Local startup Open Circles partners with National Youth Council to produce 9-month upskilling programme for aspiring entrepreneurs

Local startup Open Circles is partnering with the National Youth Council (NYC) to produce a nine-month programme to equip youths in Singapore with the knowledge and skills required to start and scale their own startups.

EP!C – which represents ‘Entrepreneurship’, ‘Personal development’, ‘Innovation’, and ‘Community’ – is a four-part programme that was launched in September 2020 and will end in March 2021.

Started off with a podcast series, the programme will progress with an interactive virtual conference employing technology unlike any other in December. There will also be a startup competition starting next month, and an entrepreneurs’ ideas festival in March 2021 – should the pandemic situation clears by then.

EP!C aims to provide approximately 1,800 youths in Singapore with upskilling, personal development, and networking opportunities.

The partnership between Open Circles and NYC was launched to address the discrepancies between youths interested in entrepreneurship and youths who actually become one. Currently, as the world is conquering the next financial crisis, this partnership expects to support entrepreneurs who may potentially be building the next generation’s mega startups.

“NYC is glad to partner Open Circles to support youth who are keen to broaden their horizon on the area of entrepreneurship. This is part of the larger NYC efforts to provide young people with opportunities for development, growth and exposure, while aligning economic and social outcomes to meet their diverse aspirations,” said Christopher Pragasam, Assistant Chief Executive at NYC.

“By levelling up the future-preparedness and growth mindset of our youth, they will be better equipped to face the evolving economic landscape in the post-pandemic world. We want to encourage our youth to have an entrepreneurial mindset and go forth to pursue their interest. This means supporting them to take bold steps and risks to shape their future, even if it means pursuing an alternative pathway,” he added.

A recent study was conducted by Open Circles, which spoke to 250 youths in Singapore – aged between 18 to 30 – to gauge local attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Based on the results, 73.5 per cent of the respondents have considered being an entrepreneur, though only 13.3 per cent of them are entrepreneurs today.

A deeper analysis on the question revealed that the top reasons why they haven’t started are:

1) No resources (52 per cent)

2) No money (52 per cent)

3) Still studying (49.3 per cent)

4) Lack of knowledge (46.7 per cent)

From the results, it is clear that a promising number of youths in Singapore have entrepreneurial aspirations. However, most of them are not chasing their dreams.

According to the PwC’s APEC CEO Survey, Singapore’s economy is believed to be perfect for Unicorn Startups (startups worth more than USD$1bil). Hence, it is crucial that government agencies encourage entrepreneurship amongst the youths.

“Open Circles has spent the past few years building a community of incredibly successful leaders from around the world, with a combined net worth of over USD$1 billion. Since COVID-19 has stopped us from producing our conferences and retreats around the world, one of our new initiatives is to influence and educate the world with the community we’ve already built,” said Cardinia Gladyandza, Community Lead at Open Circles.

To find out more about EP!C, click here.

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