaches me seeking opinion on his or her business idea, I would be encouraging and not just provide ‘lip service’. Also, since I have done this EBC course, I could share with them some knowledge and skills that I have acquired, especially on creating a business plan.

To conclude, this course was a great way for me to end my 4 years in SMU with the skills and knowledge acquired on setting up a business. Also, it provided me with another option that I could consider as a ‘contingency plan’ for my future - in any case I get tired from working for a corporation and wants to pursue my passion 10 years down the road, I now know how set up my own business.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Wang En Jian

by En Jian, Wang

I began this course with a great sense of excitement. Having previously taken TWC under Prof Pamela Lim, I knew that a challenging and exciting semester lay ahead. More importantly, I was eager to try actually get down 'fleshing out' a business.

Throughout the past few years, I have had many ideas which I felt had commercial viability. However, for a variety of the usual reasons why entrepreneurs fail to launch off and get down to taking a real stab at business, I have not actually set out to do so. Having seen some of my friends from the various universities graduate and choose to go down the entrepreneurial route (and enjoy a significant level of success), my belief in the power of creating and developing a business I can call my own rather than slogging away for someone else, is stronger than ever.

As a graduating student who has already been blessed to secure a good position in today's economic climate, however, there remains a great deal of inertia to fully commit myself to a business. There remains a high level of resistance in society against going down this route if you have 'graduated with a good degree'. This situation is made trickier by some choices and investments I have made (like buying a house!) which require me to have relatively stable cash flow in the medium term at least.

I therefore saw this as a critical opportunity which would allow we to develop and explore one of the ideas I had, and to receive some feedback and guidance. Through the semester this has come through a variety of channels, each adding great value to the initial budding idea and making it one that today has far greater potential than it could have had if I had stuck at it on my own.

The journey through EBC has allowed the idea to develop through the structures and theories shared from the course content, the invaluable guidance and experience from Prof, through the comments and suggestions from my classmates, as well as the very enthusiastic efforts of my group mates. I think that most people who have stumbled upon, or thought of an idea, often do not realize that there is much work to be done before the idea is ready for commercial consumption. Critically, they are often unwilling to accept that the final product which will succeed in the commercial space is often unrecognizable from the initial idea. Whether it be because of hubris or fixation, this is a very real and present issue faced by many aspiring entrepreneurs.

EBC has allowed me to work with a diverse group of talent who each bring something different to the team. I have been lucky to have a team who believe in the idea and have helped greatly to develop the concept from something that might have worked, to something we now truly believe will work. Though there is still ground to cover and work to be done, the business plan writing process has ensured we have a strong base upon which to further develop this into a full-fledged venture.

I think this class was not initially meant to spawn entrepreneurial ventures, but rather help induce the interest and develop ideas among students who were trying it out in theory. However, it is an excellent endorsement of its effect on the students that at the end of the course a great number of projects are at a critical juncture. Many of the ideas developed by the teams have been extremely interesting and many display real commercial viability, having come to such a stage where a real launch is not only possible but also the logical course of action.

Many weeks on I may still have some of my initial apprehensions against launching out a full scale career as an entrepreneur, at least initially, but I have definitely reinforced my determination to ensure that I will be an entrepreneur, whether it be through the project we have worked on during this course or something else lined up the sleeve. With the right business models and the right teams, I firmly believe that entrepreneurship does not have to be a sacrifice or a huge risk, but rather an investment into opportunity and personal fulfilment.

PS: If we do go ahead with our venture we will definitely keep the class (and of course prof) posted on our developments. It would be extremely useful and interesting to share our experiences further down the road and to see to what extent our projections and plans can be carried through.

I also hope to see/read/hear about many of the ideas spawned over the course of the 3 or so months and how much they have not only flourished, but also added to the colour and texture of our society as well!

As Prof, as well as all the other entrepreneurs, have frequently reminded us - your network as an entrepreneur is critical to your success. Keeping in contact with others who have walked with you down this journey will be a strong base for you to bounce off ideas, share contacts and opportunities, as well as for support and encouragement - something which we can all use, especially when the going gets tough.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Amy Phuah Yee Ling

by Amy Phuah Yee Ling

The entrepreneur journey has reached an end, and i've gotten a grasp or an idea of what makes an entrepreneur. What's left now is to take action and make my entrepreneurial ideas come to life.

I'm excited for what the module has opened my eyes to. Through working with my group mates for the business plan, i've come to realize that it is an fun and fulfilling process, albeit the hard work and long hours to put in. My group mates and i all complement one another with our skills set, and this has resulted in us working together to produce a wonderful piece of work, which we are all proud of. What i learnt is how to put together a good team of people and to work together, to delegate and be able to trust your group members to work for the same goals as you. What i learnt is that it's important to not be greedy, but to share. Moving ahead, i will share all good and bad times with my future employees.

As for the course and instructor, i've received valuable insights from these weeks with Prof. All the little bits of advice and anecdotes relating her past experiences are all useful for me to keep in mind so i will avoid such mistakes and be a great entrepreneur. I learnt that being a woman may prove to be harder in the business arena but it is not to stop me from gaining respect and foothold in the business. I learnt to have the mindset of a manager and act like one, starting from now!

All in all, i feel i have grown not just as a student learning about entrepreneurship, but as a person, in understanding how people and business works together to create something for society.

Thank you, Prof Lim!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Teng Hee Chuan

I enrolled into EBC expecting to have a glimpse of how entrepreneurs think and what kind of life they lead, but I walked away with so much more….

Apart from picking up hard and soft skills like how to write a business plan, pitch a solid business plan, valuate your company... Prof taught us stuff beyond the awfully expensive textbook. Why is it not advisable to go into a 50:50 joint venture? How do people interact with clients, present and sell themselves? How to go about Analyzing, Synthesizing and Evaluating ideas? Most importantly Prof's life experiences through short stories. Personally, I think knowing how prof tackled certain issues in her career and whats her take on certain issues was the truly beneficial and more interesting than whats being covered in the textbook.

Then there were the break-out sessions, perhaps something familiar to Prof's TWC students and I something I totally didn't expect. Going out @ 10 am on a Friday morning to SEE whats happening in reality and compare it against whats being covered in class for that week. It was fun and fruitful. I recall walking into a bank with my teammates to enquire on startup loans, approaching travel agencies to test how well they serve their clients. Then within the same short time frame, present your findings by sharing it with the class. While i'll love to hear more life stories and experiences from prof, the weekly break outs are not without merits.

Outside class, we worked on our business plan Uvive, the future of UV cleaning. Having Leonard around to show us the ropes gave us the opportunity to see how ink/paint is produced in a factory, observe the color mixing process. I do not think anyone would expect to that kind of experience in SMU's curriculum.

While theres plenty to learn, I think my biggest takeaway from EBC is not any hard or soft skills which can be acquired if you look and try hard enough. The important thing here is probably the mentality, spirit and passion towards what you are doing. Having the entrepreneurial Gung-ho to endure tough times, rising up to challenges and grab opportunities as they present themselves.
*Recalls guest speakers

I think thats entrepreneurship

Lastly, i hope will be able remember all i have learnt( or should have learnt. *bookmark www.entrepreneurship-education.com). Even if i don't, at least remember the entrepreneurial spirit. If I lose that along the way, at least remember that life is not about making a right or wrong decision. It's about righting my decision. Once I have made a decision, I make it right.

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EBC-2011/12 Term 2-Ajay Kumar Halwasiya

I was very apprehensive about attending the EBC class as i did not feel that it could add on to my skill set as an entrepreneur.
However Prof Lims inspirational life experiences and knowledge along with the class breakouts and presentations have made me realize that I have a lot of scope to improve my people skills
This class gives us the opportunity to look at our strengths and weaknesses and use our strengths and work on our weaknesses. I personally am terrified of speaking infront of a large crowd of unknown people.This module has taught me that it is important to be an all-rounder to be successful in business. One should be willing to wet their beaks in every little job as no job is too small. Life experiences count a lot when it comes to being an entrepreneur.
Learning from our mistakes and moving forward after failure are two important things that i have learnt in this module.Prof Lim has taught me that no person can remain on a pedestal forever, life is a great equaliser and everyone has to remain humble no matter how much they have achieved and what their social standing is.
Most importantly this module has shown me that no one can be taught how to become an entrepreneur. Ones entrepreneurial aspirations can only be nurtured and appreciated.
The world outside the walls of SMU is a cut throat competitive place where only the fittest survive, this module has shown me the various aspects I was lacking in and has given me an impetus to work on these flaws.
Such a class should be a prerequisite in every university so that people realise how hard it really is to start-up a new business venture.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Lee Yi Xin

by Lee Yi Xin

Team Uvive EBC Class of 2012

Team Uvive EBC Class of 2012

EBC is an amazing way to end my 4 years journey at SMU. I love the interactive nature of the breakout sessions. It is relaxed, fun and informative. It made it so much easier to wake up to come to class on a Friday morning.

I also enjoyed the experience sharing my Prof Pamela as well as the guest speakers, no better way than to learn from the best.

As a budding entrepreneur who just made it to the Top 15 teams at Ideas.inc 2012, this course has and will always be my inspiration to stay determined and pave a successful way for my enterprise.

I'm glad I signed up for this inspiring module with Prof Pamela and my inspiring classmates.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Melvin Teo

Viva La Uvive!!!

Viva La Uvive!!!

Prior to attending the EBC module, my impression of entreprenuership was frankly one of ignorance and a vague understanding. My impression of entrepreneurship had always been that it was generally a tough and risky road, characterized by more failures rather than success. In addition I was under the impression (albeit wrongly so) that there was a tendancy for most budding entrepreneurs to venture into the field for the wrong reasons of being unable to work under authority or wanting to earn big bucks.

Yet looking back after 13 weeks of 'lessons', I am actually pleased that my initial clouded perception has been significantly improved. The key reason being that the past 13 weeks have not been merely classroom lessons, rather each of the weeks have been an outdoor adventure which has provided me with a viewpoint through the eyes of an entrepreneur.

To start off, I feel that this journey through EBC has provided me with the opportunity to shape my thinking and character. This has been one of the most important takeaways for me regarding EBC. I particularly enjoyed all the various 'breakout' sessions as I felt they really pushed yourself to make an effort to meet new people and try new approaches which you would not have otherwise done in a normal class setting. This also trains one's initiative, confidence and interpersonal skills in an impromptu context, which I feel is relevant for an entrepreneur who has to be spontaneous and enthusiastic to pitch and interact with new investors and strangers/potential clients. In addition, the complementary combination of the breakout sessions with the business proposal preparation enabled me to cultivate certain life-skills in the form of creative thinking, making a sales pitch, handling objections 'diplomatically' as well as ethical considerations (prof pam's last sharing session was particularly impactful). Such skills are useful not solely in the area of entrepreneurship but also in the working environment which is relevant to me since I am graduating after this semester

Next, the EBC journey has also deepened my knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and the details needed in formulating and executing a successful business idea. It has exposed me to the process and the detailed considerations required prior to the launch of a business idea. In short, I feel that I have been sufficiently equipped with the skills and understanding to become an entrepreneur in the future. The whole process has also given me an opportunity to experience the realism involved in developing an idea, moulding it and finally selling it to others. Such a journey has indeed been most rewarding and enlightening

Lastly this journey has also allowed me to cross paths with some of the most amiable and carefree teammates that I've met in my four years at SMU. Despite having joined the group as a complete stranger, we soon forged close relationships and ties with each other. I feel that the nature of the course and the various sessions particularly helped to develop this. I am certain that these ties with these friends would continue even into the future.

The sharing session organized by Prof Pamela with the various Singapore entrepreneurs was both impactful and enlightening. While some of their stories and experiences have touched me deeply, I am still greatly impacted by the personal experiences of Prof Pamela with regards to the journey she undertook in fulfilling her dream. Looking ahead, whilst I might not be undertaking the decision of being an entrepreneur immediately, it has prompted me to reconsider my choices in the future. In particular, the path of first gaining some years of work experience before pursuing my own business idea is one feasible alternative. Ultimately, I am thankful for having taken this course and I do hope that it will continue to impact the lives of many more SMU students in the years to come.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Chua Zihao

by Chua Zihao

I have always wanted to become an entrepreneur. I guess this idea originated from my father, whom I feel is a relatively successful entrepreneur himself. As I grow older, this idea solidified to be my main career goal because innately, I discovered that I really enjoy the sense of satisfaction and achievement whenever I managed to build something from scratch.

The definition of an entrepreneur has always been vague and ambiguous for me. I do not deny that the power to boss people around was one of the main reasons why it is so enticing to become an entrepreneur! However, over the years, I begin to realise that being an entrepreneur is tough, much tougher than an ordinary salary drawing employee. It is tough because an entrepreneur is always alone. While it may sound awesome to be in total control of everything that happens in the company, it is also intimidating to realise that in times of troubles, you can only depend on yourself. Imagine going to school without instructors and their curriculums. Who will be there to ensure efficient and quality learning? The same applies for entrepreneurship. Discipline and determination are very important attributes for an entrepreneur to carve out a successful career for himself. This explains why I decided to take up an Entrepreneurship track for my degree because I want to find out if what I envisioned is aligned with reality. Thus, Entrepreneurship and Business Creation (EBC) became my first ever module for this track. I have learnt a lot from this course and my main takeaways can be categorised as follows: Communication, Composure and Care.

It is important for an entrepreneur to have good communication skills. When my team and I were embarking on our business plan, it was always hard for me to convey my ideas effectively because all of us have different perceptions about things. A single message tends to have different interpretations. Thus, I realised it is important to understand the thought processes of others and craft your message in a way that everyone can understand it well. This will increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary conflicts.
In any start-ups, smooth sailing should be the last phrase to use. It is almost a definite that the journey of entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs. What is important is to react to sticky situations with composure and harness your flexibility and creativity to resolve them. The worst solution is to press the panic button because it will create further problems for yourself. My team and I had a hard time trying to come up with different applications for UV LED technology but I am proud to say that, at the end of the day, we have dealt with the issue well and created a feasible plan in Uvive, a cleaning solution company.

Every function in a business is important and they are interlinked. For instance, marketing is not all qualitative. There is quantitative aspect to it such as breakeven analysis which is related to finance. It is important for an entrepreneur to care about how his company is set up. While tasks can be delegated, it is pertinent for an entrepreneur to have sufficient understanding on how his different departments function and how well they can work together to fulfil the final business objectives. An entrepreneur can choose where his passion lies in terms of the products and services he provides. However, he cannot choose to only concentrate on the business function that he prefers. He needs to have an all round understanding of how things work in the company.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Prof for having the confidence in Uvive and her wonderful lectures, my teammates for the fun and fulfilling working experience, Leonard for inspiring us to the idea of UV and my course mates for providing wonderful insights in class, week in week out. All the best to everyone in their future endeavours.

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EBC-2011/2012Term 2-Ng Shuwei Cedric.

by Ng Shuwei Cedric
(EBC, G2)

For the past 13 weeks in the course, I learned about the true synergy of entrepreneurship; that’s to follow one’s passion. For example, identifying an existing problem that may concern you and other major stakeholders, and turning it into opportunities, which eventually benefit everyone.

Throughout the curriculum, we pieced together the different strategies and tactics, and write them into a sound business plan that established the business goals and strategic directions. Business plans can help startups to build a solid ground, to convince venture capitalists to invest in your business. Furthermore, it also acts as operation guide.

I get to explore different advertising options and rates, on how we can leverage on the best tools to achieve marketing campaign and exposure with great success at highest cost effectiveness.

Other than that, the ability to identify the different stages of product lifecycle helps startup to plan the roadmap in advance, to keep the business in pace, anticipate changes to gain a foothold in competitivate advantage.

I also got to learn the various funding by IIE made available to SMU students who want to establish new startups. They also provided the right amount of “fertilizer” to help the startup get into the right direction with proper infrastructure and mentorship guidance, so that startups can concentrate on its core strategies.

I was able to understand the importance of analyzing the marketing cost and financial statements, and the use of valuation tools to find the worthiness of a business. Knowing the figures at your fingertips will be extremely beneficial if you want to know the financial health of the operations or even use as tactics when negotiating with angel investors so as not eaten up by “sharks”.

We had also performed a field study on a couple of retail shops to evaluate customer service skills, and their ability to convince customers into making purchase. The importance of building customer relationships will generally result in higher customer retention rates and eliminates the cost of acquiring new customers, and hence, this will help to spur growth.

At all times, we must always remain ethical and not be blinded by greeds. The empire of hardwork and efforts may vanish overnight owning to the slightest mistake in irrational decisions.

Finally, the guest speakers provided insightful thoughts on their humble beginnings, challenges faced and advices. I can learn from their experience, adopt best practices into good use, and avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. Despite attended 3 guest seminars in the 4 years of my SMU journey, every session provides new learning experience for me. Class participation by sharing and discussion on the Facebook group, has also widened my knowledge of entrepreneurship that’s taking place around the globe.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Jacqueline Sng

I took this course to fulfill the criteria of SMU’s course requirements. Hence, I enter the class with a mindset of “get it over and done with”. The thought of being an entrepreneur never once occur to me.

During the first lesson, Professor Lim sparked a little fire in me that being an entrepreneur is cool. To me, I felt that the recognition gain to be successful would be cooler than the profits made. Having both recognition and profits would be idealistic of course.

Gradually throughout the course, I enjoyed myself in class more and more. I could not ask for a different groupmates to work with for the group project. This sentiment is so rare in SMU and makes me realise that it is important to work with group mates that are your friends and not just a working partner. The outcome of the project would be much desirable due to the chemistry and synergy of the group.

Now that I am reaching the end of the course, left with the final exams, I daresay that I have no regrets taking the course. In fact, this is the only morning class that I never felt like skipping. Somehow, Professor sometimes forgot to upload the slides online, makes me kinda anticipate what would be the group project today, adding a little bit of surprise element in every lecture.

Till now, I am still unsure if entrepreneurship is for me. Perhaps I just need a trip around the world to give me new inspiration and meet new people. Right now, I can feel that the fire inside me has been blazing and I would propel this energy into my career, whichever path I chose to take.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Clara Tan

It's been a semester of modules focused mainly on entrepreneurship modules, and I've learnt so much in the process. It was a privilege to be under Prof Pamela Lim. I loved how she made the lessons so interesting, and how she made entrepreneurship seem like an easily reachable goal for us.

Her sending us out to the banks, to call up reporters to get coverage for our business idea, gave me a sense of how to go about starting my own business in the future. It's exciting, because I know this is what I want to do in the future.

One key thing that I took away from Prof, was how a business cannot be just to earn profits. There must be something of value to people in it. In a sense, that's what really captured me, and that's something that will stay with me after this module.

Also, I've enjoyed working with my team! We came together as strangers on the first day of class, and then group members... But more than just people working together, I'd like to think that a real and genuine friendship has formed between us. I honestly enjoyed their company during the 13 weeks in school, and I have a feeling that it's not just going to end here. :)

Thank you Prof and my dear group members for everything!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Lo Chuan Jian

by Lo Chuan Jian

Initially, I only take EBC because I needed a technology and entrepreneurship module to graduate and my friend told me that this is one of the easiest modules to clear. Before taking this module, I had never thought of being an entrepreneur and I do not see myself as one who is willing to take risk. However, the EBC journey had largely changed my mind set about starting my own business and each lesson is an amazing self exploratory session. I was thrown out of my comfort zone and have to embrace the uncertainty. Instead of just learning theory from the textbook, each class was very hands on and practical and I particularly like the break out session each week as I thought it was fun and interesting.

Throughout the whole 13 weeks, Prof Pamela is very friendly and eager to share all her entrepreneurial knowledge and experience with us. Prof seems more like a facilitator than a lecturer and she keep encouraging us to put our business plan into action and start a business. The class interaction is dynamic and this is one of the least competitive classes in SMU. My EBC classmates are sincere in helping us in our business plan and provided me with valuable insightful comments.

In EBC, I understand the importance of diversity of skills among members and to gather like-minded friend to do business with. Moreover, I realized that for startup, clear leadership is important and how to structure shareholding for members. Interestingly, although I am an accountancy student, this is the first time that I have to construct a set of financial statement from scratch and determine the amount of funding required for starting my business.

The guest lecture is particularly insightful as it is one rare moment where I had the opportunity to hear from entrepreneurs their startup journey and how they managed to overcome obstacles to achieve success. Being a product of the Singapore educational system, I feel that I do not have the gut or resolve to start a business. However, the talk had changed my mindset and showed me that there is another route I can take and achieve much more than the conventional working career.

Overall, EBC had inspired me to dream big and be different. The course had convinced me that if I am truly passionate about an idea, I should step out of my comfort zone and pursue my dreams so that when I reflect back on my life, I will not leave any regret.

