An Entrepreneurship Review Committee (EnRC) comprising members of the entrepreneurship community – venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs and institutes of higher learning (IHLs) – has embarked on a review of the entrepreneurship landscape in Singapore. The EnRC includes Dr Finian Tan of Vickers Financial Group, Ms Koh Soo Boon of iGlobe Partners, Mr Edgar Hardless of SingTel innov8, Mr Tan Min-Liang of Razer, Dr Loh Yu Chie of Biosensors International, and Dr Lily Chan of NUS Enterprise.
The formation of the EnRC to propose recommendations to enhance the entrepreneurship landscape in Singapore was first announced by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and Chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), at its 10th anniversary celebration in May.
“We set up the EnRC to review how we can enhance entrepreneurship in Singapore, and make recommendations on how to strengthen the entrepreneurship culture and nurture promising start-ups that will grow into the globally-competitive enterprises of tomorrow. I’m happy to announce that the committee has been formed. We have had initial discussions and the members are all very enthusiastic and full of ideas on how we can rejuvenate the entrepreneurship landscape in Singapore. We will engage as many people as we can throughout the year on what can be done to ensure that entrepreneurship continues to bloom in Singapore,” said Mr Teo.
A wide range of entrepreneurship-related issues were discussed at the EnRC’s first meeting on 10 July. The committee members shared their vision for entrepreneurship in Singapore and discussed issues such as the attraction of talent and start-ups’ access to market opportunities. They also revisited existing measures that have been put in place by the government to support entrepreneurship. These ideas and issues will be further explored and validated at a series of upcoming dialogue sessions with different stakeholders of the start-up community.
Commenting on the vision for entrepreneurship, Dr Steven Fang, Partner at Clearbridge Accelerator and also ACE Deputy Chairman, said, “We need to first develop a common understanding on how we want entrepreneurship to contribute to the Singapore economy, especially given our unique locality, conditions and challenges. We need to do that before examining how we can best groom entrepreneurs and start-ups. For instance, if the objective is to create start-ups that can provide good jobs for Singaporeans, how do we go about laying the right foundation to help these start-ups grow?”
Dr Finian Tan added, “Singapore entrepreneurs need to be more exposed to and be more aware of the emerging trends and opportunities outside of Singapore, and start-ups need to look beyond Singapore in order to develop regional, or even global solutions. Given the resource constraints in Singapore and the limited domestic market, start-ups have to think global and even consider starting global from day one.”
The EnRC members also emphasised that government policies must take a long-term approach, as building an entrepreneurial culture takes time. The EnRC will take in feedback from the start-up community in identifying the gaps and areas where the entrepreneurship ecosystem can be enhanced. Recommendations arising from the review will be ready in time to be considered for Budget 2014.
The first EnRC dialogue session will take place at 5.00 pm on 23 July 2013 (Tuesday) at Block 71, Ayer Rajah Crescent. For this session, entrepreneurs have been invited to share the challenges they face and to give feedback on enhancing entrepreneurship in Singapore.