How to be an Entrepreneur in the Next Normal Era

Advice from leading Entrepreneurs from Southeast and East Asia

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation Southeast and EastAsia Regional Office has collaborated with FNF Alumna, Samantha Kampunan, to produce an event entitled “Next Normal Innovators: Navigating Emerging Landscapes in Entrepreneurship.” The 2-day online workshop presented leaders in entrepreneurship including; Mr. Oliver Chang, Mr. Tae Young David Kim, and Dr. Chinawut Chinaprayoon from the region, to speak about their own personal journey as an entrepreneur and what they have learnt along the way. On the second day, a pitch workshop was held by Artie Lopez, an experienced start-up coach. Two participants were also able to present their ideas and receive professional feedback in this innovative workshop.

When asked about the entrepreneurial mind-set Oliver Chang, Cofounder and Chief Operations Impact Officer at Impact Hub Taipei, told the participants “You have to be prepared to get your hands dirty.” Oliver works at the Impact Hub in Taiwan. Impact Hub is a global network which acts as a social innovation laboratory, incubator, and community centre. Since 2016, Impact Hub has cooperated with the United Nations Development Program to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Oliver is an “impact entrepreneur” which means he is bringing solutions to social and environmental issues by applying a business model. An example of Impact Hub Taiwan’s previous accomplishment has been Yilan Youth Hub. An accomplishment with the Yilan County Government. The space focuses on "Youth Career Counselling" and "Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills Training" to improve prospects for youths in the Yilan area. 

Oliver Chang encourages everyone to embrace their own failures, which is why Impact Hub across the globe run an event called “Fuck-up Nights.” A space for entrepreneurs to speak about their failures and what they would be differently. “Only by failure will people be able to get to know [themselves] better. This will lead them to reconsider or find new strategies to address their problems.” He summarizes the four key benefits of failure as an experience in which can be developed into knowledge, resilience, and growth. “Only by failing can an entrepreneur grow faster.”

Oliver Chang

Our second speaker, Tae Young David Kim is currently working on building a sustainable impact business model with the award-winning digital education game “Kitkit School.” Kitkit School is the co-winner of $15M Global Learning XPRIZE competition. The gamified learning product aims to solve global literary issues for children who may not have the resources or access to education. His pearls of wisdom is to “do something that you are passionate about, build your domain expertise, think creatively, and train yourself to recognize the opportunities around you” Through partnership with different civil society organizations, Kitkit School could be delivered to children in hard-to-reach communities and refugee camps.

Our last speaker, Mr. Chinawut Chinaprayoon is the Executive Vice President of the digital economy promotion agency (DEPA). The agency helps to benefit the Thai public by setting policies and taking direct actions to promote innovation and the adoption of digital technology to drive economic growth. When speaking about his experience working with the government Mr. Chinawut expressed the importance of government in helping to promote the entrepreneur culture. “Entrepreneurs need      a good inclusive ecosystem too, this includes a better working environment that incorporates financial advice, networking events, and facilities that benefit entrepreneurs such as Idea Space or Living Lab as an example. This [ultimately] acts as business incubators which can help the country grow.”


Additionally, a pitch workshop was held on the second day of the event. Artie Lopez is a start-up coach and co-founder of Brainsparks, the first and only "founder-focused" incubator in the Philippines. Throughout the session, Artie gave tips and strategies on how to create an effective pitch. In the session Artie discussed the effects of body language, examples of good pitches and bad pitches, an elevator pitch, the 10/20/30 Rule, and finally, on a guiding template on how to create a pitch deck. Artie left us with a quote that changed his life. “Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” The quote is originally by Tim O’Reilly.

*Sky Chatuchinda is the regional communication officer for the office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Bangkok, Thailand.