Entrepreneurs Share their Experience

I was invited to share my experience as an entrepreneur at UBD to students of “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”. Other speakers were Lili Yong of Lilli Lingerie, Rahimi Perdi of STAR Services, and Rahimin of Rafiqun IT Company.

It was a relief to know that there was a small group of students in UBD who were interested in entrepreneurship. I was told that the students were from a variety of faculties and not necessarily from business courses, for example some of them were from science faculty. This apparently was the initiatives of the Gennext at UBD, where students can learn a multidisciplinary subjects (at this I sometimes wish I was born a bit later to enjoy all these benefits).

liliThe floor was first taken by the loud Lili Yong (which I thought was a mistake… She should have been saved for last. She was that good) sharing her experience of graduating, then working for her father, then starting her business from a small 1st floor shop, to her now famous ground floor shop at kiulap. There were and are still of course, challenges that she has to struggle through she said. She said that starting a business is easy, It is keeping the momentum going that is challenging.

Then it was Rahimi of Star Services to share his experience starting hisrahimibusiness. He was a volunteer in a BSP related exhibition and apparently had impressed one of the officers there. Not long after, he was offered a position in doing to assist in managing other events. He had an option to become an employee there or offer his services as a business. So he took the latter. He has since then been working on managing that business. He shared that he also started a few other business projects, but dubbed them as “unsuccesful” businesses rather than failures.

RahiminRahimin of Rafiqun IT Company shared his experience of business as managing his family business. But then he wanted to pursue his own business. He had first tried to borrow from his father, but his father declined. Stating that when he (the father) started, no one gave him money to start. Rahimin shared this was probably the most depressing time of his life. He tried to borrow from the banks, but the banks requirements were difficult. But he knew a guy from one of the banks, and gave him an advice on how to make the requirements a bit more easier. Rahimin still needed to come up with a high amount, but found it easier when he contacted 3 of his friends and presented his business plan so that they would invest,  and they did. His IT company has since made deals with international companies and won the think big business plan competition early 2009. Rahimin stated he was lucky to find an employee that was very talented, despite having only 2 O’s.

Finally it was my turn to woo the students into becoming entrepreneurs (fingers crossed). I shared my formal education background and revealed that it was unrelated to business or entrepreneurship. I was a science student from O level, A level and UBD. And I had also had dropped out of UBD in my final year (Not that I recommend it.. Really.. I don’t ). My entrepreneur spirit came out when I was dragged into a network marketing weekend seminar, and saw a diagram of 3 things. An eye, an obstacle, and a representation of a person’s dreams and ambitions. I had realized that I did not have any ambition, I was 24 at that point, but had no idea what I wanted in life. That image had haunted since. a few weeks later, I saw the Ad for LiveWIRE Business Plan Awards and I joined. I joined a few more times before I won the Grand Prize for the LiveWIRE Participant category. From then on I used the winnings to start the Business which I had planned. In finishing my story, I shared information on where I learned about entrepreneurship, from books, the internet, courses at EDC, LiveWIRE and iCentre, and finally from the experience from starting and running a business.

The event then closed with Dr Habrizah presenting mementos to the presenters.

I have left out a lot of details from the speakers as I think it would be more lengthier than it is now. I will continue with this article by analyzing the commonalities between the entrepreneurs that presented in another post.


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