I bid for EBC alone but along the way, I made new friends and at the end of the journey, I have made a lot of friends and I truly enjoyed my time there. I do not intend to start a business now as I still have not found the right idea, but if I do encountered one opportunity that I think is viable, I will “grab it before other do”.

Last but not least, thank you Prof Pamela for the fun seminars in these 13 weeks and all my friends in EBC who make my EBC journey so memorable. EBC is definitely one of the best courses I took in my 3 years in SMU. =)

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EBC-2011/2012Term2-Iwan Sugiarto

by Iwan Sugiarto

Beyond the classroom. Out of my comfort zone. Enriching. EBC class.

This class has literally taken me out of my comfort zone and out of the classroom. Within one hour every week, we were tasked to contact newspaper, examine the customer services of nearby businesses, consult IIE, enquire on advertising costs and put our findings into a presentation.

These weekly breakout sessions have certainly taught me the importance of time management and teamwork. For the first few sessions, my team was still awkward and hesitant to directly contact external parties. As we went further into the term, this was no longer an issue - we were at ease to perform such activities and in fact looking forward to the experiences we would obtain.

Putting up a presentation at the end of the sessions too was no longer a hassle. As we gradually recognised the strengths of each team member, we were able to delegate specific tasks resulting in more efficient breakout sessions and better presentations.

The atmosphere of the class has been extremely conducive for me to learn. I particularly enjoyed the numerous times Professor Pamela shared her wisdom and values. Her pointers and advises are definitely noteworthy as I am just a few months away to my graduation. The cultures of sharing interesting and relevant articles in the Facebook group has also made the learning process more thorough and, in a way, fun. To top it off, the seminar guest was enriching as we heard in a snippet about the ups and downs of entrepreneurs’ life.

The icing on the cake for me was the business plan. As an Accountancy and Corporate Communication graduand, preparing the business plan aptly put my knowledge and theories into a practice – forecasting revenues and expenses, preparing a balance sheet, and creating mission and vision statements that are in line with the company’s values.

All in all, I found that the class has equipped me with the essential skills and knowledge for my around-the-corner career, or even perhaps entrepreneur’s, life. I am truly glad that I took this class in my last term.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Julian Gary Kwon

by Julian Gary Kwon(Singapore)

Team Pic'in

Team Pic'in

Entrepreneurship and Business Creation- This has been one the module in SMU that I will always remember as it demarks itself from the other modules.Throughout my learning journey, my road to entrepreneurship has been paved with opportunities and good times and I do really hope that is not the end of such a fun and amazing expedition.

Back then when I joined SMU four years ago, I did not even have the idea of entrepreneurship or thinking about business creation. To me, I had already imagined how my path would be like: - a classic one- to get a degree and to start finding a job. But I’m so glad that I have been able to know what entrepreneurship and business creation is about. Even though I may not start my own business in the near future, such a module in SMU gives me a new perspective and always helps me to look for opportunities or at least keep my options open and perhaps consider being an entrepreneur. It will be a dream to be able to work for myself.

Even though it’s a morning class, every class was enriching and never boring- Each lesson was well organized and I really enjoyed the breakout sessions as they were fun and the tasks were practical. I believe also that I have learnt from other groups as well as through the guest seminar. Each group came with different ideas and altogether, they were able to come up with amazing business plans and presentations. It was an enriching experience. Moreover, to hear and listen to entrepreneurs about their journey are just inspiring. Learning is never an ending process!

Aside from the theories, EBC also provided me a platform whereby I can execute an idea and transform it into a business plan as a team. I’m so glad to have been working in a diverse team of people who have different set of skills and talents. I still remember back then my first project meeting and this is when I realized that simple ideas can have an impact on society, whether be it a small or big idea. To me the most difficult part was to come up with ideas because you don’t know whether they are feasible or not, especially in Singapore whereby the market is quite small.

The idea of Pic’in came about from the fact that we wanted to bring or revive the experience of having a picnic with friends and family. This culture is very prevalent especially in Europe and the Americas and we thought, why not in Singapore? It's kind of a lost culture. Big events are organized overseas such as mass picnics with excellent attractions such as concerts and parties.

Working on the business plan was not an easy task- It was challenging. From management to finance, it required hard work Entrepreneurs who decide to open up their own business face challenges in their everyday life, that they put in long hours just to fulfill their passion and dreams. It’s been great to work in a team whereby everyone does what he/she is good at. What fascinates me with the business plan was how detailed it was- It had to cover every aspect of the business paying attention to every little details.

What are my biggest takeaways from this course?

To follow your dreams and passion
One of my favorite quotes is when you have a dream; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. True enough to apply to entrepreneurship. What’s best to learn from Prof who is truly passionate about entrepreneurship? She has been on this path facing adversities. She has the experience and on top, she has also been mentoring a lot of students.

Learn from your mistakes and always take risks
Key take-away from the seminar: To take risk, especially in intelligent ones. As a risk-averse individual, I always fear risks and this causes a big problem especially in start up businesses. There is always an element of uncertainty but to be successful, I’ve learnt that as entrepreneurs, make the opportunities work for you!

Always be sincere to yourself and to the people around you

Sincerity- A simple word that many fails to achieve- To me sincerity is vital for success in entrepreneurship. By being sincere, you gain trust and confidence. This is because one is easily accepted because of credibility.

Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone: Prof. Pamela for her dedication and passion in teaching us this awesome course. It’s been refreshing and inspiring! To the other groups, thank you for sharing and showcasing your business ideas, they are all great!

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” Thomas J. Watson

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EBC - 2011/12 Term 2 - Jacqueline Quek

by Jacqueline Quek

with <3, the Pod

with <3, the Pod

13 weeks; 9 classes; nurturing Professor; inspiring classmates; an awesome team.

These 13 weeks have a whirlwind experience. We started out with nothing, barely knowing the dynamics of the team and what is exactly is expected of us. Thankfully for helpful classmates and TA, a very nurturing Prof Pam and talented team members, we, or rather I, have survived EBC.

Frankly, I came to class not knowing what to expect. I have never taken any of Prof's classes, never really asked around what is Prof's teaching style and definitely did not ask if any of my friends have bidded for the same class.

I remember the first class, the day I felt relieved seeing some familiar faces, and at the same time, feeling intrigued and refreshed by the different pedagogy that Prof Pam implements in class.

Breakout sessions can be quite a hassle, I would admit. But it is always when we really learn something out of the textbook because we are forced out of our comfort zones (particularly the comforts of our seats) to get our hands "dirty". These sessions are ultimately preparation for our project and essentially useful knowledge and information that can be applied to our own businesses.

I like how learning is truly interactive in class - and even out of class. Knowledge sharing allows one to gain different perspectives and enhances insights for all.

I guess my learning curve became the steepest during the formation of our team's business plans. Working out with minimum knowledge of the industry, we slaved through and research for all the information we can get through the net, through friends, personnel from the industry and whatsnot. Thankfully for the classes and guidance from Prof, we were able to apply what we have learned into the plan. It really gave me a new perspective of setting up a business from scratch. It was hard work. But it was also fulfilling when you see the business plan starting to form its shape.

All in all, I would really like to thank everyone. Prof Pam, fellow classmates, my awesome team mates, our hardworking TA, and most definitely students from other classes as well. Thank you so much for your (daily) gentle reminders of the business world, thank you for sharing your knowledge, thank you for an awesome journey.

Forge on :)

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Mayank Poddar

by Mayank Poddar

Having gone through an entire semester of EBC, there are a lot of things that I have learnt, but there is only so much space to write - hence I will summarize my main learnings in the following points:

1. Writing a neat business plan is important, and tough: Having designed a business pitch for a previous project I was fairly confident this would be manageable. However, as I discovered, writing the business plan was quite challenging (as this was less financey and more holistic than anything I have done before). Our group went back and forth quite a bit in deciding our final idea - mainly because every time we thought about the business plan, it made us question our ideas a lot and ultimately we found a bunch of them unviable. Hence, in this process I realized the importance of writing a business plan - even if you dont need one to raise money, write one anyway - it will make you think to the point that you wouldn't have otherwise, and either make you realize your mistake sooner rather than later, or refine your idea to make it work better.

2. Textbooks can teach entrepreneurs: One of the most common stereotypes about entrepreneurship is that as an entrepreneur, you make your own rules, you do things your own way and you dont need to look at books to teach you anything. However, I felt the course did an amazing job of dispelling this rumor. Going through the slides and the assigned book taught me a lot of things that are absolutely necessary for every entrepreneur to follow. There are things related to managing a business which 'need' to be learnt and are not open to modification - they are absolutely necessary to know. I gained a lot of marketing and finance-centric insights (among other things) from the book that are absolutely essential for entrepreneurial success.

3. Learning from people: The professor (with her diverse experience), my EBC group, guest speakers and all other classmates were the cornerstone of my learning from this class. I felt that this was one of the few classes where class participation was meaningful because with most of the people vying to do something of their own (or already in the proces of doing so), they had something valuable to share. Right from the facebook forum to in-class presentations and discussions, the learning from people around me in the class was invaluable and experiential.

All in all, this rounds up what was a fulfilling course in my last semester in school. I hope to take this knowledge out into the real world as a fresh graduate.

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EBC-2012-Term2-Kuah Qing Yuan

by Kuah Qing Yuan

This course has introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship and widened my perspective on alternative options upon graduation. My initial and fixed mindset was that I had to take on a job as an employee upon graduation and slog for the rest of my life. After this course, I am convinced that there are alternative options available instead only considering the fixed route.

My entrepreneurship journey started out from the first day when we were asked to brainstorm for ideas and that was when I realized a lot of these ideas that my classmates were throwing out were actually very feasible and worthy of consideration. That was when I thought, if we can make money for ourselves while fulfilling our passion at the same time instead of drawing a fixed salary, why not? A huge part of the learning also comes from hands on experience from class breakout activities as well as being able to learn from my classmates. While we go through the same breakout activity (my group), each one of us gains our own unique perspective on the issue and it is the issues that we discuss thereafter that allow us to see the activity and learning points from the perspective of another person and it facilitates our learning process.

One of the highlights of the course for me was being able to partake in organizing the guest seminar. My group was in charge of logistics and it was certainly quite a big achievement for us to pull off everything so smoothly, from the decorations to the movement of tables and chairs, to getting the popcorn machine working. I was definitely exhausted from all the manual labor by the time the guest seminar started, but listening to the various hurdles the guest speakers had to go through made what we just experienced seem like peanuts.

Doing up our business plan and preparing for the presentation was oddly fun I must say. It is not very often that I can associate doing up a report with “fun”. But I found it particularly fun because of the endless possibilities that could come out of the business we were working on (Parti) and brainstorming through different marketing strategies and trying to predict growth really made me feel like an entrepreneur for the first time. Again, that was when we were able to learn from each other again. Different people absorb different quantities of what is taught in class and the knowledge is viewed from a different perspective. Thus, bringing it all together and putting all the various aspects of a business onto one set of powerpoint slides and into the report allowed me to learn a lot as compared to merely studying on how to build a business plan. Our group is also very diverse with members specializing in different areas for their degree and having members from year 2 all the way to 4, we managed to exchange knowledge and even refresh each other on what we might have learned before.

Last but not least, the friendships forged. I have been blessed with wonderful group mates that are not only fun to work with, but also passionate about the course and are never fail to spread their infectious passion throughout the entire group. This course has reinforced my belief that learning and fun can go hand in hand.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Fey Tui Yeong

by Axel Fey

I can't believe that time passes so fast and that it's already the end of the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation class. I still remember vividly when the day Prof Pamela Lim introduced herself as a mother of five on the first lesson. My initial perception of the course before actually sitting in for the class was negative as I assumed that it would be like the other management modules that I have taken - case studies after case studies. But clearly, I was wrong.

This class has given us a real taste of being an entrepreneur(minus the risks and capital required) through the breakouts and writing of the business plan. Firstly, the breakouts were enriching and enjoyable as they gave us the opportunity to better interact with our group mates. Secondly, while being enjoyable, the breakouts also gave us real learning opportunities through experiencing customer service by visiting actual retail outlets and also talking to the guys at IIE.

Breakouts clearly demonstrate the fact that learning isn't confined within the classroom and I believe that learning should never be confined within a classroom. That being said, it was also inspiring to be able to attend the guest seminar that was jointly organised by students and Prof. Hearing the concepts being demonstrated by real-life entrepreneurs has given me greater confidence in practising some of the concepts learned in class. At the same time, it has also inspired me to aspire to be like some of them, especially Vincent Lai, being able to start up his own business while still being a student.

Lastly, being able to work on the business proposal of an idea that the whole group is passionate about is also a great opportunity. It has given me a taste of the whole process where an entrepreneur starts his or her business from a mere idea and develop it into a plan that would help the business succeed. Another part of the experience was being able to bring finance, marketing and operations knowledge into practice, and I think that it has greatly helped me in my understanding of not just being an entrepreneur but the skills associated as well.

I hope that everyone who has taken Prof's class has gained certain insights that would help them in the future. I also hoped that I can put what I have learned through this course into good use in the future. Thanks Prof for this wonderful journey of three months and all the best to you!

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EBC-2012/12Term2-Chan Xue Fen Pearlicia

by Chan Xue Fen Pearlicia



Prior to entering the class, I've always thought entrepreneurship is 90%, if not, 100% about the idea. Thus, I have always wondered by so many great business ideas do not see the light of the day.
It is only until the first few weeks of class, that I began to understand aspects of entrepreuruship that ventures way beyond the idea. That is, from what I strongly recall from Prof Pamela's lectures, great ideas don’t make great businesses, great people do. When my project group, Capture123, started embarking on our business plan proposal, I started to understand the meaning of "Startup ideas are worthless unless well executed.", and by "well executed", it means having a concrete plan for every single aspect of the business, from marketing to backend operations to financial projections. Every single step requires strong vision, and I believe that the final product of a business plan should be also work as a blueprint to show how sustainable a business should be in the long run. Many businesses fail because of the failure to plan ahead, when industries evolve over time.

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EBC - 2011/12 Term 2 - Tan Jun Liang

by Crys Tan

Entrepreneurship. Business Creation.

3 words that really called out to me almost 5 months ago, when the bidding window first opened. Ever since I entered SMU, I was thrilled at having all kinds of opportunities opened up to me. Especially since I initially never expected to be able to make it into the school, but that's another story for another time.

Taking TWC under Soon Loo in my first semester gave me a taste of the sheer madness that is entrepreneurship. While I hear my friends griping about having to write 3000 word essays and weekly journals, I was struggling to make weekly presentations to the class on the progress of our team's project- that of redesigning a shoebag. Despite spending as much time on that one mod as the other 3.5 mods I was taking, I was hooked. I was having fun.

I started to think about the Entrepreneur track as a possible major, which led me to consult Prof Pamela (since she was advertised on email as one of the Academic Advisers). I didn't manage to meet her, and received only one advice- why not try it out for myself, and see if I liked it? She was teaching the EBC class the coming semester. So I did, taking one extra module off curriculum for it.

3 weeks into the course, I was half regretting that particular decision. Far from having fun, I was up to my neck in work. Granted EBC's workload was nowhere near comparable to TWC (I doubt any mods are, but I heard rumors of SE, TE and CAT) it just didn't interest me anymore.

As the course continued on, I started to see why, and in the process learnt more about myself. It turns out that I'm a very hands-on kind of person, and as much as we have several breakout sessions that we have to make things happen, and we got to create a totally amazing business plan that I wouldn't have imagined possible, the fact remained that at the end of the day, the 'business' I was building was one that I wouldn't materialize. And when I saw that it wasn't going to become something physical, subconsciously it became that much more difficult to motivate myself to work on it. Perhaps another issue I faced was that I bidded the course myself, and hence came into the class knowing no one. If the groups were preassigned, that wouldn't have been much of an issue, since most of the group members wouldn't know each other either. But when we got to reform our own groups, and friends came together, it became somewhat of a hurdle for me.

Which led me to realize that perhaps as of now I don't really have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. I have no qualms working with people, but personally find it troublesome to socialize. That would be the next area of myself to develop.

Nonetheless, throughout the course, I had many opportunities to learn, as well as many things to pick up. Granted, the skills from the textbook were more or less a summarized compilation of various other classes such as Financial Accounting, Marketing and Business Processes, but they provided a more succinct scope, covering only the things which were needed. More useful, I felt, was the hands-on - when we had to had our idea critiqued at IIE; when we went out to find out what customer satisfaction was.

The guest seminar was also another amazing event. The wisdom of our predecessors, being passed down to the next generation. I learnt a great many things during the seminar, and am glad to have the opportunity to attend it.

It has been a true pleasure taking the course. The realizations that I have attained, I know that I truly treasure. My deepest gratitude to Prof Pamela as well all my classmates, who have taken the time to post tidbits of information in the Facebook group. Thanks!

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EBC 2011-12 Term 2 - Nazmul Islam

by Nazmul Islam

Journal 3:)

My journey from week 1 to week 13 in EBC has truly been an enlightening experience. I will graduate this semester and I am sure that the knowledge I've gained from this course will help me tremendously in my work life.

I think an important thing to realize is that not everyone in our class will be an entrepreneur. Like one of the guest speakers said, if everyone runs a business, that it wouldn't really work!

Well, I am such a person - I have no plans of starting any business in the near future. However, I believe that EBC will still be an important module in my journey forward. Even in the workplace, where you are working for a corporation, the skill-set of an entrepreneur will help you a lot.

In our EBC module, we've learnt about a LOT of things, from how to write an accurate business paper, to the 4P's of marketing, to financial projection, and we've also covered a bit of ethics! An entrepreneur has to have a wealth of knowledge before he or she can endeavor in into an independent business. But this knowledge is definitely transferrable - for instance, have a working knowledge of what the financial aspects of the company will help you gain insights into making sure you use your allocated budget more efficiently and deliver better KPI's for your company. Personally, this was my biggest take-away from EBC - managing your budget effectively. A lot of analytical skills are mandatory for an entrepreneurs - knowing how much to offer in return of how much stake in your company... All this requires good analysis and insights. I believe that this skill is also transferrable to the work place. Having these analytical abilities will help me understand problems better and help me solve them effectively.

All in all, EBC has been a great and fun experience. It taught me a lot, and gave me a good set of transferrable knowledge which I am sure will help me in the workplace and also in life.

My very best wishes to those who have a few more years left in SMU. I'm sure EBC will help you in your future modules and internships. And to all the soon-to-be-graduates, good luck out there! :)

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EBC-2011/12-Valerie Koh

by Valerie Koh

It's been almost three months since my first EBC lesson and over the course of this module, I have grown and learned much more than I thought possible. I first took EBC as a module to clear TE and I thought that that was about all there was going to be about it. However, I was wrong. Going through this course has taught me so much more than I could have learnt in the classroom. I have learnt how to not only think of creative, practical and profitable business ideas but also the process of actually carrying out a business and turning a passion into a profitable outlet.

When my group and I first started out at EBC, we had a few ideas. All of us came from different walks of life, had different majors and obviously, different business ideas. We went through the brainstorming process a few times and settled for a few ideas before we started 'A drop of honey'. 'A drop of honey' is more than just a business idea for us. Each of us had an important part to play in this business and we were all professionals in our roles. Each time I think about it, it still amazes me how 6 students who have never met can come together and in a span of 3 months, create something that has such a great impact to each of our lives.

Apart from this, I believe that the next most memorable thing part of EBC has to be the breakout sessions each lesson. I’ve learnt so much from going outside of the classroom and doing ‘hands-on’ activities such as searching for investments, start-up grants and around the vicinity to learn more about customer service. There was so much to learn from the experiences of other teams, through their presentations each week and all these are knowledge and skills that I believe, will go with me a long way.

Finally, I feel that I have learnt so much from the advice and thoughts of Prof Pamela Lim throughout this semester. The semester is soon coming to a close and I am glad that I have taken this module. I’ve learnt so much inside as well as outside of the classroom and I’ve made friends through this journey and I’m sure that these are friends that I’ll not lose touch with.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Joanne Lim

The EBC learning journey has been very enjoyable and fruitful for me. These 13 weeks of teaching has provided me with more entrepreneurial perspectives and different aspects of entrepreneurship that has never crossed my mind before this class. The time spent with my dearest groupmates was also really memorable.

What I found different about EBC from other modules is that this module allows more hands-on experiences which pushes us out of our comfort zone. The breakout session during each class whereby we have to approach retailers, newspaper agencies provides us with a different kind of learning experience, something that cannot be learned from the textbooks. What I also like about EBC classes is when Prof share her experiences with the class. The insights provided is also something that cannot be found in the textbooks and hence is more valuable. I also especially enjoy the tips that Prof shares sometimes, about effective time management and even little tips on parenting! :)

The guest speakers have also showed me how passion can motivate people to create something out of nothing. Their stories serves as inspiration for us, to step out of our comfort zone and pursue what we are truly passionate for.

