CCA Previews ’19: Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network

By Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network

Innovation. Entrepreneurship. Disruptive industries. People keep throwing around these big buzzwords to talk about the most trending startups, to describe the biggest visionaries and tech geniuses. But what does it really mean to be an entrepreneur? Here at Raffles Entrepreneur’s Network, we don’t believe in defining “entrepreneurship” for you. Instead, we choose to give you the best opportunities to be an entrepreneur and define this elusive term yourself, and here are just some of them!

Something that you have probably heard of already is our own shop, REN.Co. REN.Co is a social enterprise that aims not only to give back not only to the Raffles family, but also the wider community. That doesn’t mean we sacrifice key business principles though! In fact, REN.Co has been so successful that we have made more than $15,000 in sales in the FY of 2018 alone, and even donated 40% of our profits to charity!

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Raffles Originals T-shirt series by REN.Co

However, that doesn’t mean REN.Co hasn’t stumbled upon failure. We planned a food subscription service where subscribers would receive a monthly food package, but our pilot test showed a lack of interest. Regardless, failure is just another part of business, and we continued to explore new possibilities like implementing a birthday-celebration service, running a cafe, creating Raffles-themed sports gear and so on. We simply kept in mind that there is nothing called “losing”, it’s “either we win, or we learn”.

As you can see, our ideas really run as far as the imagination goes. If you want to have a hand in dreaming and designing something everyone will use in school, while also developing your entrepreneurial skills through business pitching, planning and implementation, you can join REN to get this opportunity that you just won’t get anywhere else!

Ok, that sounds cool, but you’re a real shark, a real Steve Jobs. You want glory and money for yourself. Well, REN caters to that too! All REN members participate in a multitude of business competitions with immensely attractive prizes. This year, Team FIRD (Li Ren, Yuxin, and Hakim) placed top 10 in the national Social Innovation Relay, while Team Amicus (Qingke, Karen and Jiexiu) distinguished themselves with 2nd place. Team SPARC also did us proud by emerging champions of Raffles Business Symposium!

What is Raffles Business Symposium (RBS for short) though? RBS is an in-house raffles-organised competition cum symposium that aims to cultivate the entrepreneurial dare in like-minded individuals and serve as an incubation ground for their ideas. RBS 2018 hosted groundbreaking entrepreneurs, such as Mr Dragos Necula, co-founder of Etrican and Mr. Aloysius Sng, founder and CEO of REFASH, as well as leading visionaries like Ms Claire Wong-Low, Head of DBS Foundation, Ms Karen Lee, Sustainability Lead of Interface, Ms Wong Xin Yi, Sustainability Manager for H&M Southeast Asia to share their experiences on our theme, “Environmental Sustainability”. We also invited 4 finalist teams to present their innovative yet practical solutions to environmental problems in a heated and exciting finale.

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REN President facilitating QnA session with RBS Judges at RBS 2018.
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Ethan Wei Yuxin of Team SPARC presenting on their idea, SparkleCube.

At RBS, REN members have the opportunity to create the business competition that they have always dreamed of participating in, and set the theme they find the most meaningful and engaging. What’s up for this year? That’s still up for us to dream.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? For REN, the answer to this philosophical question is just “no”. The best products and most ideal competition doesn’t mean anything if no one knows about it. That’s where Publicity, or Pubs for short, come in. With a range of duties from putting up posters to organising CCA outings to managing the instagram page, Pubs are involved with publicising all of our cca activities and we’re kept really busy with it! However, all of our hard work do pay off when we see the satisfactory results of the event. ~^-^~ We also run our own INSTAGRAM PAGE → @rafflesentrepreneurs. Be sure to follow our page for good deals such as discounts and giveaways!! ^-^

REN also organises Entre Week, a week dedicated to showcasing entrepreneurship and highlighting its importance! Together with REN.Co, Pubs planned this event. One of the 2018 event’s highlights would be the Speakers’ Series where we invited 3 speakers: Su Xian Seow from IUIGA, Rusydi Khairul from Reactor and Gillian Tee from Homage. Attendees found the talks thoroughly fascinating and fulfilling, and it was really rare opportunity to interact with such experienced entrepreneurs!

Tired yet? Well, there’s always more at REN, and the end of the year means time for internships. This year, we successfully linked 6 members to 2 companies (CodePlay and ExpertConnect Asia) for our Nov-Dec Internship Programme. Our internships were definitely enriching and worthwhile, with our members gets to learn how a startup operates, gain greater insight on business management and understand more about the specific field. The days before the internship were filled with curiosity and excitement as we wondered what was awaiting us. Our member Vanessa notably said that the internship was “one of the best things she has ever done”.

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REN members (Left to right; Zheng Feng, Vanessa, Shanice, and Pearline) with their mentor from ExpertConnect Asia

REN doesn’t just cooperate with local enterprises, though. 10 of our REN members were given an opportunity to work with young visionaries alike from New Zealand and pitch novel business ideas under the board of the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce. This allowed our members to be exposed to collaborating with people of different beliefs and cultures, further pushing our members’ understanding of working with people of various work styles.

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REN collaboration with the brightest young entrepreneurs from New Zealand!

After all this, you might feel exhausted. However, REN always finds time to chill and have fun. REN members can expect to play hard and work hard during our weekly 2h sessions every Wednesday, before really committing to fun during our annual CCA camp as well as regular field trips out to different entreprises!

So that’s what REN really is, a diverse bunch of people having fun and working together to do a whole lot of really unique stuff, and if any of this stuff made you go “Wow, that’s cool!”, sign up for REN! We’re looking forward to meeting the most passionate entrepreneurial spirits that Raffles has to offer, and finding out what you think “entrepreneurship” means.

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