Mariyam Shaguftha Shareef (Maldives)
With a carefree attitude and smile on my face, I embarked on this journey of Technological entrepreneurship thinking that it would be like any other management course in SMU where you would have to come up with a good idea and a business plan. Only after 3 lessons, the smile was gone and the need to keep up with the fast pace the project was going was evident. Being my self a person who takes time to adjust to groups, especially when there are no previous friends in it, I found it challenging. However, since this was a journey I should see through till the end. I am grateful to the fellow teammates who helped me to make this journey easy and a fruitful one for me. Apart from learning the importance of having a dynamic group, I learned that group relation and commitments towards the same goal was also an importance factor. Throughout the journey, I learned a lot from other fellow classmates – most hopefully future entrepreneurs –, from the advices from the TA and most importantly from the lessons by Prof Pamela lim. From this course, I learned about how an actual business could be set up, what things should be considered such as NDA, and that there are amazingly number of avenues for seeking funds. It was only at the start of this semester that I had stopped from creating an own business, because of lack of funds and being an international student I wasn’t aware of the fund opportunities that I could reach out to. Thus, I was amazed to know that there are so many ways to finance my entrepreneurial ventures, and hopefully I will start that business in sometime soon. In this way, this Addition to this, from the sharing of experiences by Prof Pamela, and the experience I myself had in this course in starting the business, the course served as an eye opener to the actual challenges that would be faced when starting a business. Now when I am at the end of this journey, looking back I am grateful that I have taken this course. I could without a doubt say that this is one course that has actually made a huge impact in my life. It has given me chance to make my own mistake, guidance, hope and most importantly a network of entrepreneurs. In fact, I would recommend the people who have interest in entrepreneurship and who want to experience the journey without risking much, to take this course. In the end of this adventurous journey, though now less care free and more enthusiastic, the smile is still on my face.
Key takeaway 1: Sharing as a bliss
As I see, this course was all about sharing. Sharing of ideas in the brainstorming sessions, sharing of the project progresses after the breakout sessions, sharing through feedbacks and most importantly sharing by Prof Pamela Lim from her own experience. I learned that sharing is an important tool in-order to bounce off ideas. If it weren’t for all the sharing our project would have taken entirely a different approach.
Key takeaway 2: Change, change, change…change your business along the way
It was fascinating how our small idea has changed over the course of 12 weeks. In fact, the original idea is now only a one part of our project now. I still can remember that we was discussing our idea even in Week 8, when business plan was due on few weeks time. Every meeting we were incorporating the class feedbacks, our own thoughts to the new information that we have gathered and changing the idea along the way. Thus, our idea evolved through out the course and it was from this experience that I learned that business plan is only a part of the process. That it all depends on the idea, the goal that we want to attain, which is constantly changing.
Key takeaway 3: Do things that are close to your heart, rather than close to your pocket.
In this materialistic world, we have been brought to think of the importance of money. Everyone would have encountered at least once in their lifetime a situation in which they had thought ‘only if they had money’. Before coming to this course, whenever I thought of starting a new business, I would think of the monetary gain that it would make me achieve in the future. Have never even crossed my mind whether I would enjoy the venture that I would embark on. This aspect was only made aware to me by the sharing of experiences by prof Pamela and the guest speakers. Now, being in the midst of a part of starting a family business, I constantly wonder if I would enjoy my part in it.
I have always had interest in Singing, though I am personally a terrible singer. And I am a person who love to do community service. So, seeing the increasing number of beggar who play music and sing, why not open a club where they can do this more professionally and efficiently. Well, just an idea.
Key takeaway 4: Hope
Above all of this, the course has instilled me with hope. Hope that I could also start my own business. I was always afraid that I lacked the necessary skills of a leader. However, through this course I realized that, need not know or have everything that the business wants. You can always find people with necessary skills and always try to know part of everything. Thus, with new hope, I intend to start my new journey of my own entrepreneurship.