Entrepreneur Series - Cesar Wee on embodying his family’s entrepreneurial spirit

Cesar Wee grew up surrounded by familial entrepreneurial activity, so it came as no surprise when he became an entrepreneur himself.

His parents built the family seaweed extract business from their dining room, where Cesar and his siblings saw their hard work first hand. During the summer holidays, while their friends were enjoying vacations, the Wee children were recruited to help with weighing ingredients and washing test tubes.

This is the crucible in which the next generation of entrepreneurs are created. As his parents' business became more successful, Cesar grew up learning the value of hard work, commitment and dedication - as well as tough decision making and frugality.

But he also learned about the flexibility that being a self-made entrepreneur can entail. His mother worked 'smart' around the schooling demands of her children, keeping hours that suited her and the family. She was able to create her own terms and built strong business relationships as a result.

Keen to achieve a similar work-life balance for himself, Cesar chose to go it alone along an entrepreneurial path instead of remaining as an employee in the family business. His company, Wee Community Developers, avoids competition with the family's property development arm by focusing exclusively on the residential sector. He set up the company with some friends and, while still working hard, has adopted his mother's habit of working smart, affording him the flexibility to spend more time with his own young family. He even has time to exercise.

While his parents passed on many important lessons about business, his first piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs is to find a mentor. His second: just do it. There is no teacher like failure and no substitute for experience.

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