The process of coming up with our own idea as a group and developing a detailed business plan has taught me a lot and allowed me to put myself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and think from an entrepreneur’s perspective. I now better understand the challenges that an entrepreneur might face. I have come to realize the huge amount of considerations an entrepreneur has to take, from management to operations and this has really increased my respect for entrepreneurs.

Through this module, I have also learnt that for any business to be born, having a good idea is not sufficient. The passion to drive the idea into action is also needed for a business to come through. There needs to be a strong belief and conviction for the idea by the entrepreneur in order for the business to pull through, especially during tough times.

Being sincere to the people you meet is also an takeaway from the EBC class. It is very important for an aspiring entrepreneur as the strong relationships will allow opportunities to happen which may make a difference in the business. The trust established between these contacts will also go a long way in doing a business.

I feel that the takeaways I have gotten out of this class is not only limited to aspiring entrepreneurs but they can also be applied when we enter the working world and I will definitely remember these learning points as I embark on my journey in the working world after this semester.

Thank you Prof Pamela, my dearest groupmates, the class and Denise for these wonderful 13 weeks!

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I have never participated in a business proposal which is so close to reality. This is really a good experience for aspiring entrepreneurs. I will never forget the tips Professor Pamela Lim has given in this class. For instance, getting coverage by newspapers for start ups. Overall, a fantastic experience in class!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Judy DENG Siyuan

by Judy
(Singapore )

EBC Reflection

EBC is a great course that worth attending. To look back at the end of my learning journey, I find I have gained useful skills to write a business proposal; I have improved my people skills through team work; I have gained inspiration by listening to guest speaker and I have learned much more from my fellow classmates. In all, I have understood what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Some Takeaways:

1. Ideas have no boundaries
Through learning about successful student entrepreneurs, I find one thing in common is that they explore ideas and challenge boundaries. To be creative is also very important; creativity is directly related to the discovery of new ideas or concepts or modification of existing ideas and concepts. And allow you to find untapped market and create needs for people. Being creative is not easy. To acquire knowledge is much easier than to be creative. Creativity cannot be taught, but it simply shows up and is performed by the entrepreneur himself.

2. The courage to take action
Many entrepreneurs have fantastic ideas, but these ideas never turn into reality. Wikipedia define Courage as the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to have courage just to step out. Courage enable entrepreneurs to take action and the action taken reduced the level of fear. A quote on courage to share
“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
So I think courage is the one of the most important things to take ideas into business. And courage separates entrepreneurs from non- entrepreneurs at the beginning point.

3. The Passion to build up business

Many of us have just gone along their journey towards entrepreneurial or even career success thinking drive and passion are the same thing. I think we have to start looking at passion and drive not as interchangeable qualities, but more as a cause and effect when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit. To truly succeed, its imperative that an entrepreneur follows a passion. It could be towards a cause or a new project, but passion is key. From my teamwork project, I work together with 5 teammates to develop the business plan. I learnt passion is what keeps people pressing forward into the late hours of the morning or wills you to wake up at 4 a.m. to do your work. As an entrepreneur, there is no substitute for passion.

4. The perseverance and hard work lead to success

I remember heard from one of the guest speakers “ there is no overnight success”. I cannot agree with him more. While entrepreneurs aren’t dealing with physical injuries, they certainly need to be prepared to deal with “harsh conditions” for several months to several years. The ability to persevere as an entrepreneur is all about whether or not you can tolerate dealing with unfavorable circumstances for an extended period of time.

Actually after learning all about entrepreneurship and outweighing the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur. I might personally not choose to be one. And I do wish all young entrepreneurs from this course will make full use of what we have learnt and eventually succeed.

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EBC-2011/2012Term2-Yvonne Low

by Yvonne Low

4point3: A+ Food, A+ Fun

4point3: A+ Food, A+ Fun

4point3: A+ Food, A+ Fun
Thanks Prof for your guidance!
molten lava cake for the class before presentation. appeal to investors' tummies :0)
zirong and clarine on the popcorn machine. (not strictly my group photo but something to look back and smile at) :D

I have never considered being an entrepreneur. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, hang out with budding entrepreneur friends, study in a Uni where successs in entrepreneurship is hailed as holy - and the thought of starting up my own business fails to tickle my senses.

Not exactly model SMU student.

That doesn't mean I did not learn anything useful in the course. Quite the contrary, in fact. Application is key, and I feel that my learning experience in this course is valuable in many other areas of life. As a passionate performer in the Arts, I still have a bucketful of takeaways from these 13 weeks.

1. Actions speak louder than brain activity.
My ideas really don't mean anything if they are not translated into action. A good dance choreographer does not just have lovely visions in his head; he needs to materialise those visions by putting them into his dance moves and teaching them to other dancers. Without the action, mental efforts cannot be acknowledged or recognised. I am sure many of us constantly generate wonderful ideas - on the bus to school, in the shower, while daydreaming in class (minus Prof Pamela Lim's class) - but how often do we make an effort to develop those ideas and bring them to life?

That's why our breakout sessions are valuable. No point just absorbing the info in our textbook/slides and understanding them - hands-on experience gives us deeper learning and galvanises us into action so further steps are not so intimidating. It's not enough to "take note" that opportunities for funding are everywhere. Find a random entrepreneur on the street and pitch our business idea to him NOW - it shows us that getting funding from a seemingly superficial, one-off encounter is not impossible, and makes us want to do it again. Experience can never be removed from learning, and any experience is valuable if we choose to recognise it.

2. People speak louder than money.
People run businesses. People fund businesses. People talk with people. Three simple facts string together to emphasise how important social interaction is in professional relations. Money can draw people, but so can personality. And excellent relationships are a better and happier way to maintain professional relations than excellent money. The Shark Tank episode highlighted this to me. Barbara Corcoran offered an investment deal to Kim Nelson based largely on her great personality and enthusiasm. To investors, financial opportunities are everywhere and they have a limited pool of money to put up. The real catch could be the personality of the individual(s) they're putting their money with.

3. The Pee that brings the biggest relief.
On the Business Study Mission to New York City last year, we got up close and personal with Sir Clive Gillinson, owner of Carnegie Hall. When asked what made him so successful in the Arts sector, and how he managed to balance pursuing his interests and earning profit, his answer was simple: Passion. "Never chase money. Chase your passions and the rest will fall in place." These words were ringing in my ears as I was listening to Vincent Lai sharing his entrepreneurial success in the IT sector during the guest lecture. My realisation was sudden and clear: no matter your area of work, passion is key. If you love what you do, already half the work is done, because the first step has been taken and passion will guide you through the many steps to come.

These 13 lessons have been wonderful and valuable. For that, thanks Prof Pamela Lim, Irene, fellow classmates and my amazingfunkynoisycrazyconstantlyhungry group. Been a pleasure entrepreneuring with you all. :0)

Final confession #1: The thought of starting up my own business still fails to tickle my senses.
Final confession #2: I skipped week 1 class to focus on my singing rehearsal for a big performance that night. Shaky start, but a showstopping finish.

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EBC-2011/12Term2 - Ng Hui Lan

I took EBC because I had an extra elective to clear, and instead of my planned finance module, I decided to take EBC instead because
1) I took one week of EM class under Prof Pamela Lim and thought she was great at facilitating class participation, and
2) I began to like management modules after taking EM under another prof last semester.

What I found useful

The guest seminar (other than the Prof's weekly experience sharing) was truly the main lesson where I really learnt about entrepreneurship in this course. Since we could not start a business during EBC, listening to these experienced entrepreneurs was the next best alternative at getting a taste of entrepreneurship.

Additionally, it also helped that the Prof has extensive experience in the full cycle of having a business - from conceptualising, executing and exiting the business. I enjoyed having real examples supporting the textbook, and somebody who could explain in layman terms. These powerful tools made me remember the concepts well, even though I wasn't reading off from the slides in class.

The weekly hourly breakouts was a really good concept in making us try out the different aspects involved in being an entrepreneur e.g. negotiating for investment funds, finding out how people sell, learning how to make cold calls etc. Since everything was hands on, it was a living classroom and the best way to learn.

What I think I could have done to learn better
Had our group chosen to stick with the original idea throughout, I would have been able to appreciate the weekly breakouts even more, and built up a stronger business plan. Also, it will be great if we can hand in the weekly tasks week by week so that by the end of the semester, the business plan will be very concrete since we would have immediately applied what we learnt into the plan. Perhaps the next time EBC class could also have an assignment by week 4 to fix a business plan for the benefit of all students.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Eileen Ewe

Initially I took this module because I needed a module to clear my Technology and Entrepreneurship component. I thought it would be just another module that I had to go through before I can graduate. I didn’t know what to expect. However I was wrong, this module wasn’t just another SMU module. It gave me a lot of insights on entrepreneurship and it got me thinking on the possibility of being an entrepreneur.

This module showed me the process that an entrepreneur had to go through. The journey for an entrepreneur may not be easy but it is definitely fulfilling. After completing the project and seeing the complete business plan, I was impressed with what the 6 of us could do in such a short period of time. It was really satisfying. And I believe this is what an entrepreneur would actually experience in the real world. It is amazing how the 6 of us actually came together to come up with the one business idea and worked on developing it together.

This is also the first time I am taking a module under Prof Pamela Lim. I really think that her teaching style does give us an insight on what is it really like in the real world especially through her breakout sessions. The most memorable one would be the assignment which we had to call a reporter to get them to cover our business idea.

With Prof’s guidance, we were given more in-depth insights of the journey of an entrepreneur. EBC is definitely one of the most relevant modules. I’m glad I took it before I graduate from SMU. If I had not taken this module, I would not have even considered being an entrepreneur even though I might have some business ideas in mind. It really got me thinking on whether I would want to move on to be an entrepreneur in the future.

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EBC-2011/12 Term 2-Harini Melissa Baptist

by Harini Melissa Baptist

My EBC journey has certainly been one to remember. What set aside this course from the many others I have taken through my three years at SMU was that it was almost a life lesson. It wasn’t something that could simply be learnt from a textbook. Having an actual entrepreneur, and a highly successful one at that, guide us through the course helped a lot as it is always easier to learn through real life stories and experiences than from a textbook.

I learnt quite a few lessons that could be applied to your personal life and not just to entrepreneurship. Having the courage to dream big, believing in yourself, not being afraid of failure and pursuing your dreams; are some of them. These are lessons that don’t only apply to life as an entrepreneur. They are lessons that should guide our everyday lives, so when it finally comes to an end, we exit with no regrets.

Like I’ve said previously, I never had any interest for entrepreneurship. It simply wasn’t something I felt I could ever get excited about. But learning so much about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the process, and stories or success and failures has made me respect entrepreneurs a great deal and is definitely now something that excites me and inspires me. Not only has it instilled in me there interest for the field but it has also equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field.

The lessons learnt were many. The importance of recognizing opportunities, the realization that no idea is stupid, the importance of a business plan and coming up with some form of structure. Other lessons I learnt through Professor Pamela’s experiences and those of some of the guest speakers’ was the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring different opportunities; being open to new things. For example, stepping out of your comfort zone and making friends with people from foreign countries and cultures very different to your own, or going on a Business Study Mission to another country could help you build contacts and present you with new ideas and a world of opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise stumble upon. It also inculcates in you an understanding of different cultures which is always useful to an entrepreneur when doing business or negotiating with foreign parties.

The course has definitely made me respect entrepreneurs but has it converted me into an entrepreneur? I’m not sure. But if I find an idea that I am truly passionate about, this course has given me the confidence to pursue it with no fear!

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EBC-2011/2012Term2-Siew Vin See

I have never had so much fun doing a project! EBC is one of the most interesting and enjoyable modules I have ever taken in my SMU life thus far. That said, the project is also one of the tough ones. Within a span of a mere few weeks, we have to brainstorm viable business ideas, develop it further and factor in the various aspects that make an idea works, and finally write out a business plan that is attractive to the investors. I've never felt happier completing a project. Not because it's over but seeing our ideas developing into feasible business plan is truly satisfying. Each one of us in the group comes from different backgrounds. Everyone has something different to offer. Sometimes a team of 6 can be a chaos because everyone wants different things and is extremely difficult to come to a consensus but for our group, we did not have that problem. Even though we are all different, we all have a common goal. We really want to start a F&B business. My group mates are some of the best group members I have ever worked with. It's a great feeling working with like-minded people. I think I've found myself potential business partners if I really do walk down the entrepreneurial road. I believe the friendships forged here will not just end here and I'm truly grateful for that.

Most importantly, Prof Pamela Lim did a wonderful job in guiding us how to make your business idea sells and how to pitch your ideas. Also, the things that we need to take note of when pitching our ideas. It's truly amazing how I manage to remember the things that Prof Pamela mentioned in class so easily - know your numbers well, bring your products along when pitching your ideas, be passionate/confident, tell your story (make your own story into an advantage for yourself), etc. I guess this is hugely attributable to Prof's style of teaching. Thank you Prof for always sharing your personal experiences and incorporating teaching materials into it to make it more "real" for us. It's enriching to learn from someone who has been there done that.

In addition, I've gained a lot from the breakout sessions. These sessions gave me the chance to hone my presentation skills, which I'm lacking, and pushed me to do things I never thought I would do - calling newspapers to pitch our business ideas to get coverage, looking for funding for our business ideas, etc. Of course, I did not do it well the first time but Prof taught us how we can do it better and the class also shared their experiences and their strategies.

Another thing I'm thankful for is the class. Everyone in the class is so willing to share and give advices on how everyone can improve their business ideas further. I've learnt a great deal from the class discussion. It is encouraging and motivating. Seeing how my classmates are passionate and full of drive has inspired me to do the same. In the past, starting up a business seems to just be an idea that lingers at the back of my head. However, right now, after completing the EBC module, I'm more confident in taking action and making that into reality.

Thank you so much Prof, A drop of honey and class! I'm so glad I took this module :)

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Melvin Tiong

by Melvin Tiong

Going through 13 weeks of Prof Lim’s course on entrepreneurship has taught me a great deal many things, many of which cannot be so easily summarized in such a short journal, but I will do my best to list them out.

The course has provided lots of great resources and tips for anyone who's ever thought about setting up a business of his or her own. In the course, I first found out that having your company become an "official" business was as simple as filling in your company's particulars and going through a few clicks online, with the cost of doing so being literally just a few dollars. Doing so immediately gives you your license to operate and take your first step on the road towards self-made wealth.

The course also provided a great many things to watch out for in order to prevent your business from getting blindsided from things that an inexperienced entrepreneur might not have been aware of. Things like legal and regulatory constraints, intellectual property issues, and the importance of maintaining a positive cash balance were essential nuggets of information that would greatly reduce the chances of one’s business failing due to a tragic oversight. Many first-time entrepreneurs fail because of peripheral matters such as these, and to see that happen is a waste. Thankfully, this course goes some way in helping young aspiring entrepreneurs to prevent that.

Breakout sessions conducted during the course were also an effective and engaging way of getting the class to learn. Had we been given the standard input formula – that of just sitting down and being receptors of a lecture dished out by Prof, we probably would not have found the course very practical or “real”. However, by being assigned a group activity for us every week to brainstorm on, we really practiced the skills taught to us during the earlier lecture, ensuring that we had a good knowledge of both theory and the practical. At the beginning of the course, Prof flashed a slide saying that the retention rate from lecture teaching is far lower compared to that of group practice – and I have to say that based on my experience from this class it seems very accurate.

Also, one takeaway I especially remember from Prof’s lectures is that you have to be thick-skinned in order to accrue the most benefit for yourself. I’m not one who particularly likes making a cold call to someone who’s never spoken to you – in fact, I absolutely dread it. But from Prof’s experience we can see that much of her success is a result of the lack of fear of communicating with someone to get something that you need. The art of talking to strangers will truly bring you far in business, and this is a skill that I plan to develop in future.

From this course, I’ve also learnt that managing and running a business, though not impossible, is definitely not easy. Being the boss means that you will have to put on different hats and be well-versed in many different aspects – operations, marketing, finance , sales, and human resources – they all are important and come together to form your business, with the failure of one part meaning the possible failure and downfall of the whole business. Being an entrepreneur means that you can’t just be an expert in your product, you also have to be proficient in managing the whole system that delivers your product to consumers. I’m thus thankful that the course was able to give a good foundation in all of these aspects – and this was summarily practised and well-tested when we had to write up the business plan for our final group project.

I’ve also realized that entrepreneurship is sometimes all about having a great team. The sum of many capable people with chemistry and in synergy with each other produces work that is far greater than simply the sum of their individual work. Being in a great team means that good ideas can bounce off each other and quickly become increasingly refined, and it also means that people can specialize in the things they do best for the rest of the team. The experience of working with my group members – Salvin, Jac, Jay, Jiawen, Jurane, and Randall – to materialize our chosen business into the form of a business plan was a fond and memorable part of my SMU life.

I thus have no regrets in taking this course, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering stepping out onto the brave and adventurous path of entrepreneurship. The skills, insights, and perspectives picked up in this course have prompted my thinking in more ways than one – and these are things which are literally likely to change my life .

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EBC-2011/12Term2- Hannah Sim Zihui

I started attending the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation module with some apprehension and skepticism. I must admit that I entered the class not feeling very entrepreneurial and have never seriously considered starting my own business. Like many other girls, my previous ‘entrepreneurial’ ideas have always been fleeting and revolved around starting my own bakery. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh gosh, how am I going to survive the next 13 weeks?” But survive I have, and I leave with many lessons that I will remember dearly as I go onto the next phase of my life.

Through the weekly breakout lessons, I learnt that theory doesn’t just exist in textbooks but can be applied in the real world as well. The breakout sessions aimed at helping us focus on our projects added an element of realism to our school project. Our business idea became more developed and less like an ordinary school project each week as we prepared for breakout sessions. It also helped us to constantly assess the viability of the business. The different ‘challenges’ that we had to complete also made taught me that I should never underestimate how much can be accomplished in one hour. In that one hour, we managed to collect relevant data, make slides and still have a little time left over for a quick snack. The weekly breakout sessions also made me a bolder and more confident presenter. Somehow or another, I found myself volunteering to present our findings to the class whenever the opportunity came along. I guess the saying is true: The more you confront your fear, the faster you overcome it.

While working on the business plan, we met with a few problems such as difficulties in discovering a suitable target market and subsequently, estimating a reasonable market size. While SPACES is mainly a web service, anyone and everyone can use it, we did not want to cast a net too wide such that we end up losing our brand personality. At the same time, we did not want to limit ourselves too much and end up targeting too small a market. I remember the endless Skype meetings where we discussed and debated over the appropriate method to estimate our consumer base. One thing I really treasure is how we thought out of the box during these meetings and found creative ways to solve our problems. Also, the very fact that I was doing this with a group of highly committed and fun loving friends helped a lot. Our group dynamics was certainly one of the best I’ve ever experienced throughout my SMU life.

One of the things that I remember very clearly is Prof’s advice that there always has to be a leader. It is drastically different from what other management professors have advocated. Also, doing projects with friends means that there is a tendency to resist appointing a leader as we share the mentality: “Why should she lead when she’s just the same as me?” But I’ve grown to appreciate that this is, perhaps, the wrong thinking. Many a times, I’ve found myself growing frustrated at being stuck in a never-ending meeting where people continuously talk in circles and we end up with no conclusion. On hindsight, I realise that this inefficiency is most probably due to the lack of a leader to steer the direction of discussion. We floundered as there was no clear leadership. With this in mind, I resolve to be better, and step up to lead in the future instead of just sitting in my chair fuming.

Lastly, during the guest seminar, I received a much needed reminder to take intelligent risks in myself. The three speakers had a common recurring theme – believe in yourself and have passion. I particularly enjoyed the ending video posted by our alumni, Vincent. Indeed, we are our worst enemies and are the only people limiting what we can achieve. One regret I have is that I did not have someone tell me this when I was a freshman. Maybe my approach towards my SMU life would be different and my path would have crossed with many other people.

Did going through the class convince me that I have a hidden entrepreneur inside me? I will not lie and say that I now aspire to become an entrepreneur. As guest speaker Jeffrey Paine once said, and I quote loosely, “if everyone rushes off to be an entrepreneur, who will work for them?” I have learnt that I am not ready for what being an entrepreneur entails – the obstacles to overcome, the noise to ignore and the commitment to fight and see your ‘baby’ come to fruition. But at the same time, I am not ruling out the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur. Life’s too short to limit what one can or cannot do. Maybe in the future, you’ll find a bakery opened by me. I am this close to graduating and I believe whatever I’ve learnt will stay with me and help me as I progress in my career. (:

Thank you Prof for always being so encouraging and designing a course that combines both learning and fun!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Albert Ng

by Albert Ng

During EBC class

During EBC class

During EBC class
Learn how to pitch investors

EBC class has been an awesome journey for me. At first, I was a bit reluctant to bid for this class. But after hearing positive remarks from my friends about Prof. Pamela Lim, I’ve decided to take this one. And true to their saying, Prof. Pamela Lim is such an inspiring woman. I can clearly see her passion for entrepreneurship right from the first class. And what's great about the class, it’s unlike your usual class in SMU. You can expect the mixture of break out activity and group presentation each week, which puts the learning into practice.

