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The SG50 celebrations may have ended, but a young Singaporean has already come up with an idea to help the Republic enjoy another 50 golden years.
Last November, Mr Vernon Yim, 22, set up the non-profit SG100 Foundation – with the help of seasoned businessman Dennis Ng – to link young people with local businessmen in the hope that more will be groomed into becoming successful entrepreneurs.
The foundation also hopes to inspire young people to play a more active role in the artistic and social sectors through partnerships with art groups such as the Band of Doodlers and voluntary welfare groups like the Salvation Army.
The SG100 Foundation held its inaugural event at Downtown East yesterday. The Towards SG100 Carnival featured game booths, performances and stalls run by start-ups selling food and merchandise. It drew 2,000 visitors.
CONNECTING LEARNERS AND LEADERS
The foundation will provide a platform for business leaders to provide budding entrepreneurs with the support and mentorship they need.
MR VERNON YIM, who set up the non-profit SG100 Foundation
Mr Yim told The Straits Times during the event that many young people here are keen to start their own businesses although they lack the experience or capital to do so. As a result, plenty of good and innovative ideas go unfulfilled.
“The foundation will provide a platform for business leaders to provide budding entrepreneurs with the support and mentorship they need,” said Mr Yim, a Hwa Chong Institution graduate who now runs SG100 Foundation full-time.
Mr Ng, 52, the co-founder, started education services business Kent Ridge Education. He said: “We want to not just develop young people in maths and science, but also provide them with knowledge and life skills to help them improve the economy of our country.”
The foundation hopes to achieve this through activities such as networking sessions, talks by business leaders, practical business opportunities and funding for viable ideas.
Mr Yim said the foundation will look into ways to fund these ideas, such as by working with industry partners and applying for government funding, and identify good business models and talent.
Mr Ender Jiang, founder of start- up Hiverlab, a virtual reality technology firm which had a stall at the carnival, said: “This event helped us reach out to more people.”
Entrepreneur Chong Soon Seng, 23, believes the foundation can help young people overcome their fear of starting a business. The engineering student and vice-president of Nanyang Technological University’s Entrepreneurship Society said: “We seldom get to interact with businessmen, and this platform will provide us with the chance to meet and learn from them.”