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Helping More to Succeed

Published in SPH and SAFRA's NSMan Magazine (Year 2017, Nov-Dec Issue, Page 22)

· Media Interviews

This article first appeared on NSMan Magazine (Year 2017, Nov-Dec Issue, Page 22) by Singapore Press Holdings & SAFRA. Original text by Yong Shu Chiang. Link to original article here.

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Passionate entrepreneurs drive the efforts of the SAFRA Entrepreneurs’ Club to nurture both existing and aspiring business owners.

To succeed, one must first help others succeed. Jovan Tan, 23, a committee member for nearly two years with the SAFRA Entrepreneurs’ Club (SEC), believes in this mantra. SEC was formed in 2014 to nurture entrepreneurial spirit through continuous learning and networking.

Having worked on two “micro businesses” that didn’t pan out, Jovan, now a venture associate with TRi5 Ventures, can empathise with the struggles of budding businessmen. “We want to create a support system and a self-driven community for both entrepreneurs and aspirants to interact, bounce ideas and collaborate,” he says.

“I want locals, born-and-bred Singaporean entrepreneurs to succeed.” His committee colleagues, Nicholas Chan, 39, and Bobby Ng, 37, agree.


SEC does not provide instant solutions, or silver bullets, as Nicholas calls them. Instead, it will seek to address the needs of its members. Nicholas, who is founder and director of Azione Capital, an early-stage venture capital and startup accelerator, joined the SEC committee last July. He led the change to put in place more practical events, such as business networking sessions, besides regular educational seminars.

“It is an exciting time for SEC, as we are... changing to further engage our member on a deeper, more meaningful level, with more activities useful to them in their own industries.”

Bobby, an estate planner with Legacy by PFP, who has been with SEC since 2014, stresses that one doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur or business owner to join SEC. “Everyone has to start somewhere,” he says. In his own experience, interacting with SEC members has helped him to understand his clients’ businesses and concerns better.

An example of SEC giving more aspiring entrepreneurs a leg up is the flagship event – SEC’s largest and most ambitious to date – the SAFRA Entrepreneurs Marketplace, held at SAFRA Toa Payoh on 4 and 5 Nov, with the theme of “Homegrown Innovation”.

Jovan believes that members join SEC because they see value in what it does, and want to play a part in shaping Singapore’s entrepreneurial landscape. They are also working towards fostering a stronger community among SEC members, he adds.

#JOgraphy is the personal blog of Jovan Tan where he candidly shares his thoughts and views on a wide range of topics that are important to him. The views and opinions expressed in his writings do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of his companies or his affiliations.