Since I took the EBC class, it doesn’t mean that I already have a clear vision to become an entrepreneur one day. As the eldest son in the family, I carry the responsibility to become a role model for my younger siblings. At the same time, I also want to see my parents proud of me. However, my idea of success in the past was confined to getting high-paying job only. It’s too bad that I never seriously considered being an entrepreneur until I learnt that I could get more from it.

Being an entrepreneur, I can turn my ideas into a real business. But an idea is not just a mere idea. As mentioned by Prof. Pamela, I had to think of the opportunities given by the idea and most of all is its feasibility. When my team and I first came up with mommyQ idea, we had to question ourselves regarding its feasibility in the market context. The thinking process was very much different compared to that of my other projects, and in fact it kind of frustrated us a lot in the beginning.

EBC class also covered many aspects of a business such as the creation of a business plan, marketing mix, costing, and financial valuation. It also discussed on making sales call and other related matters. But why entrepreneurs need to learn all of them? Prof. Pamela once told us that one needs to be good at everything to become a successful entrepreneur. However, I realize that as a potential start up, I may lack in many areas given the limited experiences I have, and this makes me realize the importance of having someone who can provide a good guidance - Prof. Pamela is one example of a great mentor.

After 13 weeks of fruitful journey, I have come to the end of EBC class. Having seen successful young entrepreneurs in guest lecture seminar and also learnt from Prof. Pamela herself makes me to aspire to become an entrepreneur in the future. By being an entrepreneur, I could do so much more than be just another corporate rat.

As a firm believer of giving back to the society, I like the idea of social entrepreneurship a lot. As an international student coming from Indonesia, I have a dream to bring a change to my country, where majority are still living below the poverty line. So through this, I hope that I can live a fulfilled life. All in all, EBC class has been a rewarding experience for me and I believe everyone in the class feels the same too. Many thanks to Prof. Pamela Lim for being so insightful to all of us=)

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Amelia Ristiyana Husodo

Entrepreneurship has always been an idea I’m interested in but never have the guts to pursue; I felt that I lacked the fundamental skills and the guidance needed. As such, when I came across a vacancy at entrepreneurship and business creation (EBC) class, I decided to bid for it and the rest is history.

Throughout this journey, not only do I learn a lot, but I also have lots of fun. I learnt the importance of business plan and the process of creating it. There were times where it was stressful and difficult, such as when my group mates and I needed to churn out our brain juice to come up with a feasible business idea. But it was definitely worth the hard work and we had a lot of good laughs throwing funny ideas until finally coming out with a great idea of ours - mommyQ. I was truly glad that I had my group mates along the journey. Besides forging new friendships, I learnt from them how to complement and help each other in the process of creating our business plan. We learnt to support one another in most of things we do; when I needed someone to help me bring the gong to class, they were there to help. Going through the breakout session with them also made it even more fun.

From the breakout session, I learnt how to build up my courage to tackle the challenges and be more confident in my impromptu presentation skill. I enjoyed running around school to complete the tasks such as ordering food for the whole class and analyzing the level of services offered by different shops; it made me look at the many things around school from a different perspective – an entrepreneur perspective. Through this session, I also discovered an avenue for young entrepreneurs offered in school; one of our breakout sessions even gave us the opportunity to share our ideas and receive suggestions from IIE to further take business plan to the next level.

Guest seminars, class lectures, and examples shown in class also gave me insights on how to be a great entrepreneur. During our guest seminars, I learnt the importance of being sincere and aiming high for our startups from Jeffrey Paine. His unconventional way of sharing his advices to the students had really made an impact for me to continue challenging myself and to think through an idea I’ve been thinking for a while. The class lecture had really given me insights on all the fundamentals entrepreneurs needs such as source of funding and the different IPR. Another important thing I learnt is how to always know the value of my company and other important numbers in of my head all the time. Although I am not a finance person, I now know how crucial it is for me to master this skill.

I have also learnt from my classmates. Learning more about their business plans’ and hearing constructive feedbacks on my group’s own business plan has given me more insight in what people like and dislike from a business and what would made people invest in startups.

It was all with the help of a knowledgeable Professor, a hardworking TA, my supportive group mates and classmates that I managed to learn a lot from just this one term attending EBC class.

Has the course tackled my reasons of not pursuing entrepreneurship yet? Definitely! And with class term ending before summer holiday, who knows what I can do with the 3 months ahead given the many insights I’ve received from class. Thank you everyone for making this term the most fruitful yet for me.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Tan Chay Ling

by Tan Chay Ling

1) Changed perspectives – debunked misconception

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn

I came across the above quote several years ago and it seemed to suggest to me that making big money cannot happen through formal education but only via self-education. Indeed, I have always wondered how entrepreneurship can be taught via a module in school – all the cases of famous and rich entrepreneurs who were school drop-outs gave me a misconception that entrepreneurship is simply not something to be associated with formal schooling and that it cannot be taught. As such, I came to EBC class, excited in anticipation about how Prof can prove to me otherwise. I must say I am definitely very satisfied with the outcome - Taking this course has debunked this misconception which I have had for years, the misconception that entrepreneurship should be entirely self-learnt and little can be reaped through learning entrepreneurship in school.

2) Key takeaways and learning points

Whenever I tell people I am taking an entrepreneurship course, the most common response I get is “What.. How can entrepreneurship be taught?” Now I can confidently tell them, yes, there are some skills and experience sharing which can be taught in school. There are many things which I have learnt in class about starting a business – ranging from negotiation skills when dealing with venture capitalists who are out to claim a huge equity stake in your company to how to better protect yourselves through drafting of contracts and even the preferred joint venture structure for businesses. These are knowledge that are probably hard to hone just through self-education. In addition, I also saw the value of learning important skills required to start a business through the textbook. All the breakout sessions derived from the textbook, case studies and key pointers gained through reading it are very valuable as well.

Of course, other than the key hard facts, I have gained a lot of insights about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Other than sheer hard work and determination, being a good entrepreneur requires the heart and passion, and the desire to change something. Nobody ever said the journey will be easy, but they only promised it will be worth it.

3) EBC classes – a real enjoyment

The past 13 weeks have been really enjoyable and I thoroughly enjoyed the free-reign Prof gave us during the breakout sessions which allowed us to learn through doing as well as learn through sharing and listening to the viewpoints of our fellow classmates. Many of our classmates had really great ideas and insights which I enjoyed listening to. The passion that Prof and my classmates have about entrepreneurship is really contagious and I find myself gradually getting more and more excited about new business ideas. Interestingly, EBC turned from just being a “filler” module for graduation, to a module which I am excited and happy to be in. Despite it being a Friday morning class, I look forward to attending the sessions which are really fun and engaging and I rarely feel bored in class. I also like the fact that Prof never shoots down anybody’s ideas harshly. Her faith in students and constant encouragement is something which I admire a lot.

4) What next?

Honestly speaking, being an entrepreneur was never one of my career options prior to coming to this class as I come from a less well-to-do family where I see my dad working really hard just to make ends meet. As such, I have been extremely driven in school all my life so that I can get a ‘good’ conventional job to let my parents retire comfortably. I know this is a typical Singaporean mentality, but from my perspective, I cannot afford to take any form of risks in failing as my parents are depending on me for their retirement. As such, I have always automatically dismissed any business idea as impossible to execute and too risky.

My EBC journey has been life-changing, I know it sounds cliché but I do mean it. After taking this class, I am no longer ‘allergic’ to the idea of starting my own business in the future and this change in perspective is definitely my greatest takeaway from this course. Even though I know I would not be starting my business in the next 5 years at least as I would be joining a ‘conventional’ firm as an employee upon graduation, I am no longer against the idea of starting my own business sometime in the future when I do come across an exciting business idea.

Thanks Prof, all my SPACES teammates as well as fellow classmates who have changed me. Your passion and enthusiasm has definitely rubbed off on me. I wish all of you success in your start-ups and in turning them from dreams into reality.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Ken Chang Yuan Shao

by Ken Chang Yuan Shao

My last journey as a SMU student

As a final year student, I shall take the risk of being honest. I took up EBC mainly because I had to fulfill my T&E course requirement. So I was naturally skeptical of what I can learn when I first entered the class. However, my view has changed after this 13 weeks of lessons. EBC has made learning a difficult subject to teach, entrepreneurship, practical and highly relevant.

Initially, I was surprised by the format of the class, which consisted of regular presentations every week and lessons after the break. I imagined that it would be tiring, but the presentations turned out to be pretty fun, always involving us to check out real vendors and businesses, which created a practical relevance to the course. Practical relevance is an essential ingredient to teach a course like EBC, and that was grounded well with this format. I will always grin back at the times like when I had to sneak into a brow-trimming salon and pretend to be a customer, pushing my mediocre acting skills to the limit.

The lessons reviewed and summarized what we had just went through succinctly, often making key points out of our presentation and practical assignment experience, and linking to Professor Pamela Lim’s own experience and stories. The content was highly relevant and engaging, especially some of the classes about accounting/business management software available, how to handle partners, what entity to register your company as, and more. There were also stories by guest speakers that were taught under Pamela before, who guided them in their journey to become an entrepreneur and helped them in whatever way she could. I could tell from her strong relationship with the students that she really invested time into talking to students and helping them. That point particularly impressed me, and it was a good opportunity to hear from the experiences of true local entrepreneurs that had just left school not too long ago.

I thought that I did not have the entrepreneurial streak in me, but through this course I was reminded of how I had filed for a business under ACRA before, but which I did not pursue fully as my partners were all busy in their own pursuits; how I bidded for treehouse/glassroom before, hoping to try the entrepreneurial experience before I left SMU. I realized the commitment of the founding partners is extremely important, and that this might just be a wrong time for me as I have already committed to another career path. But I hope to come back into this in the future, even if I won’t be a young hotshot entrepreneur anymore.

Working with my group mates was a great experience, starting from our rushed experience in our week 5 initial presentation of our project to our final investor pitch in week 11. I have described my personal journey in my previous journals, but what has changed for me has been how the team has bonded over the many activities we have done, and really contributed to producing a great report and presentation. The idea sounded interesting and plausible at the start of EBC. But with all the hard work we have done in surveying and market sizing, we believe in the strategic value and high feasibility of our project. It is truly something that I would like to invest in if Sharon carried on with implementing the business. At the end of my EBC journey, I can’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction in seeing how the idea of SPACES has been given substance and flesh.

And so I took on the duty of directing and editing the final teaser video for EBC, which I thoroughly enjoyed producing. It encapsulates what we have been through, and hopefully will bring laughter and acknowledgement as you watch the clip. This video has brought my EBC journey to end with a bang.

Thank you to Pamela Lim and Ai Ling for making one of my last courses in SMU rewarding and enjoyable. A most fitting end to my SMU journey. Bon Voyage! And hope to meet you all again in the future.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Div Teng

by Div Teng

This semester was an amazing journey for me because EBC provided me the know-how while TA-ing TWC reminds of the core fundamentals.

From Divaloons to Parti is moving from 3 services to an array of services.

The author from outliers highlighted “spend 10,000 hours and you become world class”. It is hard to spend 10,000 hours on balloons alone what more 10,000 hours for countless services under Parti. I recall a nickname my friends gave me, Superman. But the matter of fact is even Superman can’t be at two places at the same time. One cannot do everything. We need a power pact team, good mentors and a heart willing to be good disciples.

I’m thankful for an amazing team and good mentors that speak into my life.

TWC taught me "you need to find a good partner, one that you really love perhaps more than your spouse".
EBC then added on "this partner must be one that is complementary of you".

Today I can proudly say Zi Rong, Shaun, Kai Sheng, Dorothy and Doreen are people all worth fighting for and even dying for. We really find partners through pouring our lives into theirs. Zi Rong a mirror of me who thinks of things I tend to forget, Shaun a risk adverse person who keeps me from taking just too much. Kai Sheng, a positive worker that learns anything just to make it happen, Dorothy a lady who would lay down her live for a cause she truly believes in and Doreen who always gives sacrificially for her team. What more can I ask for something I did not earn?
“People invest in people”.
I know somehow with this amazing team, we will achieve amazing heights.

What about mentorship? Through EBC I realise the need to work further on another part of my character - be a good disciple. Many say the young are hot headed, irrational and absolutely stubborn. That is precisely what makes us young isn’t it? Perhaps this is the reason why we have so much energy and perseverance. Yet it could be our fatal weakness. We need to humble to ourselves listen, open our hearts to good advice and act on it. Yet this humbling process is never easy. How did I work on it through EBC? Think before replying. If I can’t find a good reply, it means I have not understood the point. I should then ask questions for clarification and listen further.

What about the good investors?

After watching Shark Tank I asked “Why do entrepreneurs accept such a low valuation”. The post discussion birthed a possible answer. It was not money they were looking for but a partner that could open up new markets and provide expertise required in the next phase of growth.

To get sound investors/partners you need a sound business plan. I never bothered writing one so I lacked that skill. Prof Pamela through EBC equipped me with this tool and I began using it. It now serves as a KPI checklist, a means to share my direction to my team and a tool to bring in investors who can take us to the next level.

What about making the dollar and cents count? We wanted Parti to be very profitable but our labour cost was too high. Our present solution is to create subsidiaries in the services we provide. For example, Parti engages balloon sculpting services from Divaloons, catering services from Good Taste and audio systems from Pure Music. The only catch is more eggs in the same basket.
Perhaps another solution was provided in session 11. “Technology is always cheaper because humans will want a pay rise, causing HR issues but technology is a fixed cost”. We may end up inventing pop-corn machines that are automatic using a couple of cell phones.

Perhaps that's a hint I need to take TE? After all who says a technical entrepreneur must have lost of background in technology.

In all EBC TWC was really an opportunity to understand my own business better, evaluate new revenue options and setting good culture. I’m sure these skill sets and values would also help me as I venture into my second industry - F&B. This industry I believe will put our knowledge on marketing into test.

Now that we are done with the talking, I’m excited for what awaits my team as we walk the talk of Entrepreneurship and Business Creation.
Multi-billion group of companies with a team compassionate for CSR through building economies all started out with Prof Pamela, TWC and TE.
For the Win my friends!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Stanley Tan Weijie

by Stanley Tan Weijie




Great quote from fellow group 'A Drop of Honey'
Candy floss from fellow group 'Parti'

My Journey:

Like the old saying goes ‘all good things must come to an end’. Writing this journal marks the end of the wonderful 13 weeks of my EBC journey, as well as my 4 years of SMU life. An influx of mixed emotions I must say. On one hand I am happy that classes have finally come to an end. On the other hand, I am a little poignant that I will not be able to work with the same team again.

As a matter of fact, EBC was not a compulsory module for me. It was an elective module and hence I was not expecting a lot out of it. But at the end of the day, I was more than glad I took it because I have gained much more than what I expected. Learning here takes a different form, very different from the other modules, and truly unique. I enjoyed coming to EBC classes even though it’s 830am in the morning!


(1) Learning From One Another

There was a good mix of individuals in my team. My team mates were from an array of different schools and different majors. It was a great learning exposure for me as I was able to get to know them and understand their different backgrounds. I personally feel the most important factor to success in a team is the working relationship between each individual. I can proudly say that within these 13 weeks, I have established amicable working ties with all of my team mates.

Learning does not just end here within my team. Fellow classmates are also an important learning source. From things like the comments in the EBC Facebook page to business idea presentations, everything is a learning point. Through them, I am not confined to only my own view, I am also exposed to an array of different opinions.

(2) Experiential Learning

I liked the breakout sessions in particular. It was something I have not experienced in all of my other classes in my 4 years of SMU life, something that was atypical of the regular seminars in school. It was not just me sitting in the audience seat, staring blankly into the professor and the cold hard lecture slides.

EBC gave me a chance to apply what I have learnt in class to the real world. I remembered vividly the breakout session where my team had to call up a newspaper agency to get them to feature our business idea. I had a misconception that to have a story published on a newspaper, I will always have to wait for the reporter to approach me rather than the other way around. Newspaper agencies are as hungry for your story as you are for a space in their newspapers. That particular breakout session taught me to be proactive in looking for opportunities. I remembered when I was much younger, in my primary and secondary school days, I was a kid who was eager and not afraid to get the the things I want and to voice out my opinons. And I was also probably the student who irritated teachers a lot by asking them questions. Somehow or rather, after that phase, I became rather passive in a lot of things. And I am really glad EBC rekindled this pro-activeness in me again.

(3) Risk-Taking: No Pain No Gain

What is entrepreneurship without risk? If you do not take the first step out, you will never know the outcome. I see myself as the typical Singaporean student which the education system has moulded us to be – risk averse, and low tolerance of failure. Every decision made contains a certain degree of risk. Through EBC class, I have learnt to take the appropriate risks and to accept failures more easily.

(4) Never Too Late for Entrepreneurship

I am very grateful for the guest seminar, where entrepreneurs from 3 different generations shared their take on entrepreneurship. It showed me entrepreneurship transcends all ages. One is never too young or too old for entrepreneurship. As long as I have the determination in doing something, it does not matter if I am 25 or 85 years old.

(5) Pursue Your Dreams

Ideas will always remain as ideas if we do not turn them into opportunities! From the speakers at the guest seminar to Prof’s students, they have all shown me that as long as you are passionate about doing something, you can make it into a viable business opportunity. I have actually been applying for jobs because of their higher salaries so that I can pay off my school fees as soon as possible. I actually do not have much interest in most of the jobs that I have applied. It sets me thinking that rather than slogging my life for a job which I am not interested in, why not do something which I truly enjoy. Even though the pay might not be as lucrative, but as long as it is something which I am passionate about, I think it is definitely worth giving a shot.

Lastly, I would like to thank Prof and fellow classmates for making EBC such an interesting and convivial class to be in.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Low Wen Yan, Richard Andrew

My first presentation in school 4 years ago. Thats me in the centre.

My first presentation in school 4 years ago. Thats me in the centre.

When I first stepped into University, I literally stepped into Prof’s TWC class. That class was fun and here is a picture to prove it. I still remember that I presented on the four types of innovations – radical, incremental, architectural and modular.

Now that I am graduating, my EBC experience is the closest thing that I have done to entrepreneurship. Although I will probably incubate for my world-changing business idea for a few more years, this experience has taught me a few things. In fact, I would describe my EBC journey as architectural because not only did it change my understanding of the key success factors, but it also redefined the relationships between those factors.

Changing the world with tenacity and a vision – One thing that I am dead sure is that entrepreneurship is difficult. Problems will pop up at every stage of the organisation’s growth and healthy doses of tenacity will be necessary to keep the entrepreneur going. Being able to go the distance means being prepared to over setback after setback until the company’s big break comes.

To me, tenacity is not sufficient. Everyone will feel burned out after a while, and when that happens, the vision will sustain the entrepreneur. Thus, there should be a higher calling. A well thought out vision that promises to transform and revolutionalise the other people’s lives will provide added impetus and passion to the entrepreneur to last the entire distance.

Managing innovation – I used to think that a start-up’s biggest asset is its product. As the saying goes, “a good product will sell itself”. I also used to believe that innovation drives entrepreneurship. To me, the successful entrepreneur had to be an innovator first, and then a manager second. However, at the end of this class, I see it as the other way around.

The epiphany came when Prof said that anything that you cannot do well just pay someone to do it for you. Entrepreneurship is not a one man show. I remember reading that entrepreneurs are resource managers and then it all clicked. Successful entrepreneurs do not necessary need to have the idea, they just know to decide the right mix of marketing, distribution, financing and innovation to bring a product successfully to the market. Entrepreneurship is the management of innovation and not the other way around.

I am glad I took this class because it felt like coming full circle with innovation and entrepreneurship.

P.S. Thanks prof!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Dennis Laurentius

by Dennis Laurentius
(Singapore, SIngapore)

A picture of me eating, doing what I know and love best. After EBC, I get to learn that I could peruse my passion and turn it into a profit-making endeavor so that I can succeed, just like Prof.

A picture of me eating, doing what I know and love best. After EBC, I get to learn that I could peruse my passion and turn it into a profit-making endeavor so that I can succeed, just like Prof.

