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Business Advice

*Scape offers basement retail space

More space for young people to run business in Orchard Road area.
The Sunday Times - October 21, 2012
By: Daryl Chin
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*Scape offers basement retail space

Young entrepreneurs can now enjoy more retail space in the heart of Singapore's shopping belt, as they launch their budding businesses.

This after *Scape, a youth community space located just off Orchard Road, opened its basement up for more start-ups run by young people.

*Scape Underground, as the redeveloped area is called, was launched yesterday by Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, who was the guest of honour.

Mr Iswaran noted that many young business owners have taken the leap by moving up from *Scape Bazaar, an earlier initiative where budding entrepreneurs ballot for booths to sell their merchandise, to *Scape Underground.

"These young entrepreneurs can now grow their businesses right in the heart of Orchard Road," said Mr Iswaran, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs.

*Scape chairman Lee Hong Chuang said most of its basement tenants who started at its bazaar located at the complex's entrance and the fourth floor were paying a daily rental of only $50 a day over the weekend.

All the 37 tenants at *Scape Underground yesterday were either students or young people under the age of 35, retailing a variety of locally designed goods.

Besides enjoying relatively cheaper rents of up to $1,700 a month, these youth entrepreneurs receive help through mentoring.

Mr Lee said the new space acts as a platform for those who might eventually want to move to full-fledged units, but need to test their products and price points.

"We do understand the need for them to grow," he added. "However, getting them to move directly to retail units will be a big jump and commitment for many of them."

Recent Lasalle graduate Grace Supandy, who operates a stall that sells locally designed clothes and accessories, welcomed the new retail space.

"This is the cheapest spot you can find on Orchard road," said the 24-year-old. "Now we are still learning and getting a feel of the market but hopefully we can expand in a year or so."

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