26 May 2017
In this ‘Confessions of SIMtrepreneurs’ four-part series, Dr Lee Kwok Cheong (CEO, SIM Global Education) interviews SIM GE alumni who have made their mark in the business world as entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (entrepreneurs working in organisations). Here are highlights of what they had to share.
Do You Need a University Degree to Run a Business?
“There are a lot of successful entrepreneurs now who are in their 50s, 60s and even 70s. They don’t need degrees – they don’t even have ‘O’ Level certificates – but they can run a business. That said, a university degree, especially from SIM GE, offers a global perspective… SIM GE provided us with a lot of knowledge to run our businesses on a different level... Tertiary education is important for the people that we meet, such as our peers, and lecturers who are industry leaders. These make a university degree valuable.”
“People think being an entrepreneur is very glamorous and you must be very rich and lucky. They are not entirely lies, but it’s more than that. It takes a lot of perseverance. I once didn’t draw a salary for six months – that’s how bad it was. You have to sacrifice a lot of other commitments and manage your time. The more I focus on the business, the less I can focus on other areas. This is something that nobody can see except our families.”
Advice for Students
“The best time to work for a smaller company would be five years after graduation. You’ll get to do everything and learn from scratch. The first five years is for you to really spend your time at work. You’ll get to see a lot of different things and grow from there.”
Watch Zac’s full interview: