Singapore pushes 'entrepreneurial nation'

By Saira Syed

The team at Jobs Bolega, a start-up from India, is hoping to transform the way workers find jobs in developing countries.

Jobs Bolega, which means "Jobs will now talk", is aimed at people in the lower-income brackets who may not have access to the internet, but have a mobile phone.

"Using mobile voice technology, essentially we are getting employers and employees in a network like LinkedIn to get them a job," says Krishanu Dutta, a founding member of the team.

"We are creating a voice resume (CV) for them."

Krishanu and his team have come to Singapore as part of an accelerator program for start-ups from around Asia to develop their business ideas.

Jobs Bolega, and the other start-up teams from around the region, have 100 days in which they receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and specialists, after which they will pitch to investors.

The programme is run by Singapore-based Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) in a partnership with a subsidiary of one of the region's biggest telecommunications companies, SingTel.

"I see Singapore as the technology and start-up capital of South East Asia, not unlike the US where you recruit from around the world and get them to come into Silicon Valley," says Wong Meng Weng, who helped to start JFDI, taking inspiration from the likes of TechStars and Y Combinator in the US.

'Entrepreneurial nation'

There is a growing ecosystem to support entrepreneurship in Singapore, which gives it its hub position in the region. A lot of it has to do with the infrastructure available here, the business-friendly environment and an active push by the government to remove regulatory barriers.

In 2003, one of the recommendations a government economic review committee made was to make Singapore an "entrepreneurial nation willing to take risks to create fresh businesses".

Less than 10 years later, Singapore ranks number one in the world for ease of doing business and number four for starting a business, according to the World Bank.

TOC thanks Saira Syed for the contribution, view full article on BBC News here.