When I was invited by a primary school here in Singapore to present a talk to a group of Primary 6 students, I was so excited to go. It meant I would be sharing with these girls something I had never been exposed to when I was at school – how to run and market a business.
I was delighted to learn that our young students are being exposed to this kind of real-world education at such a young age and was honoured to help out and impart some practical knowledge.
The teachers at the school have cleverly twisted their end-of-year bazaar into an entrepreneurial challenge. The girls formed groups to run their own stalls and each group was in competition with the rest to make the greatest profit. They needed to plan everything from what to sell, how to market their stall to the pricing structure for the products. The exercise was designed to get these mini entrepreneurs to think about the key elements of running a business and they were all very highly engaged and determined that their group would win.
I was able to share some basic marketing advice with the girls to help them plan their stalls in the best way to give them an edge. I explained to the class the best ways to brand, market and sell their products, including the importance of knowing who they were selling to. They had to consider whether there was sufficient demand for the products they were thinking of selling. They needed to think about how to build a brand identity and marketing strategy, and how to choose a strong leading salesperson for the day itself. The girls were so excited to get started!
They asked me about my business and how I got started so I was happy to explain to them that I had started the business from home with the plan to be able to look after my own children and how, by accident, I ended up starting Singapore’s first and longest-standing copywriting agency way back in 2003.
I like to think I inspired some of the girls to want to start their own business some day, and at least they know that it is possible.
I consider it an obligation as a business owner to give back to the community and this visit was one small way I am able to make a difference – and perhaps empower potential businesswomen for the future!
And it was a chance for me to gain inspiration from the students themselves, too. Not every child will be the next Yang Lan, Oprah Winfrey or Beyonce. Not every child will want to be! But in a world of start-ups and business-savvy creations, entrepreneurship is an essential life skill. I’m glad that our youngsters are introduced to the concept at such a tender age.