I still remember back when I was a freshman, doing TWC under Prof Pam Lim: I was inspired by her entrepreneurship stories, and how she made her millions thus far. At that point in time, I never thought of being an entrepreneur: The thought was too far fetch, and I haven’t found the passion or reason to be one.

However, over the past 2 years things have changed. I have been exposed to SMU, and newfound passion for food. Suddenly, I have this urge kicked in of being an entrepreneur: I want to open my own restaurant someday. It all started by a trip to New York, and from there on, I got to write a blog on food and publication with SMU. I realize that I need to not only configure how will I share my passion to other people, but also turn this “passion” into an identified “opportunity” for an entrepreneurial endeavor.

So, without a doubt, I took another mod under Prof, Entrepreneurship and Business Creation. The title of the module alone answers to my inherent need of being an entrepreneur, and it is taught by Prof Pam Lim, one who has dabbled in it, and succeed before.

How has my ‘journey towards entrepreneurship’ bode so far? It seems like I’m on a right track. Prof started the class with her usual anecdotes on her days as an entrepreneur. Interspersing in between, she would teach us various ways a person – anybody – can start a business, from writing a business plan, to in-depth structure of the business plan, one not less important than the others.

By week 6 or so, I got to see how EBC has started to take an effect on me. Through class participations, fellow classmates will share links and thoughts on entrepreneurial matters, such as how to leverage on PR, and whether couple-entrepreneurship will work in Singapore. These are all interesting things that further add value to my learning ability as a future entrepreneur.

I found the meaning of true experiential learning though, through making a business plan for our project group mommyQ. From building an idea from starch (which I might say, is the most basic yet difficult step) to actually creating a sellable business idea, lots and lots of intricate steps were taken: From researching on outsourced companies for operations, to using PR as marketing means, these are all hands-on experience that will stick – at least for me – much better than any textbook or an A+ for an exam.

Now, I know a lot. What have I learned? Sure I have learned theories such as different means to fund your business (angels, venture capitalists) or even perusing balance sheet and net income. But more than that, it instill that much more passion in me – Through the success of our business plan, now I have the confidence that I can put my entrepreneurial knack and marry it with my passion and be a good entrepreneur. But yet again, have I really succeed? Prof told once in class that it is easier to shoot an idea down then tweaking and give good appraisals on it, so Prof will likely to encourage and give value-adding feedback, as opposed to concentrate on the negatives. I don’t know – Maybe out there, mommyQ will straightly be rejected – its reach might be too broad, or the partnership with RMG will not succeed, this and that. However, whatever happen on that day, Prof has definitely instill a confidence within me that my business indeed is good, and that I should just work to touch up on it rather than focusing on the negatives, since that process of idea making execution is undoubtedly the most daunting task for novice entrepreneurs.

If I were to look back at my year 1 self, I could never have thought that I would have the audacity to forego the luxury of ‘climbing the corporate ladder’. My parents have always been keen for me to follow in their footsteps on working for companies, but I have always been different – I wanted to ‘change the world’. Now, I know that I can change my parent’s point of view – I can show them, and I believe that I am a good entrepreneur thanks to EBC – Now, opening up a new business and proof my parents that there’s money to be made in entrepreneurship will be my goal. Tumble a lot, get back up again, I believe that I will succeed – Thanks Prof for instilling confidence within me, you have no idea how much your experience have taught me to persist.

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EBC-2011/12Term2 - Thomas Ding

The primary reason why I took up this course at the start of the year was because of my passion and interest in learning more about entrepreneurship. I was always keen on starting a business but I felt I lack the necessary knowledge and resources to do so. Throughout the entire 13 weeks, I have been exposed to a wide array of topics ranging from idea generation to making financial projections. I would not say the course has made me an expert at being an entrepreneur but it has certainly value-added my entrepreneurial journey.

Contrary to what others may think, I find the breakout sessions to be an effective way of learning. It is through these breakout sessions that I find myself stepping out of my comfort zone to perform acts such as cold calling companies. The main takeaway for me in this area is learning how to be flexible and the importance of adapting to new changes. After all, change is the only constant in the life of an entrepreneur.

From this course, I have also realized that starting a business is not easy as it sounds. To run a successful business, I would have to be well versed or at the bare minimum, understand all the operations within the business. I struggled to understand some of the financial content covered in class and it is good because it highlighted the areas in which I need to work on. Fortunately, there is also the element of task delegation and it is through the final group project that I understood its true value. I was fortunate to have teamed up with a group of capable individuals and because everyone had an area of expertise and were able to communicate effectively, we were able to complete the project without any major hiccups. My experience working with them was definitely a good and memorable one.

In my opinion, a great team constitutes a comfortable environment where its team members can freely share ideas. Like any other businesses in reality, the ones that make it big are the ones that have an excellent culture.

It is evident that prof encourages peer learning through the use of an online forum. I actually think it is a great idea and many people have shared quality articles from all over the Internet. Even though the class has ended, I do hope people continue posting articles and videos into the forum to keep it alive. They say learning happens outside of class and this forum has filled up the gap between what I’ve learnt in class and what is actually happening in the real world.

Lastly, what made this course particularly interesting was because prof shared her relatable experience with us on a regular basis. She has also arranged for us a guest speaker seminar and for a course like EBC, nothing is more appropriate than having seasoned entrepreneurs giving us guidance and sharing with us inspiring success stories. All in all, I have learnt a lot from this class, both from prof and my peers alike. If I were in a position to make a difference to how classes are conducted at SMU, I would definitely other classes to take on a similar style of learning.

Before I end off, I would like to thank prof and those who have impacted my life within these 13 weeks! Thank you!

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EBC-2011/12Term2- Randall Wong Yong Huat



EBC has been a great learning journey for me in the past 13 weeks. In addition to picking up the hard skills of writing a business plan, I have gained much through listening and learning from the personal experiences of my fellow course mates, guest speakers during the seminar, and Prof.

3 key takeaways for me, Entrepreneurship is about:

1. Passion, Purpose and Drive
Through the past few months, my team worked closely with the management team of Gspot, in particular Kent. Kent is the rare breed of SMU graduate turned entrepreneur, who did extremely well academically but dared to be different and pursue his passion instead of following the herd into the corporate world of banks and MNCs.

From what I have personally observed from Kent, an entrepreneur has to possess the passion to build something from scratch and watch it grow in a highly unstructured environment. He or she must also believe that the business idea serve a purpose to make a difference to somebody by meeting a need or solving a problem. The drive to continuously learn, adapt, preserve and believe is important to create success, in addition to being at the right place at the right time. Even though learning from mistakes along the way is part and parcel of entrepreneurship, having a mentor to guide is critical for reducing the number of mis-steps and hence enhancing the chances of success.

2. Teamwork
The sum of all parts is greater than one. Teamwork is key to achieving success. I have been working closely with my team of 7 for this semester. Everyone of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. For example, one member can be good at the financials while the other is good at presenting. Like what Mr. Vincent Lai said in his seminar speech, it is all about winning as a team, not alone. Finding a good team with the right synergy is important. It reduces the chances of internal conflicts and enables the team to focus on achieving a common goal together as one.

3. Definition of success
I will always remember what Prof mentioned that definition of success differs from individual to individual. A successful entrepreneurship could be defined as making lots of money, watching the business grow and taking it as far as you could, getting an IPO, or simply being able to look after your family and yourself financially.

Lastly, to my course mates, Gspot team and Prof, thank you for the journey. I wish everyone the very best of luck in your future endeavours!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Charles Lesmana

by Charles Lesmana

Always remember to keep your feet on the ground, even if your head's in the clouds.

Always remember to keep your feet on the ground, even if your head's in the clouds.

The best thing about learning EBC under Prof Pamela is that I think the journey doesn't end here. Yes, the formal classes have ended, but entrepreneurship was never about merely sitting down in a seminar room and learning from a, for lack of a better word, master. It goes beyond. It's about the willingness to learn, fail and be mentored; about being inspired; about building a network of people; about bringing ideas into life. Ultimately, entrepreneurship is about nurturing and channeling the desire and passion to succeed into the creation of a business. What Prof Pamela did with EBC goes beyond teaching, and I will eternally be grateful to her for that.

The main thing that EBC leaves me is the desire and courage to succeed, without the fear of failure and stigma of setting up my own business. Being inspired and motivated to excel tops learning about the nitty gritty aspect of entrepreneurship. Don’t get me wrong: learning about the nitty gritty is great, but just how many Profs can inspire you? That’s something intangible that cannot be attained easily, and to have been blessed with the opportunity to learn under Prof Pamela is something I treasure for a long time to come.

Personally, my journey in EBC has not been smooth sailing. It has been a journey in the very essence of the word; a discovery of our business and ourselves. Throughout the process, we learnt a lot about ourselves and about gearing ourselves for success.

We started with a novel idea of setting up a marriage proposal consultancy. The idea was bold, provocative and refreshing. Some said the idea might work and some said we would fail because we were commercializing romance. Either way, we were determined there was a market for it, and the idea would blossom once people actually started seeing what the possibilities were. Fast forward one month later and we were back at square one. The survey results were polarized and not totally convincing. Some members lost faith in the idea. It felt like we were the captains of the Titanic, faced with the dilemma of evacuating or steering the ship into impending doom. Well, we jumped off.

Enter 4point3. Our new business idea stemmed from one of our group member, Diana. Diana is the co-founder of 4point3, a new student-run café that will launch in the SMU concourse in June. The business was in its final stages of getting the tender, but operations-wise, ideas were still being thrown left, right, center. We thought our EBC group could pitch in our own ideas and make this café different than all the campus cafés around. We were determined to professionalize the business and create a foundation for its future success.

Fast forward another one month, in the culmination of everything we’ve learnt and done, the 4point3 pitch was done. We told a story to the class and to Prof Pamela. We told them why we think 4point3 will be successful. Yet, that’s not the most wonderful thing. The ideas that we came up with will actually be implemented in the café. It’s just heartwarming to hear that all your efforts will manifest itself as something concrete, despite it not being our own idea. It doesn’t end there. With Prof Pamela’s guidance, the ordering system that we came up with is in the process of being refined to the point that a separate entity might be formed. You read that right: another business selling our restaurant management system might come to life sooner than you’d expect. And we’re looking global, thinking big and gunning for the moon. As a start, we’re looking at grants that we qualify for, with quantum amounts as high as half a million dollars. That’s $500,000 for 0% stake in the company. Are we sharks or what?

To end off, I’d just like to summarize what I’ve learnt in EBC. I’ve learnt to be flexible and adaptable. I’ve learnt to think strategically. I’ve learnt to think big, global and grand. Yet, I’ve also learnt to be a realist. I’ve learnt to be smart for myself (that buffer Prof Pamela mentioned in class has been on my mind ever since). I’ve learnt that success is not always defined by the dollar sign. I’ve learnt that in anything that you do, there’s always something to learn.

Thank you Prof Pamela for being, above all, an inspiration. As I’ve said, the journey doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning of my success story.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Marselia Tan

by Marselia Tan

As a business student who still has yet to declare a major, I bid for EBC class hoping to gain some insights about Entrepreneurship (Strategic Management) Major. It was not a wrong decision after all.

As a child, I grew up observing how my father setting up a business he was really passionate about. His joy, persistence, and commitment to being an entrepreneur were contagious. He had instilled in me the desire to manage my own start-up one day. However, after enrolling as an undergraduate in SMU, I started to deviate from this vision. I discovered that a lot of different career opportunities offer a stable income, attractive employee benefits and a work-life balance. These advantages are what all entrepreneurs, including my father, have to forfeit in the early stage of business operations. Well, will I be able to do it like my father did – surviving the early stage? I pondered about this and being a risk-averse person, I began to doubt my aspiration to start my own business. Do I have the knowledge, network, skills, and perseverance to do this?

Luckily, I feel that in the end of the course, my doubts were ceased and my questions were answered by Prof Pamela Lim and my peers, especially my teammates.

In my opinion, Prof Lim is one of the few lecturers in SMU who is really able to create a conducive and enticing atmosphere for learning. Honestly, morning classes have never been my favorites – but I’m proud to tell that I never had to skip even one EBC lecture. Her enthusiasm and sincerity –when talking about her ventures, her mentorship experiences, and even personal life stories– had convinced me that being an entrepreneur is very rewarding. The high self-esteem she exerts makes me believe that the hardships of entrepreneurial journey will turn someone to be stronger.

When formulating our business plan together with my teammates, I realize the importance of task assignment. I had always thought an entrepreneur must be an extremely well-versed individual with deep understanding about every aspect of business. As mommyQ business concept was being finalized, it was evident to me that starting a business requires a team with different skill sets that can complement each other. A one-man show is impossible, since individuals starting a business together need to support each other. For instance, although each member was assigned specific tasks according to his/her respective department, we help each other departments who found obstacles – for example: lack of information about competitors and determining strategic partner. To add on, I personally think conducting break-out sessions had made me learnt what entrepreneurs must do as they often are faced with task to finish in limited amount of time or resources. By working in teams, we were able to delegate works and expedite the overall process. The breakout sessions turned out to be interesting and fun, instead of stressful as I initially thought it would be.

After our business plan presentation, we gathered and assessed ourselves. We were exhausted, yes, but we agree that it was worth the while. Satisfaction and joy were what we felt when Prof Lim and our peers give positive comments and constructive feedbacks regarding our business’ feasibility. This eliminated my fear that entrepreneurs’ accomplishment might not compensate their physical, emotional, and monetary investments.

I find other groups’ business proposals as inspirational. Their business plans really reflect their uniqueness, passion, and area of expertise. I could not help but think that among these many individuals, some of them might have some similar apprehension to start their own business just like me. However, every group presented their business and answered the questions raised by the audience confidently, convincingly, and passionately. I learnt from my peers the importance of being well-prepared in doing due diligence. In their presentations, they also implicitly emphasize on how starting up a business, like choosing other career path, must be aligned with one’s passion. This reminded me back why I wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place. I envied how my father is able to turn what he loves into a whole business entity.

What I’m most grateful of is that this course has reminded me about what initially motivated to be an entrepreneur and get me being excited again to the prospect of being an entrepreneur. Living the emerging region of South East Asia, with its receptive potential customers and supportive governmental bodies, young entrepreneurs do have the advantage to start up their own businesses. Who knows what sector I could venture my future business into? Well, I would be foolish not to at least attempt starting up my own company!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Tay Ke Hui

by Tay Ke Hui

August 2009, I started my undergraduate life in Prof’s TWC class as a typical Singaporean student. Six semesters later, the most recent of which saw me sit in Prof’s EBC class, I think it’s time for me to shake off that stereotypical label of “potential-corporate-rat-from-SMU”.

The business opportunity that my team and I developed throughout the EBC course has turned out well. All the business plan projects that I’ve done previously in Marketing, Emerging Markets and Sustainable Business etc, have never shown as much feasibility of being successfully implemented in the real-world context as TravelSafe has. It may now very well be my first attempt at real entrepreneurship. Of course, there is a lot more work to be done, but I am that much closer to earning the new label of “SMU-student-turned-entrepreneur”.

From a lamenting comment about the lack of transport service providers that meet the needs and demands of a new-age working population to putting together a concrete business plan, the 13 weeks of EBC classes have been a learning journey for me. While I’ve taken away many other valuable lessons, these two learning points have been exceptionally benefitting:

1) Entrepreneurship requires due diligence.
The amount of hard work that my team and I poured into building the business plan is a testament of necessary research and preparation that precedes any entrepreneurial venture. Industry analyses, market research, operations planning are only a few areas that one needs to stress test even before there is a hint of plausible implementation in reality. Securing funds is relatively easy if you have a good business idea, but in order to be able to choose smart money over easy money, you have to put in extra effort to research and analyse the source of funds. Due diligence doesn’t just stop at information gathering. It also involves questioning your research, data and numbers multiple times over and going back to the drawing board when something doesn’t feel right. My teammates and I are well aware of the pains that we had to endure every time we were forced to take three steps back. But if you can’t even convince yourself in theory that the business idea is feasible, how can you expect it to work in practice?

2) Work with people who complement your strengths and weaknesses.
Presenting is my weakness; executing is my strength. It is definitely important to keep that in mind while building the management team and assigning roles/titles for an entrepreneurial start-up. The tremendous amount of work that is required during the initial phases of any start-up can be completed more efficiently and effectively if the management team comprises of people who have different niche areas. Having the right people work at areas that they are comfortable with and are good at not only saves time, but also ensures a smooth progression for the business. Using this strategy definitely worked for my team.

As EBC classes come to a close, I walk away with anticipation and excitement. TravelSafe has opened a chest of infinite possibilities and opportunities that incite me to take them on.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Clarinda Chia

I shall start off this journal by asking myself, “How did I come about to choose this module?”

To give an honest answer to my previous questions, my motivation for taking entrepreneurship and business creation (EBC) was not a strong one. This module was taken, simply to clear my technology and entrepreneurship (T&E) requirement, so that I am able to graduate. However, as I edge closer to the end of my university/study life, I have begun reflecting on what I have learnt not just for EBC but for the rest of my modules as well.

I found the EBC course useful in teaching us how to go about doing up a business plan for a start-up. Though I am not one who currently aspires to be an entrepreneur, I found the information and skills taught useful to know. The lesson on how to analyse numbers was one that I found interesting, particularly the Shark Tank videos. I saw the importanance in knowing how much your company is valued, so that you won’t be as “eaten up by a shark”. Despite the many things learnt, my key takeaway from this course is learning about the importance in how one is as a person. A point that was constantly brought up throughout the course, illustrating that investors do not invest in the product or the service per se, but in the person running that business. I find this extremely useful and was amazed at how a point can be so simple, yet enlightening.

As I am graduating this April, a lot of people have asked me what are my plans in the coming months. Being a major in Finance, graduating at this point of time was not the best timing. Looking around me, more than half of my friends (who are also looking for a finance job) are jobless, still frantically trying to look for a job in the financial sector, and I am not exception. Have I thought about being an entrepreneur? My older brother himself is a true entrepreneur, starting his own restaurant with live music entertainment at the age of eighteen. Despite him being my role model, going down the same route of entrepreneurship just didn’t seem the route for me. It could be my risk-adverse side, or it could be my lack in passion that has always made me feel that being an entrepreneur may not be the path for me. However, recently, my friends have certainly put that thought of being an entrepreneur into my head. They have said, “Clarinda, let’s go set up some business man, we can do it.” But what was my response?

What EBC has taught me was that people invest people, hence being able to sell myself confidently is important. Am I ready for it? The honest and hard truth is, no. No I am not ready to be an entrepreneur yet. No I do not want to set up a business with my friends now, as I feel that I still lack the confidence and the personal skills to sell myself, to convince of people to invest in me. Moreover, going into entrepreneurship now will just simply be for the sake of “having a job”, and not because I truly feel passionate about becoming an entrepreneur.

The question remains, will I ever become an entrepreneur? Maybe, some day, when I am ready to be the confident and passionate person I aspire to be. What the guest speakers, whom were invited to talk about their entrepreneurial ventures, taught me was that the entrepreneurial journey is a tough one, and that the reason for becoming an entrepreneur should be borned out of true passion and reason. Let’s hope that some day, I will be able to become that entrepreneur that is able to be a speaker that talks about my journey instead.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Jay Kishor Bheda

Coming from a business family, I have been exposed to entrepreneurship since an early age. I have always known that running your own business is a very stressful job and is not meant for everyone. Having seen my parents working odd hours, often till very late at night, I became quite dissuaded from entrepreneurship and aspired to have the comfort and security of a cushy banking job.

EBC for me was just “another” course, taken just as a stepping-stone towards my larger aim of graduating from university. Hence, my initial expectations as well as interest in this particular course were pretty low. However, 13 weeks into this course, I can safely say that there has been a significant difference, not only in my interest in this course, but also my inclination towards entrepreneurship in general.

They say that a course can only be as interesting as the professor and students taking part in it, and I must commend both Prof Lim, as well as my fellow classmates, for helping me have an awesome classroom experience. The facilitation and hands-on method adopted by Prof. Lim was very learning friendly, and helped me imbibe and internalize core concepts. My fellow classmates were also very proactive and attentive, frequently coming up with constructive suggestions during class, and posting interesting links on facebook when not. All this made EBC a very interesting, interactive and enjoyable course and it quickly became one of the highlights of my week.

The Business Plan project was also very interesting. Our group was one of the few ones fortunate to work on a plan for an actual start-up. While working on the plan, one of my biggest takeaways was that every aspect of a business was important. Be it marketing, finances, operations or customer relations- as a business you cannot afford to neglect anything. I also recognised the importance of business plans, many things that you cannot possibly think of while verbally discussing you idea, come to light when you write your business plan.

The biggest gain I had from this course, however, was the ignition of a small, but rapidly growing spark of entrepreneurship in myself. Working on the business plan, made me admire the way different aspects of business fit seamlessly together to give a good business model. My interaction with entrepreneurs coupled with the guest seminar made me value the satisfaction derived from pursuing your own dreams.

At this stage, I am still not sure of the career options I am going to take in life. For all I know, I might still become a banker. But having gone through this experience, I can now confidently say one thing. If ever, I get inspired by an idea that I think has the potential to change the world, I will definitely have the courage to pursue it.

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EBC-2011/2012Term2-Stella Ng Li Yun

Taking EBC has definitely changed my views on what entrepreneurship is all about. Prior to taking EBC, what entrepreneurship meant to me was a very shallow view where entrepreneurship simply meant starting one’s own business. Through the lectures conducted by Prof. Lim, the guests’ seminar, group presentations and breakouts, and Facebook discussion forum, my main takeaways on what entrepreneurship is all about are listed below:

(1) Entrepreneurship is about creativity. Entrepreneurs use innovation and hard work to overcome the various challenges that they are faced with on their paths to success. Additionally, in order to stand out from one’s competitors, novel and interesting ways to market one have to be devised.

(2) Entrepreneurship is about responsibility. Though entrepreneurs do not report to their bosses, they are accountable to their lenders, investors, friends and the ever present law of profitability, the bottom-line. Most importantly, entrepreneurs are accountable to themselves.

(3) Entrepreneurship is about hard work and dedication. Entrepreneurs have to persevere in all circumstances and overcome the obstacles faced in order to carry their plans to succession.

(4) Entrepreneurship is about being true to one’s vision and passion. Entrepreneurs design the business they love and work hard to provide their customers, employees and community the best they have to offer.

(5) Entrepreneurship is about freedom. There are few things in life that are as empowering as being able to determine what work one can do, when, where and with whom one can do it with.

(6) Entrepreneurship is about diversity. Anyone can be an entrepreneur if one has a keen curiosity to learn and a desire to overcome the challenges inherent in learning new and exciting things. Furthermore, having a team with members from diverse background will also be beneficial as they bring to the table a different skill sets, knowledge and expertise.

(7) Entrepreneurship is about fun. In the whole process of doing the business plan, I derived much fun from brainstorming on ideas to successfully putting together a business plan with my team-mates. Nothing feels better than focused effort and accomplishment.

(8) Entrepreneurship is about discovery. As entrepreneurs explore ideas and challenge boundaries, they learn more about others, the amazing world they live in and more importantly, about themselves.

I’ve indeed gained a lot of insights about what entrepreneurship is all about. But when everything is said and done, more is being said than done. Hence, I hope and sincerely wish that one day I’ll be able to put what I thought of and said into actions.

I would like to express my gratitude to one and all who made my EBC journey a truly enriching and enjoyable one – Prof. for sharing with us her stories and knowledge, TA Denise, fellow course mates for sharing their great ideas and views and most importantly, Pic’In team-mates for being just amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the project with you all.

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Entrepreneurship & Business Creation - Spring - Eugenia Goh

I have always taken an interest for entrepreneurship. And that was one of the main reason i took up Entrepreneurship and Business Creation. Ever since i entered SMU, i've heard that Pamela Lim is a great professor and i wanted to take her TWC class but was unable to do so. Thankfully i had the opportunity to be in her EBC class.

It has been a meaningful and fast journey. Through 13 weeks, I had the opportunity to meet and bond with new people, come up with interesting business ideas and tried how to make our dream come true. It seems all too fast in 13 weeks.

I remember we were given time to break out and brainstorm on business ideas during the first lesson. In any other class, these ideas generated would remain as ideas and at most be critically analyzed. What shocked me was how we had to choose a business to work on for the rest of the semester based on the ideas generated in about an hour or less. Could good ideas even be generated in such a short span of time? Regardless, we were stuck with ideas that may or may not work out and our entire EBC project depended on it.

EBC was my only morning class. Thankfully i never regretted having to wake up in the wee hours to prepare for school. Classes were conducted in a different manner in which groups had time to do simple experiment such as ordering food for the class to understand their customer service policies, making calls to reporters to find out if they would cover our story, and even reaching out to professors to test if they would buy our idea. The entire class was built around the application of theories.

Week after week, regardless of whether the business was really viable, we kept building upon the business. Marketing strategies, advertising strategies, softwares to optimize operations, and the list goes on. I remember reaching a mid point in which we were really worried if we were building too much upon an idea that may not work. Fortunately, after several meetings, we managed to thrash out the whole business idea and to continue working on our idea.

I find the whole journey simply amazing. How 13 weeks can produce business ideas that can take flight once summer starts. EBC really is an elementary course in which any aspiring entrepreneurs should take. Almost everything that an entrepreneur needs to know is covered under EBC. It might even be a crash course in which things like financials of a business, how to market and sell your business and how to create a convincing business plan is taught in class. The best aspect of the class is how we manage to learn from theory and be able to immediately apply it in our businesses.

If i had a choice though, this EBC class could be extended into a TE class next semester in which the existing groups can work on their ideas and hence watch the business take flight.

The greatest takeaway i had, is to seize any opportunity that appears in front of us. It is not everyday that an opportunity presents itself and it is not everyday that we are young and can afford to take that leap of faith to start something new.

Thank you professor. For the most enjoyable 13 weeks of lessons.

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EBC-2011/12 Term2 - Sharon Lourdes Paul

by Sharon Lourdes Paul

Hi everyone,

So sorry for this, but I have prepared my reflections on a PDF document instead. Hope that with either of the following methods, it is not too inconvenient for you to view it.

1. http://db.tt/y3Ea3mi2
2. http://speakerdeck.com/u/sharonlourdes/p/reflections-for-a-final-term-module

To my fellow SPACES team mates, it was indeed great fun over the past 13 weeks. Thank you for all the hardwork, laughter and honest comments shared.

To you reading this, all the best for your future endeavours! Let's make our school proud, and show the world what SMU students are capable of.


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EBC-2011/12Term2-Wong Min Yu

I have been brought up in a family that encourages entrepreneurship. My father told me to register for a sole proprietorship at age 21 such that I can start a business whenever I want, although I did not apply it in the end. Few years back, my friend and I wanted to set up a blog shop and came up with a one-page business plan but we failed to actualize the dream that we had. My entrepreneurship journey always remains at the idea generating stage and never moved on, partly due to the lack of capital as well. We identified an opportunity, but we did not make a business out of it. So how can I get out of this idea generation stage?

After going through 13 weeks of EBC, I came to a realization that a good way to proceed to the execution stage is to have an extensive business plan. This is because we need to prove to potential investors and most importantly ourselves that our idea is indeed worthwhile trying. For example, if you are planning to enter into a saturated industry like food and beverage or fashion, it is advisable to identify a strong competitive advantage and unique selling point. Financials are very important to show the forecasted sales, and risk and mitigation strategy are crucial for start-ups as well. In other words, we need to have a good knowledge of every field of business, from marketing to operation to finance, to be able to succeed in the business. As a marketing and corporate communication student, I have long forgotten most of the things taught in Finance 101 or Financial Accounting 101. However, after going through the process of writing the business plan for our EBC project, I began to revise my finance, because I need to understand the numbers in the table and evaluate how our business can increase our profit, such as increasing the capacity, decreasing manpower, and increasing the markup for the price of the cakes. I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur, we need to step out of our comfort zone, have an eagerness to learn more and always ask and clarify our doubts. These are the biggest take away from my project.

Undeniably, the most important factor to determine whether your business will succeed is to have a good team. I am fortunate to have a really good one, with people specialized in different fields, but sharing the same passion. Having diversity in a group will allow us to generate more ideas and analyse them from different angles. However, these different qualities must compliment each other as well. This can be achieved by setting an overarching goal to follow, and to share the same passion. This requires a lot of bonding session as well, thus I think that the break out sessions every week really helped us not only in to understand the topics covered in class, but know our group mates better. Lastly, similar to how every startup needs to have a leader because a 50/50 partnership will not work out, it is necessary to have a leader in the group to facilitate every meeting and motivates everyone to move forward.

All in all, I have learnt a lot in EBC class, from the inspiring talks by the guest speakers, to Prof Pamela Lim’s mentorship and encouragement, the activities during break out session to give us a taste of what the real business world is like, and lastly the memorable group project that aims to ignite our passion to start a business in the near future. Thank you everyone for making my last semester in SMU a fruitful and inspiring one.

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EBC-2011/2012Term 2-Stefanie Tung

I entered the course late, stepping into the seminar room only in Week 3. I was not sure what to expect from the course or how it would be like. I loved every minute of this class and I am really glad I chose to take up this course.

Firstly, I loved how everything was hands-on. It was not about the hour-long breaks, but how we were made to try out something different every lesson. My most memorable lesson was when we had the opportunity to walk around and play bad customers. Normally, I liked to think of myself as a nice and sometimes even easy-going customer. I buy what I want and leave the store. However, that activity made me think more, probe more and analyse further. I had be more engaged in their sales pitch and think for myself, what information was omitted or skimmed through and how much more information could I get out of the salesperson.

Secondly, I enjoyed the guest seminar that was conducted. It was interesting to know the different points-of-view from the speakers and yet, what was mentioned was what Prof had told us during class. Find out where your passions lie, find new solutions to old problems and do not be afraid to take on and try out something new and different.

Thirdly, I enjoyed that the class was structured so that we were able to continuously learn from our classmates and group mates. I learnt a lot through the interactions and weekly presentations from the break-outs and this really became a class that I looked forward to every week on Fridays.

Something that was particularly fun for me was the reflections video. Editing this video helped me to look back and have a good laugh over the memorable times my group mates and I had during and throughout class. Thanks friends!

Lastly, I just like to thank Prof, Irene, my fellow classmates and group mates that made my learning experience in this course such a memorable and fun experience!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Randy Teo

by Randy Teo Tzyy Xiang



“Return of the prodigal son?”

In all honesty, when I first joined EBC in week 1, I had no intentions of becoming an entrepreneur whatsoever. I merely joined it to accompany a friend and clear a business option whilst I was at it. That is not to say I have never harboured any intentions of becoming an entrepreneur. As cliché as it may sound, while my other friends wanted to become doctors/lawyers/policemen growing up, my mind was pretty set on being my own boss. I dreamt of creating a business which I could call my own and flying around the world signing business deals. In fact, I did act on my childhood dreams: at the end of my army days, a couple of friends and I came together to set up an educational consultancy business.

Long story short, the business never really took off. Subsequently, I entered SMU and decided to put it all behind me. Even though business school has taught me why my business failed and how I can avoid making similar mistakes in the future, my heart was already disheartened by my earlier failure. I was determined to put my childhood dreams behind and leave for greener pastures. After all, I could say that I have at least given it a go. Furthermore, through SMU, I was introduced to other future career options which seemed very enticing. To a certain extent, it felt like the school was encouraging its students to strive towards the glamour of investment banking, wealth management, management consulting or sales and trading. In their defence, they didn’t have to do much. After all, it is not easy turning down prestige and very fat pay checks.

However, throughout the semester, working on TravelSafe reminded me so much of my days with Protégé (my previous start-up). Tough as it was, the satisfaction derived from creating and trying to sustain a business is beyond any description. Thus, when Prof challenged us to dare to dream, I couldn’t say that I wasn’t in the very least tempted. Nevertheless, the air of scepticism I had picked up as a result of my prior business failure held me back.

The tipping point probably came on the day of our business plan presentation. After hours of work poured into creating a business plan worthy of investment, Prof's affirmation reassured us of the plan's feasibility. In addition, her sincere faith in the feasibility of our project and our team was an immense encouragement. At that very moment, it felt like TravelSafe had the opportunity of becoming a reality. It was right then when she further challenged me to believe that I was meant for greater things in life than just an ordinary job.

As a matter of fact, I have been pondering over her challenge for the past week. To be the person I dreamt of being when I was a kid or to just let life take its toll on me and roll along to be a corporate rat. The latter option seems so much easier. Then again, should life be doing what is easy or what is right? As such, it brings me great joy to say that my team and I have decided to meet again after the exams to rethink our business model; to structure TravelSafe to be more suitable as a social enterprise. All of a sudden, summer is appearing to be so much brighter.

The days ahead are going to be horrendously tough, but I have no doubt that they are going to be fulfilling beyond measure. Thus, I am sincerely thankful for the arduous journey that Prof Pamela has put us through. I don’t know for sure if I will be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life. However, I can say for sure that Prof’s lessons on being sincere, unassuming and humble will continue resonating within me for a long time to come.

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EBC-T2-Wendy Neo

My learning journey in EBC class these 13 weeks has been a fruitful and enjoyable one. This module had expand my knowledge about the business world even more and I will be able to apply them as I decide to start my own business hopefully in the near future.

Well, I always have a dream to open my own concept/themed café and I think the module have given me a very good foundation as to how that can be done. Above and beyond all the different theories we learnt such as: 4Ps, how to conduct a thorough market research, financial side of the business etc, the biggest take way for me in the course was the encouragement that Prof had given us. That no business idea is a bad one and it is just how we seize that business opportunity and make it a good one.

EBC has given me a very wide spectrum of knowledge that can be I can use in my life as well as my future business. Just want to take this opportunity to thank Prof and the class! All the best for to all budding entrepreneurs!

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EBC-2011/12-Term2- Kenneth Koh Hui Xiang

by Kenneth Koh Hui Xiang

Growing up as a child in a family with rather a traditional mindset towards career success, I have long been brainwashed into thinking or accepting that being a lawyer or doctor are about the only two options to having a fulfilling and wealth generating career. The path in life has always been geared towards studying hard, getting good grades in school, and then seeking a job in either of these sectors. As I grew older though, I started to look at the world around me in a different light. I remember this one time I was in Clarke Quay and I just stared at all the shops and restaurants around me and thought to myself, how I wish I could create something to call my own. However, wishes were wishes and I was still clueless as to where to begin my journey to reach such a goal. EBC helped to change all that.

EBC under Prof Pamela has been an exciting and refreshing experience. For once, the status quo of the education system has been challenged, providing a very “real” learning experience. Honestly, for the first few weeks, I could not get used to the fact that delivering textbook material was not the focus of each lesson and I questioned whether this class would be useful to me at all. But as the weeks went by, I slowly realized that all the little breakouts and impromptu presentations delivered a whole new different form or learning. I learnt that hard skills while necessary (which was covered at the end of every class and can be picked up by oneself), are not entirely what eventually brings success to an entrepreneur, and that the much harder to learn soft skills are the crux to achieving this success. From a person who once fumbled with putting my thoughts into words and had to spend an extremely great deal of time just trying to formulate what I wanted to say, I can safely say these presentations have built my confidence and skills in thinking and speaking on the spot. From the breakouts, I saw shops and businesses in a different light, and that there is just so much that can be learnt when one truly takes note of the little things around them and sees them as opportunities for idea development.

All that being said, I feel the highlight of my EBC journey was not really about being able to cultivate one skill after the other. What I truly enjoyed most was the opportunity to be surrounded by excellent like-minded people. To be put in an environment that ideas grew and classmates were all on the same page, contributing to that growth. It was kind of magical to see that no ideas were really slammed down in this class, and that there was only constructive criticism; something not very characteristic in many of my other classes. The guest seminar exposed us to like-minded AND successful people and gave us the chance to learn from and interact with them. Finally, being in my team Travelsafe which was made up of people with such diverse yet matching skill sets and personalities, I believe we all truly drew upon each other’s expertise.

I have dreams, and my EBC journey has not only inspired me to chase them, but given me an opportunity to do so as well. I’m glad to say that my team will be taking this summer to continue working on Travelsafe; to refine our business model and iron out all the operational kinks. I know the road ahead will surely be bumpy, but I’m thankful that we can approach this road ahead more confidently now, holding Prof Pamela’s lessons to be sincere and humble yet daring and passionate, closely to our hearts.

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake” - Henry David Thoreau

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EBC-2011/12 Term2- Lim Zi Rong

I was delighted when EBC was offered under Prof Pamela this semester. Her teaching pedagogy and methodology is one that truly exemplifies the “teach less, learn more” model.

Through equipping us with the necessary skills and knowledge, she activated the passion for the subject matter and created an environment where we learn through hands-on sessions and real world experiences. EBC lessons were always forward looking as we were given tasks that allow us to interact with the business world and gain valuable insights that were beyond the boundaries of the classroom and textbook. We deepen our understanding of the subject matter through peer discussion and learning, hands-on experience and interaction with real entrepreneurs or businesses. This is definitely much more effective as we had the luxury of first person encounters and inspired us to think of creative solutions rather than just downloading the theories from the textbook. These made learning more interactive, realistic and enjoyable.

Entrepreneurship might sound simple to understand and a subject that does not require one to sit through a 14weeks class for one to fully grasp how to be successful. This is not true. EBC module is a stepping stone, in fact, I would say a jump start or comparative advantage to us when starting a business. Even for those of us who might not start up a business, it equips us with the relevant skillset to make business decisions. Throughout the entire course of study, we were educated on how to pitch a deal, the factors that affect various decisions and what are the pointers to note when starting a business. EBC brings together all the knowledge we learnt from other modules, from law to ethics to finance to marketing to operations and many more. It creates a platform that allows us to put all that we learnt into action, turning our idea into a business opportunity. Learning is never boring again with the weekly breakouts which train us not only on the subject matter but also lifelong skills such as time management and presentation skills. The breakout sessions gave us the opportunities to interact with real entrepreneurs and businesses. The class culture of sharing ideas and opinions further our learning with in-depth discussions among peers giving each other different perspectives and ideas. Key takeaway for an entrepreneur other than all the theories and finance models is to be driven by passion not profit, be sincere and honest and know your company figures well.

Guest seminar was another highlight of the semester. We learnt from understanding how the distinguished guests succeeded, the challenges they met and how they overcame them. There was also ample time for us to direct our burning questions to real industry players out there. These are lessons that we will never be able to learn from the textbook. Guest seminar also provided us the opportunity to brush up on our event organizing skills and be exposed to different obstacles during the course of planning and execution.

Although it is my second time taking under Prof Pamela, the things I learnt were different and the class was tailored to suit the module. I would like to thank Prof for her guidance and making lessons so forward-looking. A BIG thank you to my amazing teammates who accompanied me through my EBC journey and wonderful classmates for all the sharing!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Gavin Chian Kai Hong

by Gavin Chian Kai Hong

EBC has been a great learning journy for me. I'm thankful that SMU provides for such an unconventional module and for having a truly engaging Prof who brings real-life lessons into class. 2 key lessons I learnt from this class:

1) All About Packaging - I believe a common takeaway for every single student of this class will be the new found ability to create business plans from scratch and make pitches to investors (at least in writing). Having undergone both modules of Entreprenial Management and now EBC, the business plan creation process is further reinforced in me. More importantly, I find myself having the extra confidence to make a sales pitch to an audience. This to me, is the most crucial bit of entrepreneurship - because even though you have the brightest ideas and plans, no one would pay attention to you if you do not know how to sell an package them.

This digresses a little, but I am reminded of a scene in the recent movie Hunger Games, where Katniss (the protagonist with a remarkable marksmanship with her arrow and bow) was trying to gain the attention of 'sponsors'. Infuriated at their inattentiveness, she shot an arrow at a pig they were eating and gained their liking and approval. This relates to the process of both pitching an idea and selling - one of the key learnings - your business and ideas to customers. It is also very much about likeability and the connection you create with customers and clients, as can be seen through the life stories of Prof Pam, class presentations, guests at the seminar, and even from the Shark Tank videos. Again, I learnt that no matter how great the idea is, you need someone likeable and authentic to sell it. I learnt that in order to be successful, it is important that I come across as such an entrepreneur and person.

2) Importance of Mentorship - Prof Pam herself sets out to be a mentor to as many students as she can and their appreciation for what she has done can be seen clearly. Past students often mentioned about the advice given as well as contacts passed on to them by Prof. I believe as much as it is important to find mentors in one's life and career, it is just as important to become a mentor to people as well. I am a firm believer of giving back to the community and people around me, as these are the things that make me what I am; it is only fair that one pays it forward after being on the receiving end of all the goodness in life. I intend to bring this mindset into my career and leave a positive mark in as many people's lives as I possibly can.

All said, I would like to thank Prof Pam for her guidance and enthusiasm, the class for being a participative bunch and definitely my group mates for their hard work and friendship!

Cheers all!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Salvin Sim

by Salvin Sim

I find it extremely hard to pen down my last journal. Even though classes have ended officially for the Entrepreneurship and Business Creation course, it just felt as if the module has just started. This is definitely a module which I considered to be the most relevant one I have encountered in my SMU life.

