The Definitive Guide on Singapore SME Grants


August 5, 2021
5 MIN READ

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Singapore, one among the four South Asian Tigers, is definitely a hotspot for business and eCommerce. Considering the sustenance and growth prospects in this South Asian destination, more and more businesses, especially SMEs are eyeing to establish and boost their presence in Singapore.

In Singapore, SMEs account for 99% of businesses and are responsible for 65% of the workforce. Being accountable for a better half of the entire Singapore economy and GDP, SMEs are deemed pivotal, and thus Singapore has come forward and extended a host of grants to SMEs to further their operations and success.

SMEs or Small and Medium-sized enterprises tend to have a different way of planning, and execution. Unlike MNCs, their needs for daily operations, working capital, and so on are quite diverse. The Singapore SME Grants are thus crafted to cater to these diverse needs.

Now, before we delve deeper into SME Grants in Singapore, let’s understand what is considered an SME in Singapore. An enterprise that is registered and operating in Singapore, has at least 30% local shareholding, and with the Group annual sales turnover below S$100 million and with a workforce of less than 200 is deemed an SME in Singapore.

Now, let’s discuss what an SME Grant is. It is basically a sum of money that has been allocated or given to a business to further its growth. SME grants are ideally distributed by governments, corporations, foundations, and even trusts, and the same is applicable in Singapore as well. Enterprise Singapore, which was formed on 1 April 2018, is known to distribute SME grants to successful grant applicants to aid SMEs. Apart from the monetary grants, this entity also extends support in the realm of consultation, firm setup, and COVID-19 advisory.

Here are some of the key Singapore SME Grants.

Enterprise Development Grant

SMEs in Singapore with relevant projects under the 3 prime categories of Core Capabilities, Innovation and Productivity, and Market Access can consider applying for this grant. According to Enterprise Singapore as of 18 June 2020, this grant covers approximately 80% of the total project costs and aims at assisting SMEs in preparing for growth and transformation.

Productivity Solutions Grant

IT and IT-enabled Services have paved their way into every aspect of businesses irrespective of their size, expertise, and nature, and scope of operations. The PS Grant aims at encouraging SMEs to adopt IT solutions for streamlining their existing processes and bring forth efficiencies. By covering sector-specific solutions including retail, food, logistics, precision engineering, wholesale, landscaping, and construction, this grant like EDG covers approximately 80% of the project costs.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new normal circumstances, this grant has been expanded to accommodate the scope of generic solutions to aid firms in implementing COVID-19 business continuity measures (BCM). BCM essentially includes online collaboration tools, virtual meeting and telephony tools, queue management systems, and temperature screening solutions as well as readily adaptable solutions.

Workforce Singapore Grants

This umbrella of grants covers a host of customized grants such as P-Max, Career Support Programme, Carrer Trial that essentially aims at helping SMEs upgrade their workforce for competitiveness.

P-Max grant, the Place-and-Train Programme helps SMEs better recruit, train, manage and retain newly-hired Professionals, encourage the adoption of progressive human resource practices, and aid in appropriate job placements. According to WSG as of 18 June 2020, up to 90 percent of course fees can be subsidised.

The Career Support Programme offered by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (NTUC’s e2i) encourages SMEs to hire eligible PMETs with up to $42, 000 salary support.

Workforce Training Support (WTS) Scheme for employers, and Skillsfuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) are also available under the Workforce Singapore Grants.

Grants by IMDA

The grants by IMDA aim at assisting SMEs in their digital transformation journey. SMEs can leverage subsidised Digital Project Management Services from a ready pool of skilled digital project managers to help with implementing digital solutions in an easy, quick, and hassle-free manner. Besides, they can look at SME Digital Tech Hub, GoCloud, and GoSecure for assistance.

Grants by HPB

These grants aim at assisting F&B partners in working towards providing healthy and good quality food to build a healthy nation.

Grants by STB

Tourism and hospitality are the two industries that have been at the receiving end of the harsh impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant by STB approximately worth $22 million has been specifically extended to help the tourism sector in Singapore gain its footing at the outset of the global crisis.

Several Singapore SME Grants are also available to extend support pertaining to COVID-19 for the areas such as Fintech support, tax support, and employee support. By ensuring factual, and accurate information submissions, SMEs can improve their chances of availing of a successful and swift SME grant. They need to ensure due diligence in the form of fact-checking, confirming that all relevant supporting documents are attached, and ensuring that the SME fits the criteria of the grant. In addition, SMEs need to be prepared to address queries about the grant with the grant owner directly through email and telephonic conversations to prevent erroneous submissions.

Interested to learn more about Singapore SME Grants? Do connect with the experts at Vinculum today!

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