Dropping Out To Start Own Business: Radical But Don’t Panic

‘When Mr. Oswald Yeo dropped out of University of California, Berkeley, to run his start-up full-time in 2016, his family and friends thought he was out of his mind’ – Straits Times.


We have heard stories, not just in Singapore but around the world, about bright young people dropping out of universities to start their own business, or for any number of reasons. If your child is seriously considering dropping out of university, should you be worried?



Business risks


A dose of realism is what these students need. While start-up successes and stories of entrepreneurs rolling in money are romantic and dramatic and so inspiring, many failures and heartaches go unreported. For every Facebook founder there are thousands of nameless entrepreneurs who didn’t make it.  As a matter of fact, 99% of startups fail. Having a degree gives a cushion, a fallback, a safety net, should the business venture fail.



What is the real reason for dropping out?


Perhaps the reason why your child might want to drop out of university is not to launch his own fashion label. It may be a more mundane reason: he is not happy or doing well in his studies. Is the course he is taking unsuitable for him?


If that’s the case, explore other universities and courses suitable for your child.


With more employers employing students without a degree, forgoing one might not be all bad. However, this is different from sector to sector. It is not the same. Understand what he really wants to be doing in life, find out what the sector needs, then decide whether a degree is what he needs.