Temasek Polytechnic business student wins national award
TP student revamps family's traditional business model to incorporate e-commerce, social media
His entrepreneurial journey began when he was 16 years old, working as an accounting assistant at his family's business.
On Oct 31 this year, second-year Temasek Polytechnic (TP) accounting and finance student Su Jun Hao received the National Youth Entrepreneurship (NYEA) Award, a national award that recognises students who have displayed entrepreneurial qualities and contributed to the start-up ecosystem.
The 18-year-old won the gold award in the post-secondary category for being the owner of three online stores and a professional services firm that supports entrepreneurs in scaling up businesses.
Mr Su told The New Paper: "I was the youngest participant and it was my first time taking part so I did not expect to win it."
In November 2016, after completing his GCE O-level examinations, Mr Su worked at his family's import and export leather business.
"I decided to work in the family business because it made my parents happy, and I turned out to be good at what I do too," said Mr Su.
When he saw his father's traditional business model was not doing well, Mr Su decided to revamp it.
Apart from rebranding and renaming the company to Malayan Leather Craft, he also incorporated e-commerce and social media marketing, which led to an increase in sales.
Encouraged by the positive outcome, Mr Su started three online stores with his friends, two in 2016 under Monochrome Industries and one in 2017 called Vectorworkz.
All three online stores sold parts of Nerf guns - a passion of his - which he designs using 3-D printing.
He closed down all three online stores earlier this year to focus on his current service business called Kickass Young Marketers and Founders, which provide marketing services to brick-and-mortar stores.
Mr Su said: "It wasn't always easy for me. Sometimes, I don't get treated seriously by older, experienced businessmen because of my age.
"They look at me and think that I'm just a crazy 18-year-old. But I don't listen to them and I continue doing what I do."
Through all of his entrepreneurial endeavours, Mr Su received support and guidance from the Temasek Launchpad, an innovation and entrepreneurship hub that officially opened in TP this year.
The Temasek Launchpad is supplied with equipment, facilities and training programs to drive the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among students, alumni and staff.
The effort aligns with the Government's initiative for innovation-driven entrepreneurship and high growth start-ups that create new value and disrupt the status quo.
When asked for a word of advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs, Mr Su told TNP: "My advice? Don't do it.
"If they listen to me and stop doing what they do, then they weren't passionate enough to begin with."
WHAT Beyond '0' Level Seminar
WHEN Saturday, Jan 12, 9am (School of Applied Science and School of Informatics & IT); 11am (School of Business and School of Humanities & Social Sciences); 2pm (School of Engineering and School of Design)
WHO Students receiving O-level results next year and their parents
WHERE Temasek Polytechnic Auditorium 1 and 2