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Programme for Aspiring Entreprenurs

In 2019, we successfully conducted two rounds of free training programmes targeted at working professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs. 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our research and training programme in 2019, and a special congratulations to our best idea winners, Marshall Poh and Randy Toh! Their ideas on Micro Loans and E-Waste Recycling have been selected to win the $1,000 cash prize each, among the hundreds of submissions provided by all our attendees. Our panel of judges, which included members of the research team, chose the winning entry based on multiple criteria which included idea novelty, feasibility, and profitability.

Read on to find out more about the programme.

What did this programme cover?

Participants learnt key techniques to identify opportunities. As part of the programme, they were also asked to respond to questionnaires and short interviews that tracked idea development over time. Monetary incentives was provided for their contributions.


  • Gain opportunity identification skills from leading entrepreneurship professors from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) 
  • Expand network with fellow participants
  • Gain potential access to other NTU entrepreneurship programmes
  • Stand a chance to win prizes for the best ideas that can be a seed grant for your idea!


This training programme was open to all aspiring entrepreneurs over the age of 21. 
  • Polytechnic Diploma or higher
  • Proficient in English

    Programme Schedule

    The training took place on 2 Saturdays, 1 week apart. Each programme (including pre- and post- interviews and surveys) was held over a three month period. A follow-up was conducted three months after the end of each programme. 
    There are no training programmes for aspiring entrepreneurs currently underway.

    Training Content

    Innovation is the lifeblood of the economy and of organizations today. Any innovation or business venture originates from a discovery of new market opportunities. This workshop will introduce to participants the key innovation skills that are required to identify and evaluate business opportunities that may be the start of participants’ entrepreneurial journeys. The content the workshop will cover include:
    • Design Thinking, a tool and approach towards innovation: Design thinking has become increasingly popular in the world of business, with small & medium to large firms like P&G and SAP using and advocating the Design Thinking approach. Design thinking, emphasizing Human-Centered Design and empathy driven solutions, has been promoted widely by design firms like IDEO and Stanford University’s D School. It has now become a must-know tool for companies keen to grow and flourish through continuous innovation. The course will introduce participants to the key principles of design thinking.
    • Creativity tools and framework that help with problem solving and ideas brainstorming: Creativity refers to the use of imagination or original ideas to generate something novel. We will train participants to engage in divergent thinking, which refers to the deliberate attempt to generate multiple, novel and original ideas using a series of exercises and frameworks.
    • Pattern identification - examining the latest trends in technologies, business models and consumer behavior: Cognitive heuristics help individuals to interpret information and generate linkages to existing knowledge, helping to generate more business ideas. We train individuals to identify and perceive connections between seemingly unconnected trends and events.  Through a series of exercises, we will train participants to identify latest trends and apply pattern recognition techniques to recognize trends and to use the trends to identify new opportunities.
    • Ideas evaluation: Participants will be trained to apply various criteria to evaluate business opportunities to determine which ones may be worthwhile pursuing.
    • Value Proposition Development: Participants will unlock the potential of creating value to the lives of their chosen customer segment through the use of templates that aim to uncover and achieve the ideal fit between the target customers’ needs and the proposed product or service.
    • Resource Management: You will also learn about what makes entrepreneurs “entrepreneurial” by discovering the effectual principles that govern how successful entrepreneurs think and act. Finally, you will have the opportunity to create a personal development plan by considering your core values, assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and developing a realistic game plan to help you achieve your ultimate entrepreneurial goals and aspirations.

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