The Marketplace Ministry seeks to empower its members, and through them, make a difference in society.
The Marketplace Ministry was formalized at the end of 2008 to empower its members via the teaching of godly values as well as the formation of a community of businesses and businesspeople. In the areas of business, education, government, arts and media, the ministry is actively building networks where members can work together for mutual benefit.
Through its core activities comprising business luncheons, workshops and seminars, networking sessions, overseas trade missions, mentoring and advising, the MM has grown from strength to strength. Currently, it has more than 300 members from industries as diverse as retail, consultancy and manufacturing.
According to its chairman, Goh Yock Kiang, the MM aims to empower its members with God’s Word so that they can be committed to godly principles and values in their business and the corporate world. Believing that these values and principles should form the foundations of their business lives, a number of its members regularly meet in their workplaces for Bible study and prayer meetings.
The MM is also actively building a community where businessmen and businesses can work together for mutual benefit. Through its aforementioned activities, it seeks to match businesses which have compatible aims.
At the APEC SME Summit 2009, it was the only organization doing business matching. Delegates both foreign and local sought its help to be matched to an appropriate counter-party. For instance, buyers from China were matched with Indonesian coal suppliers, while a number of Latin American companies found their Chinese counterparts to enter the large China market.
In an interview after the summit, a spokesperson for the MM said, “APEC has just ended, but already we are seeing many successful matches that are resulting in many multi-million deals. This is very encouraging for local businesses.”
|PHOTO COURTESY OF MARKETPLACE MINISTRY
CN PHOTO: Michael Chan
Locally, it organizes business luncheons and networking sessions. Speakers at the business luncheons have included Seck Wai Kwong, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Singapore Exchange Ltd., Philip Ng, chairman of Far East Organization, Andy Lim, chairman of Tembusu Partners and MoneyWorld Group of Companies and many others. On average, 60 to 80 members attend each luncheon.
Business owners can also seek help through the MM’s panel of experts. Featuring top professionals in the fields of human resource, law, marketing, branding and logistics, members can write in to email@example.com to ask questions and receive advice.
For those who need more specific help, the MM has mentors locally and abroad. Indonesian businessman, Paulus Bambang, vice-president director of PT United Tractors TBK, a heavy equipment supplier in Indonesia and Teng Theng Dar, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation are two of the mentors helping the MM.
In May, American businessmen Paul Kim, founding and managing partner of Parakletos Ventures, a firm which invests in technology companies around the world, and founder of the Kim Law Firm in the Silicon Valley, and Ken Eldred, founder and CEO of Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust, came for a special session to speak to members of the MM. Kim has also done three teleconference mentoring sessions. Coming away from one of the sessions with new insight, Shane Chiang, executive director of SANDS Harvest International Pte. Ltd. said, “Kim commented that the industry is big enough, and we should work together instead of hurting one another. It was a mindset shift that challenged me to rethink the way I do business today.”
With the belief that even competitors can cooperate and co-exist in the same community, the MM aims to create a culture of knowledge-sharing and mutual support where MM members can encourage, inspire, and leverage off each other’s talents.
Said Nicholas Goh, senior financial services director of Nicholas Goh and Associates, “There should be more networking opportunities for people from similar industries to meet and learn from one another. In that way, all of us can improve and advance in our field.”
The MM was recently in China for a trade mission, and exchanged ideas with a network of almost 1,000 mentors there, who are passionate in empowering young entrepreneurs. They met governor officials, visited many successful Chinese enterprises, interacted with their CEOs and discussed collaboration with their Chinese counterparts.
By helping its members succeed, the MM hopes to be an effective instrument for transformation.
With a number of successes under its belt, the MM is planning more trade missions to Jakarta and Chengdu later in the year, and it is attracting partners internationally. Currently, their website is being revamped to host its overseas partners on the same platform.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, company, designation and contact details, or call Pauline Kong at +65 6334 6525.