ST Education Forum to debate entrepreneurship

In the lead-up to a debate at The Straits Times Education Forum, some of the speakers give their take on the motion: Entrepreneurs today do more harm than good.

Entrepreneurs are the "bedrock" of economic progress that provides for the advancement of nations, says Singapore Management University's (SMU) Associate Professor Reddi Kotha.

The associate professor of strategic management argues that entrepreneurs create businesses and new businesses create jobs, strengthen market competition and increase productivity.

And he has research to support this assertion.

Prof Kotha from SMU's Lee Kong Chian School of Business will be presenting his arguments in support of entrepreneurs at The Straits Times Education Forum on April 6.

He will be joined by three others arguing against the motion that "Entrepreneurs today do more harm than good".

The other speakers are: SMU provost-designate Timothy Clark, Ngee Ann Polytechnic business diploma graduate Chong Kok Leong and Ms Anna Haotanto, an SMU alumna who founded the financial and career advice platform The New Savvy.

Mr Aral Balkan, co-founder of Indie - a social enterprise striving for social justice in the digital age - will present the argument that modern entrepreneurship is harmful.

He takes issue with the business model underpinning tech-based start-ups, termed "surveillance capitalism", in which tech firms monetise the data captured through monitoring their users' online behaviours.

He will be joined by social entrepreneur Sumitra Pasupathy, country head of Ashoka, a global organisation that promotes social entrepreneurship.

They will have on their side two students - Stacy Lee from Catholic Junior College and Eliora Joseph from National Junior College.

Like last year's event, those attending will be asked to vote for or against the motion at the start and end of the debate.

The team that manages to swing more votes will be declared the winner.

The debate will be held at the SMU School of Law Building in Armenian Street. SMU is ST's partner for the forum.


The Straits Times Education Forum on Nurturing Entrepreneurs is supported by the Singapore Management University.

Date: April 6 (Saturday)

Time: 10am to noon

(Registration begins at 9am, guests to be seated by 9.50am)

Location: Singapore Management University School of Law Building, Basement 1

SMU Hall, 55 Armenian Street, Singapore 179943

Cost: Free for ST readers

Online registration:

Limited seats are available.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2019, with the headline 'ST Education Forum to debate entrepreneurship'. Print Edition | Subscribe