Land, Labour, Capital and Entrepreneurship – amongst the four key factors of production in Economics, what might seem the most unfamiliar to many would undoubtedly be the latter. While many of us may toy with the idea of going into business or even starting one up someday, few have a clear idea of what entrepreneurship entails.
Raffles Entrepreneurs’ Network (REN), also affectionately known as Entre by its members, provides you with an excellent platform to find out first-hand what being an entrepreneur means. For one, members get to interact and network with entrepreneurs through both talks and industry visits. In 2014, we visited and dined at Dignity Kitchen, a social enterprise that employs and trains the disabled and underprivileged. Additionally, we kick-started REN’s first ever Raffles Business Symposium (RBS), where we invited entrepreneurs such as Lyn Lee (founder of Awfully Chocolate), Peter Goh (founder of Chloros Solutions) and Khairul Rusydi (founder of Reactor) to speak to us. Through these interactions, members gain insights into the entrepreneurial journeys of these speakers and learn invaluable lessons from them.
Additionally, members take part in exciting business competitions which simulate the research and planning involved in starting up a business. REN emerged as the 2014 national champion for both the Students for the Advancement for Global Enterprise (SAGE) and Social Innovation Relay (SIR) competitions. Both winning teams then went on to represent Singapore on the global stage against numerous other countries. Competitions provide members with a platform to hone their pitching and planning skills, and challenge members to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions to existing problems in the world. Experienced mentors from external organisations also provide guidance to our teams, allowing members to gain deeper insights into the intricacies of business and enterprise. As Club President Chun Soon Kon (15S03N) puts it, “My perspective on what business was changed completely when I experienced the exciting challenge of competitions, which made me feel like a real entrepreneur working against the odds.”
Another exciting initiative we rolled out in 2014 is RenXchange, a business service entirely thought out and executed by REN members for Rafflesians. Members in REN can actively share their own ideas for the club to consider, and work together to develop initiatives they would like to have. Notably, all members have the opportunity to be part of an organising team for a key event. This allows every member to hone their organisational and leadership skills, whether they are in the EXCO or not. Member Rachel Lee (15S03O) reflects that her experience as Entre Week I/C “has been a very enriching one, with many new experiences such as designing an ‘Escape the Room’ game. We grew to be resourceful and spontaneous to tackle unexpected challenges that popped up.”
Of course, REN isn’t just all work and no play. J1s can expect a fun-filled orientation and an induction day camp, during which exciting games and bonding activities will be held, along with a mini pitching competition. Batch meals and spontaneous group dinners are also relatively common and attest to the strong CCA spirit. Vice-President Rahul Jayaprabha (15S07C) enthuses, “I feel at ease looking to my club-mates for support and guidance when the going gets tough.” As these ties forged between members help promote the teamwork necessary during competition and event preparation, our members’ welfare is of great importance to us, and REN constantly seeks our members’ feedback to improve the REN experience.
Ultimately, REN is bound to be an eye-opening experience not only for those interested in business and start-ups, but also for those who want to experience the thrill of seeing an idea develop to fruition, or those who wish to gain organisational skills useful in many aspects of life. Selection is based on interest and commitment to the CCA, and no prior experience in entrepreneurship is required. Any individual who seeks to make a positive contribution to the world through innovation and entrepreneurship is welcome to join the team.
If you want to be part of our motivated group of Raffles’ Entrepreneurs, remember to try out for REN when CCA trials start! For more information, do also visit our booth at Open House 2015!