iCHEF supports new local F&B entrepreneurs

Singapore F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp Kick-off

The event simplifies the complex process of NEA licence application and how to work with banks for a new F&B outlet

iCHEF SG hosted their first F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp on Oct. 25th at DBS regional headquarters at Marina Bay Financial Centre. Targeting young and aspiring Singaporean F&B entrepreneurs, the F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp offers training on essentials such as getting your National Environment Agency Food Shop Licence and financing options available for startups and their prerequisites. This initiative is free for all DBS Business account holders, DBS BusinessClass members and iCHEF Club SG is the exclusive F&B community partner for DBS BusinessClass.


“Singapore has a strong and diverse gourmet culture, and there are more than 50 new restaurants opening every month on the island,” says Ken Chen, the Managing Director of iCHEF SG. “Yet 80% of new restaurants are opened by experienced F&B owners and only 20% are opened by first-time entrepreneurs. In Taipei the ratio is the opposite. But we see more and more young Singaporean entrepreneurs looking into F&B, and we want to work with DBS BusinessClass to bring our F&B community experience in Taiwan and Hong Kong to Singapore, and help these entrepreneurs learn how to lower their business risk and become successful. ”

The common risks most F&B entrepreneurs might encounter include not meeting the NEA’s strict requirements for the Food Shop Licence, resulting in a delay in opening, being unable to create enough market awareness to sustain their business, and depleting cash reserves during the course of business operations yet facing difficulties in getting financing from banks.

“As a first-time F&B business owner, iCHEF has shed light on important pointers that are crucial in ensuring that the process of getting my first shopfront is smooth. The bootcamp was lighthearted and answered many doubts that I had previously. It definitely helped a lot that the facilitators were upbeat and welcoming towards queries,” said attendee Ruiyi Chua, who runs pop-up smoothie bowl stall MA’ONA with her partner. They are in the process of taking over a kiosk at Icon Village.

Before this Bootcamp, iCHEF Club SG has co-hosted events for the Singapore F&B community with global industry leaders such as Facebook and TripAdvisor. It has also hosted forums for F&B entrepreneurs to learn from successful Singaporean F&B founders, including Mr. Thian Boon Hua of Boon Tong Kee and Ms. Phoebe Wang of I Love Taimei.


The F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp is a part of the iCHEF Club SG X DBS BusinessClass collaboration. The 2-hour long bootcamp will be hosted monthly in a small group format, and will have experienced speakers on topics including NEA policy and application, effective online marketing tools, and the essential financial tools and knowledge for F&B businesses.


Cheryl Tay is the editor and marketer at iCHEF Singapore. She also manages iCHEF Club, a growing community of F&B owners in Singapore – organising events, an online newsletter and the F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp, the only regular workshop on opening a new restaurant in the country. In her spare time, she attempts to read every book that’s ever won a literary prize and watches cat videos. Like any proper Singaporean, her love for food runs deep – especially spicy food. Chili is life.