I wasn’t at the ceremony tonight but pleased to know that Adrin from Yakun won the special category award! Now, where are the tech companies? I count only 3 of them amongst the 30 winners!
SINGAPORE, 15 November 2010 – Champion of small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in
Singapore, the Spirit of Enterprise (SOE) tonight convened its annual SOE Awards naming 30
honourees and the inaugural winner for its new award category. This year’s awardees come from various industries, including beauty and wellness, clean technology, food & beverage, logistics, media & entertainment and professional services, among others.
Eight years into igniting the entrepreneurial spirit among Singaporeans, SOE Awards has since recognised and honoured 304 self-reliant local entrepreneurs operating small and medium-sized businesses. Through the annual awards, SOE distinguishes the SMEs’ tenacity for building up their businesses.
Guest of Honour, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Manpower, in his speech during the awards ceremony, urged SMEs to improve their productivity: “While our SMEs actively seek growth opportunities, they must have the capacity back home to innovate, create new business models and improve existing product and services. The objective is to stay ahead of global competition, by creating new values from their solutions. To achieve this, our SMEs need to invest in their innovative capabilities.”
Michael Ma, president, SOE: “SOE conveys its warmest congratulations to the 30 SOE Honourees and first time SOE Entrepreneurship Award winner, Ya Kun International Ltd, for living up to their entrepreneurial spirit and becoming models of success for Singaporeans. We encourage you to become evangelists of entrepreneurship — tell your success stories and inspire others to follow your footsteps.”
“SOE’s main objective is to encourage Singaporeans, especially the young people, to start their journey in entrepreneurship. The stories of success of this year’s SOE honourees and the previous year’s winners hopefully make an important repository of learnings, techniques, best practices and solutions to similar problems that entrepreneur-wannabes and budding entrepreneurs might come across.”
Winrigo Pte Ltd, one of the 30 Honourees, is a firm with an environmentally-conscious outlook offering innovative and cost-competitive solutions to recycle plastic waste and convert them into eco-label plastic products. Among the achievements that Winrigo is proud to share include being a pioneer in plastics recycling in Singapore, developing bio-composite technology which turns waste into reusable products, and developing the first eco-eyeware in the country which it co-produced with Nanyang Optical. The eco-eyeware has won Winrigo the President Design Awards in 2009.
Another entrepreneur with humble beginnings is the Neo Group Pte Ltd in the food and beverage industry. Neo specialises in buffet catering, packed lunches and dinner delivery services. CEO Neo Kah Kiat related how he started his entrepreneurial journey by selling otah and satay when he was 12 years old. At this tender age, Mr. Neo developed a “buddy system” whereby he engaged friends to help him sell more of the food. This young entrepreneurial venture has now morphed into a solid food business group which consists of three catering arms, wine retail and first in Singapore yacht chartering service.
Another F&B entrepreneur and first-time awardee for the SOE Entrepreneurship category, Ya Kun International Pte Ltd, a household name famous for its kaya toast and coffee, was an honouree in the 2003 SOE Awards. Due to its exemplary growth and success from the time that it was recognised as a budding entrepreneur, SOE has selected Ya Kun to be the first recipient of the SOE Entrepreneurship Award. From a street corner coffee stall in the 1940s, the family-run Ya Kun has since expanded to more than 40 branches including other Asia territories like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
“SOE remains strongly committed to creating meaningful programmes to educate and inspire
Singaporeans, especially the youth, to become entrepreneurs. This year marked the start of novel and very successful programmes such as the SOE Entrepreneur Seminar for SME – Innovative Leadership for Growth and the pilot SOE Fundraising Golf Challenge. We deeply thank our donors, sponsors and volunteers for their undying support to make this advocacy successful,” said Mr. Ma.
For a full list of SOE Awards 2010 honourees, please visit: http://www.soe.org.sg/files/honourees2010.htm
The Spirit of Enterprise (SOE) promotes and advances entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore by honouring local self-reliant entrepreneurs operating small and medium-sized businesses. We also serve to inspire Singaporeans, especially the young, to become entrepreneurs by facilitating interaction, communication and knowledge dissemination between students, the entrepreneurs and the general public. SOE is a non-profit and donor-funded Institution of Public Character (IPC).