Thursday, 31 March 2016

Picking Up Entrepreneurial Skills At A Young Age

To ignite their entrepreneurial spirit, 45 students from 6 YMCA Student Care Centres (SCC) at East View Primary, Hougang Primary, Oasis Primary, Sengkang Green Primary, Springdale Primary and Yio Chu Kang Primary participated in the Sengkang South Little Entrepreneurs Bazaar at Hougang Marquee N6 on 19 March 2016. Mr Gan Thiam Poh, Member of Parliament graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour. Mr Lo Chee Wen, General Secretary, YMCA of Singapore and Ms Lynette Yeo, Assistant General Secretary (Social Enterprises) were also present at the event. Together with Mr Gan, they visited the students’ booths and checked out the students’ handmade creations for sale.

Prior to the event, ticket vouchers were sold to residents and parents at $10 each. Each ticket consisted of food and drink stubs, game booth tickets, and currency coupons for them to exchange for crafts handmade by the students. Each school had their own unique items for sale, such as handmade roses, pen holders, and decorative pieces using recycled items.  To generate sales, students had to come up with unique marketing strategies to engage residents. For example, students from YMCA SCC @ Sengkang Green created an advertising board listing down the items they had for sale while walking around with it.

To engage the public at the event, students from YMCA SCC @ Hougang designed a cardboard bus prop and ‘drove’ around the venue to sell their handmade hairbands and bracelets created with using recycled items. Through the event, the students learnt the value of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset from a non-financial point of view and are given early informal training into the world of business.

Students from YMCA SCC @ Sengkang Green were quick to express their positive experiences about the event. Goh Guan Rui, 10, said, “I liked (this event) because I experienced how to be a store owner and learnt how to attract customers to my booth.” Anya Yeo, 10, added, “I like the JEP programme because I (am able to) help the teachers in doing up the recycled craft. I liked the rides (at the bazaar), it was crowded but I had fun.”

All proceeds from the Sengkang South Little Entrepreneurs Bazaar went towards purchasing of Popular Bookstore vouchers for distribution to less privileged students from the 6 schools.  

Organised by P2ark Youths, the managing organiser of a wide range of activities and projects for Punggol Park Community Club, the top performing teams received prizes for their efforts.

The prize winners are:

Best Sales Award
1st Prize: YMCA SCC @ Sengkang Green
2nd Prize: YMCA SCC @ Hougang
3rd Prize: YMCA SCC @ Oasis

Best Marketing Award
YMCA SCC @ Hougang

Most Hardworking Student
Zaria Ng, YMCA SCC @ Hougang

As part of the students’ curriculum, the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) was implemented across all YMCA SCCs since 2013. Students plan, craft and sell handmade items using recycled materials to raise funds internally for the needy students in their schools. This is the first time the 6 centres in the vicinity of Hougang put their business skills to the test as they sold their items outside of school quarters.  

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