SME Grants to Boost your Growth Potential for Every Singaporean Business Owner

The Singapore government has provided a laundry list of policies and programs to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. Grants are out there, too. If you need help getting started as part of business finance, you may be eligible if you know where to look – take a look at the lists available and this will tell you which one’s best for you.

1. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

The Productivity Solutions Grant is available for businesses interested in simplifying operations and streamlining processes through the use of technology, the PSG is an ideal option. It offers solutions that target virtually all industry types including manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, retail, and hospitality as well as construction and landscaping. The special area category lets companies focus on offerings covering customer management, data analytics, financial tracking, and inventory management among others.

Grant amount: The PSG’s subsidies will be raised to 80% for SMEs from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

2. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is a progressive initiative that helps Singapore companies grow and transform. This grant supports projects which help you upgrade your business innovate, or venture overseas and helps firms move away from basic functions such as sales and accounting to more complex corporate requirements.

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform. Under three pillars, it provides grants that help upgrade your business, innovate or venture overseas:

Pillar 1: Core Capabilities

Projects under Core Capabilities help businesses prepare for growth by working on their fundamental structures and core systems. It’s a further step needed to ensure the business can keep providing the service or good that makes it distinctive. Because without a foundation, how will one be able to maintain the uniqueness of their product or business category?

Pillar 2: Innovations & Productivity

Innovation and productivity projects strive to bring new ways of working that could represent a paradigm shift to the company in terms of how things are currently being done. For example, reducing or eliminating burnout and stress for employees; finding better ways to manage project tasks, or customer relationship management. The goal is not just focused on organizational needs but is also oriented towards the well-being of individuals and what could be the maximization of their talents such that they all contribute positively to the current state of affairs within their organization.

Pillar 3: Market Access

The EDG also offers funding opportunities to Singapore-based small and medium enterprises that are willing and ready to venture overseas. You can tap into their expertise to help you with getting started in emerging marketplaces such as Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Grant amount: The EDG’s maximum support level will be raised from 70% to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

In order to ensure project success, more than just funding is needed. Especially when it comes to projects which result in a tangible product or service being created. In such cases, certified management consultants including myself are brought on board with any Enterprise Singapore-supported initiative to will help your business grow and reach new heights by making sure you have a well-oiled team both in expertise and experience.

4. Market Readiness Assistance Grant (MRA)

The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant is meant for organizations with a market they want to get into. This grant expands your reach and exposure in the market at hand, from business development to marketing so that you can grow exponentially as an organization.

Grant amount: Eligible SMEs will receive up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new market from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023.

This is broken down into 3 areas, which are overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000), overseas business development (capped at S$50,000), and overseas market set-up (capped at S$30,000).

5. International Co-Innovation Programmes

The International Co-Innovation Programmes in Singapore is designed to help companies grow and start internationalizing. The program supports projects that aim to catalyze cross-border collaboration on technology and co-innovation, and it is particularly suitable for companies that would like to work on joint innovation projects with companies in the member states.

Grant amount: Eligibility criteria and grant amount vary based on the program.

6. SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)

What it is:  As the name suggests, SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) is a credit scheme that encourages employers to invest in enterprise transformation and the capabilities of their employee.

Grant amount: Eligible employers will get a one-off $10,000 credit which can cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses on qualifying costs for supportable initiatives, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.

8. P-Max

What it is: The P-Max is a place-and-train program to help companies recruit and retain newly-hired PMETs, train them in their new positions, develop management skills in novice managers and provide a structured environment for experienced technicians to grow. The place-and-train initiative helps agencies and companies by providing the means for productive employment for those who might otherwise have been unemployed or unable to find suitable work.

Grant amount: Workforce Singapore (WSG) offers up to 90% funding support on course fees.

Also, there’s a one-time Assistance Grant worth S$5,000 upon successful retention of newly-hired PMETs for at least six months upon completion of SME and PMET workshops under the program.

9. SGUnited Traineeships Programme

For companies looking to take on fresh graduates or recent job-seekers, the SGUnited Traineeships Programme is an avenue that provides companies with up to 21,000 opportunities to hire and train fresh employees. As a reward, upon successful completion of the program, your organization could consider hiring suitable candidates for permanent job roles.

Grant amount: The government will co-fund 80% of the training allowance. However, this monthly training allowance varies based on the traineeship scope.

10. Work-Life Grant

The Work-Life Grant helps companies implement and sustain flexible work arrangements (FWAs) by offering funding support. So employees will have more control over their schedule and, as a result, enjoy greater job satisfaction.

Grant amount: To help out companies in Singapore with work-life balance, the government has rolled out 2 new grant schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises that adopt flexible working arrangements. Firstly, the FWA Incentive offers up to S$70,000 per company over 2 years for those that implement and sustain FWAs for employees.

