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Enterprise Singapore: Pushing a forward-looking mindset for SMEs


August 7, 2021
4 MIN READ
Vinculum
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Today, Singapore is recalled as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with SMEs taking the economy by a storm. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SMEs are a key pillar of Singapore’s economy, contributing 48% of its GDP, employing about 65% of its workforce, and constituting 99% of all its enterprises.

Being accountable for a hefty part of the entire Singapore economy and GDP, SMEs need critical support and resources to overcome the challenges and speed up business transformation. Like always, the Singapore Government has always been supportive of SME growth by providing financial support from tax incentives to grants.

Small and Medium-sized businesses have different ways of planning and execution. Unlike multinational corporations, their needs for working capital, daily operations, and so on are different. The SME Grants are, thus, an approach by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to work on the diverse needs of small-scale businesses.

This Government body incorporated its operation in April 2018. Since then, the statutory board has assisted Singapore small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the development, up-gradation, innovation, transformation, and internationalization of their ventures. It has also supported the growth of Singapore as a trading and startup hub and helped businesses thrive in a highly competitive environment until now.

Mr. Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore, has talked about the agency’s goals and objectives to help Singapore companies thrive in this competitive market, in an interview with The Business Times.

As said by him, the goal of local business is to have a competitive edge on the overseas markets and ESG is constantly working to establish policies for their growth while the economy is well entrenched for overseas brands.

Here is all you need to know about EDG and how SMEs can plan to apply for Singapore grants.

The EDG or Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is a relatively new approach of Enterprise Singapore (ESG) launched on 25th October 2018, to step in for the growth of SMEs. This SME grant is a combination of the former Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant. This grant benefits projects to upgrade business, innovate or venture overseas under three pillars: Core Capabilities, Innovation & Productivity, and Market Access.

Long-Term Growth Through Innovation and Internationalisation

The main goal of Enterprise Singapore is to create ample opportunities for SMEs guidance and promotion. The Government is constantly making efforts to push small companies into the overseas market and establish competitive strength.

Mr. Ong says that a comprehensive approach can be planned when innovation and internationalization are synchronized via a single channel.

Further, he believes that a more holistic approach is needed to come out with the best solutions.

Given Singapore’s minuscule domestic economy, innovative products are going to witness a sheer incline in their growth. As they require a larger market to scale, overseas branding can help get them this space on an international platform.

More Business-Friendly Grants

To ease, Enterprise Singapore has made grant applications an effortless process. The improvements are made to streamline the grant process through a single portal called the Business Grant Portal (BGP).

There are two grants for which location SME can have an application:

  • The new Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
  • Previous productivity-related schemes were also merged to form a single Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).

The EDG is a mainstream goal that aligns with Enterprise Singapore’s objective of tackling innovation and internationalization, at the same time.

Mr. Ong has briefed that Enterprise Singapore wants local SMEs to tap onto the overseas market earlier in their growth.

Growth in Regional Opportunities

Mr.Ong explains that China is an exemplification of growth in both domestic and international markets.

Inferring the fact that neighboring countries in South-East Asia, middle and upper-class households are expected to swell from 67 million in 2010 to 125 million in 2025, the rising opportunities for the consumer market are very high.

Enterprise Singapore projects to proffer more international opportunities for local SMEs through Free Trade Agreement (FTA) networks, and Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) offices.

Who can apply for EDG?

As criteria laid down by Enterprise Singapore, Local SMEs willing to apply for the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) should:

  • Be registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

Stay tuned for more updates! Do connect with the experts at Vinculum today!

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