It would not be easy for someone to appreciate the flexible structure of the EBC classes. EBC is not module which solely focuses on the academic and theoretical aspect of things. It is a module which teaches us how to get things done and doing it well. Right from the first day, when we were entrusted to participate actively in break-outs sessions, the responsibility and trust between us and the Professor propels us into a next level of maturity. In my opinion, it is not how much of the textbook you can memorise that makes you great. It is the strong and persistence mentality that allows you to value add to yourself and the society.

Entrepreneurship was a foreign term to me 13 weeks ago. I never believed in uncertainty, and had the perception that entrepreneurship was really a game of lottery. However, being in a class where all the classmates are motivated (towards businesses), where the Professor herself is a successful entrepreneur, my perception changed dramatically. Good quality ideas were often exchanged in class, and it was absolutely inspiring to listen to the stories of others’ entrepreneurial journey. After a while, I realised that Entrepreneurship is not about uncertainty, it is about the certainty you have on yourself, that you can make something seemingly uncertain, certain to work. The classmates, atmosphere, and type of exposure you get. Impeccable experience.


My team and I had the opportunity to work with a start-up called G-Spot. We got opportunity to know Kent, and his lovely girlfriend Yvonne. Both of them are business owners of 2 different businesses, and it is very encouraging to see how they can work with each other, supporting each other during their journey.

G-Spot is a fantastic business idea. It leverages on the fastest growing phenomenon which is Facebook, and monetize advertising dollars based on that phenomenon. This process then gets translated into an application on the Iphone or BlackBerry which allow users to be rewarded on their sharing efforts. The Share-to-Redeem model is something I that truly think will work.
My team and I worked very closely. Our project was based on a real business which is up and running. Any input from the team is not just a theoretical approach where it looks nice on the paper. Any inputs would have to be a suggestion that can work, and help G-Spot to grow. Decision making process becomes more vigorous, and the type of analytical work we got to put in is definitely something we cannot experience elsewhere.

A great team working on a great businesses idea, what else is there to ask for?

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by Carine

In my 1st year of SMU, I was unclear on what major to take. My friend once told me that Entrepreneurship seems like a crap major, because he believes that one does not need to study to major on that. Upon hearing that, I start questioning the truthfulness of that statement and start observing people around me. My family members are entrepreneurs, my uncles and relatives are all entrepreneurs and they did not attain high education yet they are successful. So I start asking myself if I have such entrepreneurial spirit too. I know I want to have my own business in the future but I was clueless how to start and I believe there is a reason why SMU offer such a major. Hence I decided to declared entrepreneurship as one of my major and start exploring the modules offered under this track.

I was kinda surprised entrepreneurial courses truly open my eyes to realize how narrow the previous mindset was. While some may feel that such courses are redundant, to me they are invaluable. I realized i enjoyed all the entrepreneurial courses not because they are slack (most of my friends think that way), in fact they are tough but they challenge your thought and push you beyond your comfort zone. Among all the entrepreneurial courses I took, I truly enjoyed EBC.

In EBC, the openness and the flexibility in class that was run by prof Pam may let me feel lost at times as she always left us to do what we want. However, I realized the reason after completing the course. Her openness to ideas without shooting them down immediately truly gained my admiration. It is true that all great ideas often sound silly and ridiculous at the beginning. It is this kind of openness that we need to have in an entrepreneurial mindset. She gave us the opportunity to figure our ways out and train ourselves in looking for solutions. This is one of the learning process which we might not be able to gain elsewhere.

on top of that, through the semester, I realized doing what you love is really important to keep your work going. Coming out with a business plan is indeed not easy. It haunts you for days and nights. Having to cover all aspects of business are a huge challenge for my group mates and I. However, I somehow was surprised that it was not as tough as I thought (or at least I enjoyed the process) given that I am truly in love with our group ideas. Just like what prof said, an important P for her is Passion! I believe that we have to do the things that we like so that we will most of our attention into considering the different aspects of it. And through EBC, i have not only gained such great experience, I have also get to know new friends whom I truly enjoy working with. As all of us share the same passion for food, in particular desserts, we really have fun throughout the process and enjoying the learning process is indeed one of the best way for us to remember what we learn.

EBC therefore is an enriching course which I never regret taking. The exposure, the opportunity to meet new people, engage in outside classroom experience, sharing and listening to the other group members - all of these have made the learning experience in the class more fulfilling. It is kinda sad to see how all these are coming to an end. I will truly appreciate and remember all the lessons learnt and apply them as I step into the working life. One of the class I enjoyed a lot.

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EBC-2011/12 Term2 - Clarine Lim.

by Lim Clarine

It was a short, fast but enriching journey for me. Truthfully, I didn’t know what the whole course was about when I first bided for this module. All I knew was : It going to be an entrepreneurship course taught by Prof Pamela. At that time ‘Entrepreneurship’ depicts a simple idea of one setting up a business, nothing challenging nor complicated. However, after the first few lessons the full picture of what entrepreneurship is all about became much clearer.

Even though the main objective for EBC lessons was to teach students how to write a proper business plan, lessons were never made boring with theories. Not only were the lessons structured in a hands on manner, weekly group breakup tasks was also fun, interesting and practical. Really love those times when everyone in my group happily made our way to Plaza Singapura and Raffles city to gain more actual insights.

I am so glad that through this course I managed to pick up so many invaluable tips and knowledge with regards to entrepreneurship and how to write a good business plan. Not to forget how enriching, inspiring and informative the guest seminar was.

I guess everyone learnt a lot through this course and here are some of the learning points that I would like to share:

1. Entrepreneurship is not always about money. More importantly, it is the process of being able to fulfill one’s passion while making beneficial changes to the world.
2. Business plan is an essential tool for ALL businesses. Always plan ahead before you dive into something.
3. Failure is not the end. Don’t let failure fail your entire life. Instead failure should be a driving factor for improvements and striving to attain more.
4. Always trust yourself and what you are doing. Even if people around you are not supportive, always believe in yourself and your passion. Never give up a good idea because of what others think.
5. Last but not least, like what prof mentioned in class : Never turn down any business idea. Instead help to improve them because you never know whether there are hidden gems in the rock .

Sadly to say, there is always an end to everything. The final presentations on week 13 was really memorable and awesome. All the groups did an excellent job be it through videos, sweet samples, good grasp of financial numbers and even group tee-shirts. Even though the process of working out a business plan wasn’t easy, all the final presentations was still filled with passion and great enthusiasm.

Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone for making the course a fulfilling one. Special thanks to my dear group mates as well. It was a great opportunity to have worked with u guys! Hope to see u guys as great entrepreneurs in the future!

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EBC-2011/12Term2- Stacie Henson

by Stacie Henson

13 weeks have just flown by so quickly. Truth be told I was very skeptical about EBC when I first stepped into class because last semester I bidded for this same exact course but it was conducted by someone else. After the first hour I dropped the course whilst I was sitting in the SR. However sitting in Prof Pam Lim's class was entirely different. It was interactive, engaging but most of all, it got me excited of being an entrepreneur. Walking out of the last ECB class today I carry with me memories of a journey that was filled with ups and downs, one that is filled with fun and laughter: a journey that has been inspirational.

In the course of the class I take away 3 key learning points:

1) You need to be passionate about what you do

To be an entrepreneur you need to be passionate about what you do. When my team and I were coming up with our business proposal for a capsule hotel we encountered many difficulties. We had research on the hospitality industry to ensure that the business can hold its own in the competitive hospitality landscape in Singapore. We had to do market research on whether people would want to stay in a capsule hotel. We had to change the location of our hotel numerous times before deciding on the location of where to set it up. When you don’t have the knowledge and when stumbling blocks stand in your way it is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to say that I want to give up. What kept us going was our passion: our drive to change the hospitality landscape. It also allowed me, a former hospitality student who ended up in SMU to tap on my love for the hospitality industry.

If you love your job, you will never have to work a day in your life. Be passionate in what you do. Don’t start a business you don’t believe in or are not passionate about because it will feel like work when it should be a joy.

2) Surround yourself with a good team

I had an amazing team that supported one another throughout the 13weeks. We’re a team that agreed to disagree, a team that bounced off ideas with one another and a team that had fun. Apart from having a good work team, I had a good support system outside of school. During the Guest seminar Mr. Yee shared with us how his wife supported him throughout his entrepreneurial journey especially when they had their livelihoods on the line during the initial startup. To be an entrepreneur you need to surround yourself with a good team and you must be a team player to ensure the success of the venture.

3) Learn from the people around you

In EBC class I have learnt so much from my fellow classmates. Each lesson was filled with gems. The feedback that my team received during our little presentations after the breakout sessions has allowed us to improve on our business plan. The discussions in class have broaden my horizons and allowed me to get different viewpoints on the same topic. I have taken away lessons during the guest seminar that cannot be taught out of the textbook. Jeffery Paine said that we should think Global and that was kept in mind when we were thinking about the expansion plan for our business. Prof Pamela has a wealth of knowledge and experience. When she shared her life stories in class it made the content learnt in class real. It made the lessons come to life.

I am glad I stayed the 13 weeks because this course has connected the dots for me and has inspired me to pursue my dream of opening a hotel. One day, I will be a hotelier. And if I ever have the privilege to be invited as a guest speaker at one of the guest seminars I will say, “to be an entrepreneur 1) Be passionate, 2) Have a good team 3) Learn from others and I learnt that when I sat in your chair during my EBC course.”

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Diana Teo

by Diana Teo

the official launch of our FB Page

the official launch of our FB Page

the official launch of our FB Page
the molten cakes we baked for class
our final presentation
thanks for the balloons, prof!

Having bidded for this module alone, I honestly wasn't expecting a lot. I thought of the worst case scenario where I wouldn't be able to find any group mates since EBC is normally a popular module only among year 3s and 4s. Yet, I still went ahead with the decision to stay because deep down, I had a business idea that was burning in my heart and I desperately wanted to equip myself better so I can make this idea happen. Looking back, I have no regrets.

Firstly, I blessed with a great team. Charles, Lifa, Stephanie, Yvonne and Ajay were all complete strangers to me when I first met them but I'm glad this module brought us together. The friendships forged made the past 13 weeks enjoyable and a part of school that I look forward to every week. I have also learnt a lot from them when we did our business plan.

Initially, when my team finally realized on the 7th week that our original business idea – operation get the bride – was something far beyond our reach, and decided to do on 4point3 instead, I felt a slight tinge of discomfort.
Being human, I found it difficult to share the full business idea that my partners and I painstakingly brainstormed, with people I barely knew for weeks. Yet, when I finally did so, my team members brought in a dozen more fresh perspectives that really value added to the original idea I had. Now, I honestly wished I shared in-depth about 4point3 much earlier! There is indeed value created through sharing with great team members like them.

On top of the friendship and peer learning, I am most grateful for Prof. I think many would agree with me that the teaching style was refreshing and effective. I am glad we didn't have to sit through a boring lecture, but was actively engaged throughout the entire learning process. Listening to stories about experiences from the corporate world made this module very relevant, and they truly inspired me.

What better ways to learn than to meet with other giants themselves? The guest lecture and outdoor trips in class made learning fun. The most important lesson I got out of everything was learning how to be more creative in approaching things. I remembered the timely advice Prof gave me for my bidding process on how we can serve our food before the presentation to break ice. It worked, and the judges loved it! We eventually won the bid and I am so grateful that we learnt how to be innovative in our approach at the most critical time.

I also remembered on week 7, when we first presented on 4point3, Prof suggested that we pioneer something new if we want to obtain grants from external parties. That really stretched me, but in a better way. It opened up my eyes to the importance of being radical and creative in getting your business noticed.

I could go on forever on how much I have learnt in this module. There were just so many intangible insights gained, that were truly hard to come by. Sadly too, all good things come to an end, but I will always remember the pleasant memories and how much i have gained from this module. In conclusion, 4 words to sum everything up: Entrepreneurship and Business Creat-ed.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Bharath Ranganathan

The first question that came to my mind with a course called “Entrepreneurship and Business Creation” was – “How can entrepreneurship be taught?” I believed that it was an innate gift, and with that preconceived notion, I entered class, only to be pleasantly surprised.

One of the primary facets of this course was the breakout sessions provided to gain insights on a first-hand basis. The groups in class had to present business ideas, financials and the current service scape of Singapore. This gave a lot of practical knowledge of business, which was and will be particularly useful for business school students.

Another fascinating aspect of the course that I personally enjoyed was the guest lecture. What was striking was the caliber and honesty with which the three gentlemen spoke. From a venture capitalist working on employee perks, to a person who makes and manages digital interactive displays to a non-constituency member of parliament who has pioneered education technology – such a prolific panel is not a common sight. This was definitely inspiration needed for us as students to pursue our dreams as well as work hard to fulfill those dreams.

Finally, the group project was tailor-made to stimulate the groups to be creative with ideas while being rooted to the group by being practical. The project gave my group tremendous leeway to come up with anything we wanted while doing the financials as well as surveys to see if it would be a feasible idea in the first place.

The key takeaway for me through this course, as an Asian student is to be a smart risk-taker. As I graduate this term, I’m happy to have taken this course, as it has definitely given me affirmation to start something from nothing and put in blood, sweat and tears into something that I can call my own.

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EBC-2011/12 Term 2- Nandita Mariam Jacob

by Nandita Jacob

Truth be told, the only reason why I took up the EBC course was so I could fulfill the T&E requirements that SMU demands I complete, in order to graduate. I had heard from my seniors that it was a slack course and I could manage to ace the same easily. As I write this journal that marks the end of 13 weeks of my EBC odyssey, a mix of emotions runs through me. On one hand, I am so glad that I am done with all the assessments of this course and can now focus on more "important" modules, but on the other hand, I am disappointed that I can no longer look forward to another one of Prof Pamela's unconventional classes.

Learning Points/Takeaways

1) "Awakening the entrepreneur within me"
Growing up, I remember my father always used to say that there is nothing better than being your own boss and would encourage both my sister and myself to start a business on our own. Ever since childhood, my mind has always been blooming with fun, creative and 'hep' ideas. But it was only after taking this course did I come to realize that the possibility of seriously starting a business of my own is becoming more and more of a potential reality. These ideas which keep popping into my mind can actually be considered valuable and worthy. However as always nothing comes easy in life, this course has taught me that being a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of discipline, passion, confidence and a willingness to go beyond my comfort zone. Furthermore, it requires tons of hardwork I must not being afraid to make mistakes, because I'll know that everytime I make a mistake, I will learn from it and not repeat it in future.

2) What I loved most about EBC was that there was no such thing as a 'typical' EBC day. Starting from the breakout sessions that Prof assigned us to do every class; who'd have thought I'd be ordering pizzas, running between school and Plaza Singapore, calling up Mcdonalds, newspaper agencies etc. As much fun as these sessions were, I have also learnt so much from them. It has helped me to be quick, think fast and furthermore, build my impromptu presnetation skills. As for our EBC project, my group came up with the idea of event planning paritcularly children's birthdays. Now although, most people in class will not concur with our methods of presenting the business, we did put in tremendous amounts of hardwork whilst having fun in every one of our 'rendez-vouz', be it during our meetings or our class presentations. I personally believe that throughtout this journey my groupmates have helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses. I have become very comfortable around them, which I believe is truly important in running a business as it not only saves time but it also ensures a smooth flow in the development of the business.

Overall, my EBC journey has been a fulfilling one. I'm grateful to SMU for offering us this module and moreover for having a truly fascinating Prof who was able change my perspective on what I once thought was a slack course.


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EBC-2011/12 Term 2 Rachel Tay Min Jiun

by Tay Min Jiun Rachel

Why did I choose to take up the Entrepreneurial Management major? One thing: to breathe life into ideas. There is nothing more exciting than being able to turn ideas into possibilities into something concrete for the world to see.

Taking EBC has given me an overview of the exact steps that I can take toward this notion. From creation of a solid idea, to convincing others to believe in this idea. Every stage was very practical and the real life experience of writing the business plan with my group helped me further understand the process of business creation. For me, the breakout sessions was the most interesting as it forced me out of my comfort zone in order to cold call companies, and exposed me to different experiences.

I believe that one of my key takeaways is that entrepreneurship is not about the idea. Ideas are abundant and somewhere, anywhere across the world, someone else would have exactly the same idea as you. Instead, entrepreneurship is about taking that first step. After that it is all about you and your team. As I learnt from my project, good team dynamics can lead to a killer project. As mentioned by many guest speakers, it is always good to find a partner or mentor early on. One that has the same ideology and can work well with you.

I definitely can attest to this. When I was in junior college, my father acted as a mentor for me as I took on several leadership roles within the student community. This not only speeded up the learning process, it also allowed me to tap on to the many years of life experience that my father had. This of course allowed me to move forward with more confidence and understanding.

While I do not intend to be an entrepreneur anytime soon, I believe that it may happen in the far future (after I have gained some experience working first). The past 13 weeks have been a blast, and I have learnt a lot, not only from the professor, but naturally from my classmates and especially from my groupmates ☺

Thank you!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Tan Shuo Xian

Team Uvive

Team Uvive

This is my third module completed under prof Pam Lim, which also means this is my third "final" journal. But thankfully, the experience from each class has been unique and increasingly challenging.

Two semesters ago when I took EM under her, she made us approach companies which belonged to Fortune's top 30 companies to pitch our idea to. This time around, she brought in two local businesses to have our hands dirty with. Leonard's company immediately stood out for being the traditional family business in Singapore. The business was selling a product, and this was a interesting change from many of the business ideas we were exposed to. This was a wonderful opportunity that couldn't be missed, and I'm glad the my group jumped into it.

Vivid memories of this semester involves racking our brains for business opportunities. We went from attaching UV lamps to wallets to even possibly using the UV technology to laminate cars. All of these ideas went flat after consulting with Leonard. Even our market research with traditional printing houses proved that UV technology is a taboo in today's market, and this lead us to our idea of using UV to clean.

This journey, although frustrating then, taught me two important lessons:

1)You have to be passionate about your business
With passion being the most common attribute found in articles that have headings like "top things entrepreneurs should possess", this undoubtedly sounds clique. But as young entrepreneurs, we tend to start our entrepreneurial journey by asking ourselves "what is not available in the market" or "is it profitable". In this instance of working with UV technology, it showed me that we either have to like what you are doing or learn to like it, if not, the business will just be a chore to you. Honestly, UV technology wasn't the most "happening" market to be venturing into. But as a group, we decided that we wanted to work with a real company, and I'm glad we pushed forward with it.

2) Living with the decisions made
This project with UV technology also taught me the importance of persevering with the decisions we make.There were many instances when we were brainstorming for ideas did the thought of adopting a completely new business plan emerge. But just like with running a new business, we did not just click Ctrl-Z. Rather, we persevered on to innovate with the parameters of helping Leonard's company and the idea of using UV technology to clean turned out to be a blessing.

My journey through this module was very fulfilling to say the least. I managed to meet a new group of people who ultimately became a wonderful team to work with and hope for more opportunities like this. Next step: TE??

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Goh Jia Wen

by Goh Jia Wen

Team Gspot! (plus Jurane & Jay)

Team Gspot! (plus Jurane & Jay)

EBC class ended on a note of nostalgia for me. It’s my very first class under Prof Pamela Lim, and probably my last (that is if Prof is not teaching in the following 2 semesters). I have to say that I am really glad to have attended this EBC class where I got to know Prof Pamela Lim. She showed me that entrepreneurship is not just a dream that people talk about, but it’s something very real, something that ordinary people like you and I can engage in and create something extraordinary and change lives. Well, her vast experience is testament to this notion of entrepreneurship.

The A Team
I started this EBC journey knowing only few people in the class. Little did I know that I will have such bountiful gains from the journey. Let me start by talking about my team. In this EBC class, I am blessed with awesome group mates who are all talented and amazing in their own ways. We’ve got the finance guru, the artsy guy, the singer girl, the dancer, the VP of a student club, just to name a few. How much more diverse can a team get? I really love how this diversity does its magic as everyone in the team complements the strengths of one another and brings out the best in every individual. I call this ‘The A Team’. On hindsight, we were once complete strangers who then became genuine friends who have no qualms about sharing our lofty entrepreneurial dreams with one another beyond EBC class – yes, these are the amazing pals from Team Gspot. I have to say that they really did inspire me to think BIG. No money to fund that brilliant idea that could change the world? Not a big deal. Just keep thinking! Keep brainstorming until you achieve what you set out to achieve. Thus, I believe that in entrepreneurship, the word ‘obstacles’ shouldn’t exist at all. For entrepreneurs, they work around those obstacles to create change. And for others, ‘obstacles’ could just be an excuse for them to stop thinking creatively. Therefore, I believe that no one should be limited by what life brings us. We should seek the best opportunities out of life and create ourselves – we definitely can.