Also, there is the Job Sharing Incentive which offers up to S$35,000 per company over 2 years.

It incentivizes companies to implement job-sharing arrangements for employees who request it. These employees must have a gross monthly salary of at least S$3,600 before the job-sharing arrangement.

11. Career Trial

Recruiters can hire on a trial basis, and then can assess their fit for up to 6 months before offering them employment. During their trial period, employers should pay at least S$1,500 for full-time positions and $750 for part-time positions.

Grant amount: Firms may receive up to 30% of each Singaporean hire’s monthly salary for up to 6 months.

Grants For Startups

Starting a small business is no easy task. However, most of the time and today this starts with great ideas, the momentum to succeed, and a whole lot of love for the idea which in turn motivates and drives one on to take action. As an entrepreneur you can look forward to many challenges in your future as starting up a business is seldom straightforward!

As a lack of capital and poor cash flow management are top reasons that contribute to why small businesses fail, it’s important to identify grants that can help entrepreneurs scale, grow and compete in today’s global economy. To put this into practice, start by talking to us about which grants you might be eligible for so as to be certain that you get the funding needed to scale your business!

12. Startup SG Founder

The Startup SG Founder scheme gives young tech-based startups in Singapore an opportunity to get a helping hand from experienced business people as well as other industry veterans. It consists of two tracks: the “Train” track and the “Start” track.

Both offer tech-based Startups with programs that will help them source innovation, commercialize ideas into scalable businesses, and give them help when it comes to navigating their way through the web of Government Procurement Services. Teams of entrepreneurs can approach Venture Builder or one of the appointed Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) in the “Start” track to find support for their companies if they are available.

Grant amount: Upon successful application, the AMP will support the startups by providing advice, networking contacts, and learning programs. There will also be a startup capital grant of S$50,000 from Enterprise Singapore.

Startups will have to raise and commit S$10,000 as a co-matching fund to the grant.

13. Startup SG Tech

The Startup SG Tech grant facilitates the development of proprietary technology solutions and assists startups based on proprietary technology with a scalable business model to develop prototypes and produce commercial-level products.

Grant amount: Companies may get early-stage funding for the commercialization of proprietary technology.

Grants will be awarded upon the completion of each milestone. There is also an equity component where Enterprise Singapore will have the right to exercise a share subscription.

14. Startup SG Accelerator

Startup SG Accelerator aims to help Singapore-based startups like you achieve greater success. Through funding and non-financial support, the Accelerator aims to empower local accelerators and incubators to fully develop their programs in developing successful local startups.

COVID-19 Grants & Schemes

Due to the critical state of affairs, there are specific COVID-19 grants and subsidies to help organizations get through this pandemic.

15. Job Support Scheme (JSS)

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) offers financial support to assist employers who have already taken on their share of young, impressionable employees by mitigating the potential effects that might arise as a result of recent economic uncertainties.

JSS payouts protect employees’ jobs as their goal is to offset their wages.

Grant amount: The government co-funds 10% to 50% of the first S$4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee during a 7-month period, from September 2020 to March 2021.

16. SME Working Capital Loan

The SME Working Capital Loan is a loan designed to help companies in Singapore who sell products or services to other businesses. It’s mean to provide working capital and allow these businesses to keep up with orders, stock, inventory and suppliers without needing them all immediately upfront. Businesses of all sizes can apply for loans of between SGD $100K and SGD $300K maximum at participating financial institutions. The amount you can borrow will be determined by the branch you go to, so make sure to use our service for personal credit checks and we’ll be happy to set up appointments for you with the most suitable candidates!

Grant amount: Eligible enterprises may borrow up to S$300k.

18. Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan (EFS TL)

The Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) serves as a dedicated financing facility for Enterprises to support their business growth and trade activities such as extending working capital loans or stock financing.

Grant amount: Eligible enterprises may borrow up to S$10 million.

19. FinTech COVID-19 Support

The FinTech COVID-19 Support package seeks to help support the financial and FinTech sectors to recover from setbacks brought about by COVID-19 and also for future growth. It will also help workers, enhance operational readiness, accelerate digitalization, and boost capabilities across sectors.

Grant amount: Companies can receive a support package worth S$125 million.

20. Enhanced Training Support Package and Enhanced Absentee Payroll

Training is important for the success of firms and the CPF Board recognises this. To offer an incentive for employers to send their employees on training courses, the Enhanced Training Support Package has been introduced and will be enhanced from 1 Jan 2021 onwards. For an employer from one of the COVID-19 sectors, they can enjoy a 90% course fee subsidy while in other sectors, it will be capped at $7.50/hour with a maximum of 80% reached by 2023.

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