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Inspiring Youth Entrepreneurship - a Sandbox Somerset Recap

Swish | 05 February, 2023

Organised by Invade in partnership with Somerset Belt, the annual Sandbox Somerset showcases stories and lessons from 100 youth founders through a series of fireside chats.

Kicking off Sandbox Somerset, here's what Kent Teo (Founder and CEO of Invade) and David Chua (CEO of National Youth Council) have to say about their aspirations for the revamped Somerset Belt and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

What is the Somerset Belt?

The Somerset Belt makes up a core part of the Singapore Youth Action Plan - an initiative which seeks transform the stretch of road extending from *SCAPE to the junction of Somerset and Killiney roads into a vibrant youth precinct.

Aside from catering to a variety of youth interests and social impact initiatives, the Somerset belt also aims to be a springboard for young entrepreneurs. Through collaboration with business owners and facilitating a safe space with looser regulations, the Somerset Belt aims to innovate and push new boundaries, setting the precedent for agencies in other geographic and industry domains to engage in collaboration for a positive change.

United in a Similar Purpose

Just like the Somerset Belt, Invade shares a similar purpose in being a platform for realising aspirations, having its origins rooted in Somerset as well.

Invade started off with an intention to inject more vibrance into the local retail scene. With the help of *SCAPE management, what started off as a flea market with only 10 stores grew to 120 stores at its peak, with *SCAPE quickly becoming a space for youths to showcase their craft and wares through pop-up stores. Having amplified the capability and ambition of many smaller businesses within the *SCAPE community, Invade was able to cultivate an alumnus of individuals passionate about inspiring the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

Today, collaboration remains a key ingredient of Invade's strategy, with the events management company working together with many major brands to organise well-loved local events from Artbox to Makers' Market.

The Importance of a Founders' Community

The stories and mentorship provided by tried and test business founders within the Somerset community are crucial in inspiring the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

Every founder matters, especially those in the FnB and retail industry who have undergone their fair share of trials and tribulations on the ground. Serving as tested veterans in their respective industries, these founders play a vital role in bringing the Somerset Belt to life, by imparting their experiences and providing mentorship to aspiring small business owners.

Recognising the importance of every founder's experience, both Kent and David aspire to learn more about the personal struggles and stories behind the 100 youth founders they're hosting this year, and hope that aspiring business owners would be able to find similar drive and inspiration within these stories.

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