Safeguard Yourself
What about some practical knowledge that I’ve gathered? I really enjoy the fact that Prof shares with us her personal experience and very valuable tips which we would probably not have otherwise gathered elsewhere. In starting a venture, particularly a partnership, it is very important that we protect ourselves. When Steve Jobs can be fired by the company he set up, it is evident that anyone can fall prey to that too. Tips about contract drafting and financing might seem like ordinary knowledge to some, but they definitely mean a lot to me. Those tips that she spoke about come from experience and being a fresh, aspiring entrepreneur, I could do with a lot of help from those useful tips. From my experience, I have had an encounter with a friend who singlehandedly built up an online business, only to be sidelined by her partner because the partner contributed more capital than she did in the business. In the end, meaning and fulfillment in the business was lost. This just goes to show that while it is important to always trust your partners, it is even more crucial to establish clear borders in the relationship to protect the business you have painstakingly built while also safeguarding your interests. It is definitely a calculated move that we want to protect what means a lot to us.

My Idea is Great!
Another thought-provoking takeaway from Prof’s final session really set me thinking. Why is it that people suffer from the ‘How bad is my idea?’ syndrome and why do these people choose to dampen their business idea, when it actually is a good idea. On hindsight, I might have subconsciously fallen prey to this in the past. But not anymore. I have learnt to shut out unconstructive criticisms which are not based on reasonable grounds, and to have utmost conviction in the great ideas that I have. My belief is that we are as good as we think we are and nobody should put down themselves. If the idea comes from us, have some confidence in it. Surely, it must be of a certain level of standard since its coming from us. We are awesome. Who are those noises out there to pass discouraging remarks when they know little about our idea? Thus, to me, this ‘My Idea is Great!’ mindset is a very important element, not simply in entrepreneurship, but also in the greater – life.

The end of EBC class marks the start of me working towards my goal to Be the next Change. From a thinker to a doer. From someone who has been waiting for that door of opportunity to open, to someone who is now taking gradual steps to open yet another door of change. On a final note, I am truly grateful for the A Team which I worked with, the friendships forged, and the valuable knowledge that Prof has imparted. 13 weeks for a module might seem too short a time but EBC certainly made me discover where my strengths lie, and what I am really capable of achieving.

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EBC-2011/12 Term 2-Amanda Beh Tzu Shian

by Amanda Beh

Group Photo with Props. lol.

Group Photo with Props. lol.

First and foremost, thank you Prof Pamela Lim and class and thank you team. It was my pleasure learning from you, knowing you and working with you throughout these 13 weeks.

There was something special about this course. There was hardly any stress at all, be it in the classroom to the projects. Perhaps that is why we had so much fun generating ideas, sharing opinions openly and presenting in class discussions weekly. In these weeks, I came by an interesting TA who gave us her opinions on writing a business plan for our first in-class presentation. I reckon that lesson being the most appealing to me. Why?

EBC was something I thought I would most likely take in SMU. I have always had this passion for starting my own venture in the area of handicraft and design. Be it from shoes to bags, I would draw and make items my friends wanted but could not get on their own. My dad acted as my mentor throughout my life, mainly giving me encouragement and a second opinion at this hobby I was getting along with. He asked me if I intended to sell them. I didn’t know they could. I didn’t know they were good enough to be sellable. Here, I remember hearing how family support is very important in an entrepreneur’s journey. Be it a budding entrepreneur or one who has a long history, they require support, especially emotionally, to keep their fighting spirit on.

Then, I didn’t know what to do, and the business plans I did before weren’t concrete enough. So I thought how about getting a partner, that way we can get more things done. But it wasn’t easy finding the right one. Just as the guest speakers mentioned, finding partners are easy, but finding right partners are all that matters. It’s hard to find someone who shares your motivation. Hence, I had to embark on this alone. It didn’t work out eventually, however it will still be on the back of my mind. This entrepreneur journey with Prof taught me no idea is bad; if they don’t work out now, maybe it just needs some edits here and there or maybe it should be rolled out at a later time in life.

Other skills taught such as company valuation (haha, “shark tank”), growth and franchising have become invaluable knowledge to me. Prof’s experiences shared in class are helpful advices as frank as they might be.

I made wonderful friends here. We went through a multitude of ideas – from Taxi Pooling to Omnivore (the themed restaurant) to Capture123 (photography services). And we almost did an application game of egg hatching prize giveaway. That wouldn’t have come out if we weren’t a team in the first place. Once again, thank you everyone!

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EBC- 2011/12 Term2 - Daphne Ho Li Min

Everyone’s experience and things they obtain from class would be different just as every entrepreneur’s path is vastly different from another’s. This may sound odd, but for me, one thing I’ve obtained from the EBC module would be discipline. Rest assured, it’s not that Prof Pamela was very fierce or strict about punctuality etc, but rather from what Prof shared in class as well as the structure of our EBC lessons and the project, I’ve learnt how to be more disciplined as a person, and hopefully, as a soon-to-be entrepreneur.

I always had the preconceived mind-set that a winning idea is all you need to pave the path of entrepreneurship. On hindsight, and being 100% sure of it, I echo Prof Pamela’s words: “IDEAS ARE CHEAP”. Sadly but truly. I bet there are a million, billion, good ideas out there but just like potential energy, those ideas have stored up potential only and will not be able to change or create anything. The energy in ideas need to be released through actions. Disciplined actions I would say. Like our final project on coming up with a comprehensive business plan for our group’s idea, we need to put our ideas through the grill of a business plan- at least a rough business plan or the minimum of a business sound bite and executive summary for a start! One must be disciplined to put down ideas on pen and paper and develop the ideas with research and much thought. Having never written a business plan before and I think most in my group have not had the experience as well, the group project was trying indeed! Whenever we simply talked or discussed, it seemed like everything was perfect and our idea was brilliant with plenty of solutions to counter anything negative. It was in the actually writing out of the different components of the business plan that we managed to see cracks and also other opportunities.

Another area where I learnt how to be disciplined would be in the area of my tongue. Yes, that’s right, not a typo - my tongue. During class presentations where we’d share about what we were going to do for our business, there would always be the wonderful time of Q and A. Before this EBC course, and having been a debater, I’d defend my points and my group’s point of view as fiercely as I could. I have been conditioned to be very opinionated and hence strongly defensive of things my group and I come up with. The Q & A sessions put a death blow to this side of me. I found out – the hard way- that constructive criticisms are absolutely beneficial and gifts from others to your ideas, plans and such! Various people in the class would see from different angles and offer a spectrum of points of view that had never even crossed my mind! Now, I’ve learnt the value of obtaining others’ points of view, be it positive or negative. Tapping on things they bring up may just the needed stepping stone to give your ideas or plans a boost. I love my EBC class for being so participative in class and for being kind with their words, yet giving very constructive feedback.

One more area of the module that taught me to be disciplined would be the class break-out sessions. There were certain weeks when we had to carry out interesting activities like calling up the newspaper agency and finding out how to obtain new coverage for the business or at other times interviewing shop owners. These activities took me out from my comfort zone. I was “forced” to open up and learn how to interact with others to get the information etc that was needed. Of course my awesome group members were also engaged and would nicely agree to do the interviews and such if I said I was not comfortable with it. However, I found that when I actually got down to doing the activities on my own, I learnt much more and in ways I did not think I would. I guess at times, it is good to discipline ourselves to do things that we normally would not or not like to do, because it will be in these areas that we are lacking due to our avoidance and lack of exposure.

I’m glad to say that I’ve started penning my ideas down and going very in depth on 1 of the ideas and have been diligent in consolidating my business plan. I’ve also sought the opinions of friends and read widely. Small steps, it may be, but at least the action has begun. Long way to go still, but it is exciting. I’ve thoroughly benefited from the classes and life experiences from Prof Pamela as well as the wonderful presentations and constructive comments from my classmates. Very glad I took this module!

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EBC-2011/12 - Term 2- Judy DENG Siyuan

by Judy DENG Siyuan
(Singapore )

EBC Reflection

EBC is a great course that worth attending. To look back at the end of my learning journey, I find I have gained useful skills to write a business proposal; I have improved my people skills through team work; I have gained inspiration by listening to guest speaker and I have learned much more from my fellow classmates. In all, I have understood what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Some Takeaways:

1. Ideas have no boundaries
Through learning about successful student entrepreneurs, I find one thing in common is that they explore ideas and challenge boundaries. To be creative is also very important; creativity is directly related to the discovery of new ideas or concepts or modification of existing ideas and concepts. And allow you to find untapped market and create needs for people. Being creative is not easy. To acquire knowledge is much easier than to be creative. Creativity cannot be taught, but it simply shows up and is performed by the entrepreneur himself.

2. The courage to take action
Many entrepreneurs have fantastic ideas, but these ideas never turn into reality. Wikipedia define Courage as the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to have courage just to step out. Courage enable entrepreneurs to take action and the action taken reduced the level of fear. A quote on courage to share
“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
So I think courage is the one of the most important things to take ideas into business. And courage separates entrepreneurs from non- entrepreneurs at the beginning point.

3. The Passion to build up business

Many of us have just gone along their journey towards entrepreneurial or even career success thinking drive and passion are the same thing. I think we have to start looking at passion and drive not as interchangeable qualities, but more as a cause and effect when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit. To truly succeed, its imperative that an entrepreneur follows a passion. It could be towards a cause or a new project, but passion is key. From my teamwork project, I work together with 5 teammates to develop the business plan. I learnt passion is what keeps people pressing forward into the late hours of the morning or wills you to wake up at 4 a.m. to do your work. As an entrepreneur, there is no substitute for passion.

4. The perseverance and hard work lead to success

I remember heard from one of the guest speakers “ there is no overnight success”. I cannot agree with him more. While entrepreneurs aren’t dealing with physical injuries, they certainly need to be prepared to deal with “harsh conditions” for several months to several years. The ability to persevere as an entrepreneur is all about whether or not you can tolerate dealing with unfavorable circumstances for an extended period of time.

Actually after learning all about entrepreneurship and outweighing the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur. I might personally not choose to be one. And I do wish all young entrepreneurs from this course will make full use of what we have learnt and eventually succeed.

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EBC-2011/12 - Term 2- Nguyen Thi Trieu Thanh

Decided to choose EBC to clear my T&E courses, I entered the first class excitedly to know how entrepreneurship can ever be taught. Thirteen weeks of lesson and Prof. Lim has showed me that there are so much exhilarating things to learn about the not-just-born entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

EBC course is where the knowledge I have learnt else where are brought together into practice, from consumer behavior or sales in marketing to leadership and compensation in HR, from finance to operations and other legal issues. Each breakout sessions was fun hands-on experience to learn from real life practice. No point just absorbing the information in the textbooks and slides and memorizing them. They helped to train one's creativity, confidence and interpersonal skills in an impromptu context rather than just a normal class setting. Waking up early every Friday morning thus was much easier. EBC has not just built my skills. It showed me how far these skills could take me to. Guest speaker lecture is one of those sessions where I could see how passion, with knowledge and skills can create something out of nothing and bring one non-conventional yet tremendous success. The class did not try to sugar-coat entrepreneurship, the guest seminar taught us the “down” moments, the hardship, the challenges one gets as he chooses to embark on this journey. It thus was one of my most practical and useful learning experiences in SMU. Moreover, the class did not stop at just “telling”, it was also about really “doing” it. Coming up with ideas, assessing and agreeing on one best proposal, writing a business plan and presenting it were great experiences. Our group consists of real different people from different background. It amazed me how many ideas we came up with, from sleeping center for SMU, online website for Singapore’s restaurants, to Singapore CBD delivering services, affordable sanitary napkins for India, and kid’s second hand toys business.

While I remembered it was harder for the group to agree and improve on an idea than to put it down, our group eventually found an area where we all excited and passionate about, which is toys, and to make it work. Mainly doing the financials for our business plan, I came to learn that running a business isn’t just about throwing money in what you believe to be working, but also about balancing between spending and investing, and how to create the most profits from the least investment.

Seeing how Prof. Lim and my fellow classmates talked passionately about their entrepreneurial creations and journeys, I found my enthusiasm to run my own business growing bigger as each class passed by. If one day I ever become a successful entrepreneur, I know I have EBC class, Prof. Lim and Strictly Kids group to be thankful for.

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Jurane Solano

by Jurane Solano

Exactly two years ago and three months ago during my first Technology and World Change class back when I was still a freshman, I met Professor Pamela Lim. Although I am extremely critical about not ‘wasting’ any class I bid for (the tuition fee is expensive so I drop modules if I feel that there is nothing I can learn from the professor or the course), I immediately knew that I wanted more simply from that one class.

Prof Lim is one of my favourite teachers in college – and definitely SMU’s most inspiring role-model for me (check out my list of Inspirational People on Facebook). One of the main reasons for this is because I learnt something extremely important from her: humility. Despite all her achievements as an entrepreneur, a mother and a wife (kick-ass technopreneur + five kids = awesome), I feel that she is one of the most down-to-earth people I know. She is the kind of person that wouldn’t mock one’s failures but use them as an encouragement to carry on. It’s really quite refreshing, especially in today’s world where people who are far from ‘making it’ wear arrogance like a brand. I remember Prof once mentioned in class: “The ones who really make it in life… Are also the ones who can talk to anybody (referring to people of all ‘levels’ of the social hierarchy).” That particular nugget of wisdom has stuck with me ever since and from then on, when dealing with someone with whom I think has got the wrong idea or generally makes me feel like I’m wasting my time on, I strive to enter my counterpart’s shoes and see things from their perspective instead. I’ve still got a long way to go but I feel that I can better appreciate differences between my peers and myself and I feel more open-minded about everything else.

“I’m not here to talk about how pretty I am, I’m here to talk about the deal.” That’s another huge lesson that I picked up – how to deal with being female. In many ways, yes, our world is changing. There is more ‘equality’ between men and women as compared to the past but other hand, it is not yet enough; us females are still up against them men in the business world. I really liked the way Prof handled the situations life presented her with in the stories she tells us. Be firm but respectful, take advantage of your prerogative as a lady (with class, of course) – unlike men, you can buy little cakes. I remember one Shark Tank episode where the lady Shark Barbara actually said something to the extent of “Use your femininity to get the sales,” which the guys retorted with a “You just put down the entire female race.” I agree with the guys. I think we should use qualities like intelligence, sincerity, caring and attributes of that ilk to work to our advantage. I should come up with my variation of the line; maybe deadpan a “I know I’m pretty, but I’m not here to discuss that.”

One thing I loved about the course was that we had to go out and do ‘break-out sessions’. It added a real-life, extremely applicable angle to learning about entrepreneurship. It forced us to (first of all, wake up,) come out of our shells and think on our feet, which I think is one of the biggest differences between being a student and being out there. In the classroom, it’s such a safe and zero-risk environment that one tends to get complacent but when thrown out into the real world, we don’t get a choice; we have to think out of the box.

In terms of hard skills, one doesn’t pick up much in this course. What you do pick up though, is that you need to go pick them up. Prof encourages a very self-learning type of environment, in my opinion a good value to inculcate. College may be ending soon, but learning never stops. Speaking of which, I need to go learn some coding…

Thank you to Prof Pam Lim for the wonderful journey, and to everyone I’ve met in this course, I leave with invaluable lessons and memories that will be treasured for a very long time.

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When I first registered for this course, it was solely because EBC is the core subject for entrepreneurship major in LKC School of Business. There were 2 professors teaching this course, one of them was Prof Pamela Lim. I did not know the other prof, so I bidded for Prof Pamela as I have already taken 2 other courses under her – TE and EM.

Having enrolled in courses under her, my expectations would be somewhat defined: brainstorm for ideas, present from textbook, develop business plan, and lastly, execute the idea. However, although the contents are somewhat repeatable to many other courses taught in SMU, there will always be something new that we learn every session. I am not the type of person who speaks out in class often, but I have gained insights from our classmates on and off the session, be it in class or on facebook forum.

As usual, brainstorming of ideas was not easy. There were many obstacles that we face initially. My team and I went through many phases of idea generation. Our first concept was called indigenous, a fashion hub for local designers to sell their designs. However, we realised that while Singaporeans love fashion and clothes, many still have low faith in local talents. We also figured our revenue models of the idea (using our knowledge in business to collect rent and market the shop) and thought that it might not be very beneficial to the designers themselves. Besides, little market could be found in Singapore.

Next we moved on to Oodle, a convenient breakfast shop located in CBD area. Again, the idea sunk after we went through the list of competitors, as well as the skyrocketing rental cost in CBD. We thought about many other ideas and at last, we settled with “A Drop of Honey”.

The EBC journey was fun, thanks to my teammates. Although sometimes there are various disagreements among the team members during meetings, we managed to form a close bond among each other. Some of us are really passionate that we may really execute this idea and turn it into reality. Sometime in the future, we might see “A Drop of Honey” shop along the streets of Singapore. My teammates Minyu and Valerie both love arts, they like to make videos and slides. You can see how beautiful they turned the slides and videos into. Eileen is very meticulous and she is the best person when it comes to financials. Carine and Vin See, both majoring in marketing, loves to think of various concepts to attract customers. My teammates contributed to the project with all their hearts and that really means a lot to me.

Furthermore, the journey will never complete without the role of our “mother”. Prof Pamela never failed to inspire her students. As always, she likes to pick examples from real situations and apply it to her concepts. I find her breakouts in every session very useful. The one that I find really fascinating was when she asked us to call various media companies and try to get them to feature our business idea.

In EBC, I have learned to think beyond the obvious, to analyse every possible opportunities and make it work. I’m thankful to be able to work with a wonderful team that makes this whole journey worthwhile.

Thank you!

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EBC-2011/12Term2-Yessita Azeharie

I feel like my learning about entrepreneurship is maximized in the courses that I have taken with Prof. Pamela. Perhaps it's because I learnt about the basics of being an entrepreneur, and also the implementation part of it. Surely, if I become an entrepreneur one day, one of the things that I will look back upon will be what Prof. Pamela has taught me about entrepreneurship.

I first took Prof. Pamela's class on MGMT324 Technological Entrepreneurship (TE). It was a fruitful journey, and I have to admit, I had themost fun during the guest seminar back then. I realized that all the struggles, the headaches, the planning, it all becomes worth it when we actually carry out the business. At that time, my team's business was about custom-made cookies for various events. Being a product-oriented business, the best experience comes when customers actually buy your product, and you promoting that product for them to buy.

Where does EBC come in then? EBC comes in before that. A more in-depth focus on the business plan - the planning stage. I still remember during the first class that when Prof. mentioned that EBC is a class that comes before TE, I was surprised. So for me, it was like jumping back one step behind and focusing deeper on that. I feel that it's good that I managed to take both EBC and TE before I graduate, because if I ever want to be an entrepreneur, I should take these two classes, because they are like the fundamentals. You can't start a business without a business plan, just like it's foolish to enter a battle without a plan/strategy. I remember the meetings that I had with my Dennis and Albert prior to writing mommyQ's business plan. By the time we finished the meeting, the whiteboard was full of scribbles and notes. More than often, we came to roadblocks - about financials, marketing, and operations especially. However, as I mentioned before, all the headaches, all the roadblocks, they are good learning points because only through struggles we get to maximize our learning. In EBC, I feel that the best experience comes when the business plan components are pieced together to form a detailed business plan. That's where you can see each and everyone's hard work and struggle.

One of the highlights for me during my EBC journey was during the guest seminar in week 10. I had so much fun working with my team for the popcorn booth. I felt that I did what I like best - serving people and making people happy. It was also one of the thoughts that I had for my career, to work in a customer-oriented industry, perhaps in the service line. Aside from that, I also valued the guest speakers that have spoken on that day. Somehow, when I hear entrepreneurs speak, I get the feeling that it's not impossible to start something. That it is possible to bring ideas to life. I also came to understand that ideas are ageless. They live in your mind and remain until you make it come true. I spoke to my mother a few days ago about the idea of having a mini market business one day (I wrote this in my journal 2 as well), which was an idea that I have been keeping in mind since childhood. The idea was actually hers in the beginning, but I thought I will continue it for her, so I kept that in mind. I couldn't believe that she still persisted on that idea even after many years. I guess it goes with the saying that dreams don't die. Therefore, this class encourages me to keep my dreams alive, and as long as I have the will and determination to make it happen, it can happen.

All in all, Prof. Pamela is one of my favourite professors in SMU. She's encouraging, down-to-earth, and she remembers her students. I value teachers who remembers their students, because it shows how they value the people they meet. I never see her turn an idea down. Instead, she would encourage us to try it and see how it goes. I think she's admirable as a teacher and entrepreneur. Also, I like her unique teaching style and how she tries to add practicals to her classes, so it's not just theory alone. She makes us experience things for ourselves, so in a way, it's also like she makes us learn things on our own. I am glad to have met her, and I wish her the best for her life onwards, and her family as well.

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