By Betty Ashman, Finder Blogger: The Business Pro, and founder of www.bettyashman.com
Entrepreneurial Support Systems
If you’re struggling find support for your business in personal circles, consider joining an entrepreneurial community. Communities are effective for business growth because they provide two key elements: 1. people to discuss and network with, and 2. an opportunity to leverage resources – those of the people you engage with, and of the community spaces you use.
Here are 4 prominent entrepreneurial communities in Singapore for you to explore:
1. The HUB Singapore
One of over sixty hubs comprising 7,000 members across the world, The HUB Singapore is a community centre that unites people with ambitious venture ideas with those who have vested interest in new ideas and resources to contribute. The local presence of The HUB potentially means an influx of talent, talent scouts, investors, and people who can move industries in Singapore itself.
The HUB distinctively encourages participation from a diverse pool of people, such as policy makers, students and creatives. This generates a broader range of discussion and the ability to produce and collaborate on powerful ideas.
Along with networking opportunities, The HUB Singapore holds workshops, organises events, and facilitates other initiatives sprung forth from members.
128 Prinsep St, Singapore 188655
Kennel. is a similar entrepreneurial community situated in Bugis. It is a smaller space than The HUB’s, but still proves to be an effective launch pad for a small business. Kennel. also provides literal room for entrepreneurs to work in the presence of other like-minded individuals, and allows everyone to share knowledge in that common working space.
Small business may find Kennel. more suitable than The HUB’s larger, more competitive network. The difference in size and influence between these two common spaces affects the type of network each attract. If you are looking to generate interest in your brand, or looking at a specific niche market with an uncluttered space to spread brand awareness, Kennel. may be a better choice.
261 Waterloo St, #02-24, Singapore 180261
3. Singapore Entrepreneurs Network
The Singapore Entrepreneurs Network (SEN) is a 5,000-member-strong entrepreneurial gathering with a wide variety of people. As SEN invites aspiring and existing entrepreneurs into their network, it is an ideal meeting spot for anyone looking to start or scale up their business. Here, you can gain feedback about your business model or idea, grow your leads, and seek potential hires for your expanding team.
SEN holds regular networking sessions with no membership or base charge. The lack of a pay gateway brings many entrepreneurs of all ages, aspiring and current, and invariably generates different ideas and knowledge each session. There are rarely set agendas, giving entrepreneurs an open opportunity to meet, get a feel for their market and collaborate.
Like many other professional mothers in Singapore, mother-of-two Sher-li Torrey struggled to find meaningful, flexible work options when her first child was born. Rather than giving up, she decided to launch Mums@Work in 2010 for other mums like her, listing flexi-work opportunities, offering career fairs and workshops, and creating a network of like-minded mothers. Today, this community has over 18,000 members and forms an excellent network for mums who want to equip themselves for a change in work direction or mumpreneurship. The Mums@Work career fair is a great way to meet fellow mums and potential corporate clients. Being an involved mum and entrepreneur is challenging, so it’s important to reach out for support in these networks.
I hope this article addresses gives you a good idea of where to start or continue your entrepreneurial journey. For more detailed advice to build a better life for yourself and your family, pick up a copy of my mumtrepreneurial book, Make It Happen, at bettyashman.com or Kinokuniya.
About Betty Ashman
Betty has many roles: mother, business manager and entrepreneur (she runs The Expat Fairs) as well as author of a new book, Make It Happen: 7 Steps to Thrive for Womenpreneurs. Look out for her tips on nurturing or starting a small business in Singapore and succeeding at work.