Celebrating Singapore's National Day - Photography by Zerrin Studio

Entrepreneurship in Singapore: Tips from local business owners

by Susannah Jaffer August 09, 2018

At ZERRIN, we're passionate about raising awareness of business owners with incredible ventures who also care about their social or environmental impact. That's why, to celebrate Singapore's 53rd birthday (aka, National Day!) and the spirit of independence, we gathered advice from locally-based individuals making waves in the conscious fashion, beauty and lifestyle space. Aspiring entrepreneurs, take note! 

Know your 'why'

"Always start with why (to quote Simon Sinek!) Once you derive the meaning and purpose behind your business, it becomes a driving force behind all the actions you take and decisions you make. I think this is especially vital for socially conscious businesses to remember."
- Alicia Tsi, Esse  

Don't rush ideas

“When someone asks me if they should start something, I usually say no. Not because I want to discourage anyone, but I think if you need approval or encouragement to actualise a business idea, it's very likely that you don't believe in it properly yet. So think of something else; something that would make you work even with tons of obstacles." 
- Cissy Chen, Frank Skincare

Be determined 

"A socially conscious business needs tenacity, creativity and a positive attitude, plus lots of supporters around you when the going gets tough." 
- Anisa Johnny, Raffles College of Higher Education Singapore & Boheme Style Nomads

Don't quit your day job

"I always come across the mantra 'quit your 9-6 job!' I don't think it's that simple and you don't have to be quick to abandon your day job to start your dream company. Your startup will need capital and the best way to test the market is to bootstrap a minimum viable product with your funds to see if there is a demand for it. I believe that there is a safer transition from being an employee to becoming your own boss, and it involves sacrificing much of your free time to reap the rewards later. Keeping that vital salary also helps you test the market and push the need for external funding to a later stage, allowing you to have a proven business that is ready to expand."
- Mehdi El Aichouni, ANIA

A positive mindset is everything

"To have a positive attitude. Despite working in such a competitive industry, I always remind myself to look on the bright side even if something isn’t working out in my favour."
- Gin Tan, Yard Yarn

Take action

"I believe many of us come across problems that we wish we could fix, but we usually get too busy or distracted, and end up doing nothing about it. If we want the world around us to change, then I feel we all need to wish less and do more, and not keep waiting for the next person to do what you have the capacity to do."  
- Cheryl Ou, The Social Space

Ask for help!

"As an entrepreneur, don't be afraid to ask for help. Always look your best too, as you have to represent your brand. Finally, never take yourself too seriously!" 
- Winona Tan, Want Skincare

Like this story? Check these out: 

How to set up a sustainable fashion label

All you need to know about organic cotton

A handy guide to natural face oils


Susannah Jaffer
Susannah Jaffer


Founder of ZERRIN, Susannah is an avid lover of dogs and slowly made fashion. She is passionate about raising awareness of conscious brands who are doing their part to make the retail industry a better place.

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