Together through difficult times: Young inspiring entrepreneurs share tips on staying resilient in times of crisis

(Clockwise from top-left): Laura Dawson from JustCo Australia, Han Jin, Co-founder of Lucid, Eileen Kamtawijoyo, COO & Co-founder of Populix, Will Fan, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus, Pahrada Sapprasert, Director of 500 TukTuks.

It’s tough being an entrepreneur, and perhaps – even tougher at the time of a global economic crisis. Over the recent few months, many entrepreneurs, start-ups and large businesses have been battling challenges while looking to pivot and reposition themselves amid the COVID-19 situation. The entrepreneurial journey can be a difficult path to walk alone, so opportunities where entrepreneurs can come together to share their challenges, seek advice, and even share learnings with others, would make them feel less lonely in your business battles 

How does one cope when faced with barriers and obstacles in today’s ever-changing business landscape? At JustCo’s Regional Signature Event, In Conversation with Inspiring Entrepreneurs, We spoke with four young entrepreneurs and game-changers from the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list of entrepreneurs. As members and partners of JustCo, they exchanged stories on their entrepreneurial journey, real life case studies on how to mitigatethrough crisis, their approach to innovation and more.   


Every challenge presents us with a new opportunity  

Crises don’t last forever. It is temporary and also a test of an entrepreneur’s resilience and ‘never give up’ spirit. For an entrepreneur, any disaster or challenge presents an opportunity for change and renewal an opportune moment to not only redirect and point businesses to a solution.  

When asked whether is COVID-19 hindering or helping innovation? Will, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus, is quick to respond, “You need moments like this to really trigger transformation. This pandemic has pushed us to look into new areas that are currently untapped, areas that we can arbitrage. 


Innovation begins with small steps 

Today, businesses are aware that innovation is the only way for them to grow and move forward. But what exactly is innovation?  

“In a start-up, if you don’t innovate on a daily basis, you die. If you’re not doing something different on a daily basis, then you’re not innovating and not bringing the company forward. This is what start-ups need to survive,’ highlights Han Jin, Co-founder of Lucid. 

Innovation doesn’t have to be big changes. It begins when someone sees an opportunity and reacts to it. Most importantly, it has to have a massive impact on the world of sensors and the internet of things. The difficulty lies in failing to recognise them and embarking on the very first step.  

To identify innovation opportunities, we need to put ourselves in the customers’ shoes – that’s an entrepreneur mindset. By constantly innovating, we are improving, growing and moving forward,” says Eileen, COO & Co-founder of Populix 


Fall down seven times, get up eight 

Being a successful entrepreneur does not happen overnight; it takes a lot of time, perseverance and a resilient mindset. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with good advice, mentors, friends, family who can help you push through these tough times,says Will, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus 

It is important to mitigate loneliness by developing camaraderie and a sense of belonging in  your team – it makes this journey a lot more fulfilling as everyone is working towards the same goal and direction.  

Believe in yourself. Keep learning and put your mind to it! For me, it is very rewarding to see new start-ups and entrepreneurs succeed – this is definitely something that keeps me going!” says Pahrada Sapprasert, Director of 500 TukTuks 

Last but not least, never be afraid to fail. True failure comes in the form of not trying. Entrepreneurship involves the creation of processes, not just the creation of work.Just like sailing; we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.  

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