CCA Previews ’22: Raffles Entrepreneurs’ Network

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By Koay Tze Erhn, President and Darrell Soh, Vice-President 

Ask any student in RI, and you’ll quickly find out people tend to know our club for one reason: the iconic, snug REN shirt, specially designed by our club.

But for those who want to know how REN develops your untapped potential, let’s dig deeper. 

Every one of these three words – Raffles Entrepreneurs’ Network – has great significance. Some might question if “Raffles” holds any more importance than simply pointing out that our club is located at Raffles Institution. The truth is, this gives you the opportunity to connect with many capable, experienced alumni who are more than willing to guide you on your journey. These alumni come from a diverse range of industries, and you could even meet CEOs of big organisations in person. 

The many connections you make in REN will open new doors, in the form of internships at the end of the year, mentorships to guide you along your product launches and sometimes even business opportunities. These internships at enterprises such as ExpertConnect Asia and Bloomback help our members gain deeper insights about business management. Our club offers a forest full of opportunities, but every opportunity is a hanging fruit. Ultimately, it is up to you to grab it. 

“Entrepreneur” speaks volumes for itself. Stating the obvious, joining REN means that you will become an entrepreneur yourself. But what does it mean to be an entrepreneur in our club? 

Of course, you’ll have plenty of chances to participate in internationally-renowned business competitions. Of course, you’ll get better at brainstorming ideas and pitching your business plans. And of course, it looks pretty decent on the portfolio. 

But a paper achievement is not all that REN members seek. As a social enterprise, REN turns floating ideas into real, touchable products for a cause. You’ll get to work with different non-profit organisations to empower marginalised communities through your very own creations, such as inviting beneficiaries with cerebral palsy to tie-dye shirts for sale at Tekka Place (a project we’re currently working on). If innovating for a noble cause is what you are looking for, REN is the right place.

Social Innovation Relay 2021, a business case competition where a team from REN clinched First Place in the National Finals and subsequently First Runner’s Up in the Global Finals.

A painting done by CPAS trainees, sent to REN as a token of appreciation.

Enamel pins (with one featuring the beloved school cat, Teddy!) sold in a collaboration between REN and Art Club.

The spirit of social entrepreneurship was embodied by Entreweek 2021, an approximately one week-long sales event where REN members engaged social organisations and enterprises. It featured delightful cookies hand-made by APSN (Association for Persons with Special Needs) students as well as plantable pencils by Left-Handesign, among many other exciting products. 

Lastly, “network” is an integral part of REN’s culture. As student entrepreneurs, it is imperative that we establish and maintain friendships with the like-minded people we meet. One of our annual signature events is the Raffles Business Symposium (RBS), which serves as a greenhouse for budding youth entrepreneurs to share their bold ideas in the competition segment and to hear from entrepreneurs who are well-versed with current market demands. 

The theme for RBS 2021 was Fintech and Digitalisation, where we saw youths present their ideas for digitalisation at places ranging from hawker centres to hospitals. Notable speakers with experiences at Razer Inc and IBM Asia Pacific shared their feedback and insights. It is through RBS that REN strives to foster the spirit of collaboration and the sharing of knowledge.

Competition finalists, panel speakers and REN RBS committee during the photo-taking session.

In essence, REN offers you a great freedom to charter your path and create a wonderful entrepreneurship journey full of opportunities and meaning. For those who are passionate about changing the world, one step at a time and on your own terms, don’t waste another second. Join us every Wednesday from 8.30am to 10.30am, where you work with your subcommittees on upcoming sales events and meet the entrepreneurs we invite to our speaker sessions! 

*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.

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