“A big business starts small” - Richard Branson
But, as you know, growing a business takes time and it needs nurturing and support.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) today are struggling with rising costs of doing business and limited availability of trained manpower. To help SMEs go digital and increase their productivity, the Singapore government through its various agencies such as IMDA, Enterprise Singapore provide an array of grants for SMEs to help them implement software that can automate a range of tasks.
However, SMEs often have many questions regarding these grants. Some of which are as follows:
- What is an SME grant?
- How can I qualify as an SME in Singapore?
- What is an SME business?
- What grants are available for SME?
- How can SMEs improve their chances to avail the grants?
We have answered them in this article! Read on and learn how you can avail various government grants for SMEs.
What is an SME business?
As per Investopedia, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are defined as the companies that maintain revenue, assets, or number of employees below a certain threshold.
In Singapore, a company is considered as an SME if:
- The company is registered and operating in Singapore.
- The company has a minimum of 30 per cent local shareholding.
- The company’s group annual sales turnover is not exceeding $100 million.
Or the employment size of the company is equal to or less than 200 workers.
According to the Singapore Department of Statistics,
- Out of a total 273,100 enterprise count in Singapore, 99% are SMEs.
- Among 3.52 million people employed, 73% are working in SMEs.
- Out of S$ 463 Billion of nominal value, 44% is contributed by SMEs.
The role of SMEs in the national economy cannot be emphasized enough. However, the mounting labour cost, rising salaries, and shrinking labour quota are directly affecting small businesses.
The Singapore government has recognised the need to assist SMEs who are struggling with these common SME problems. Hence, the government is encouraging SMEs to adopt transformative solutions for their business and as a supportive aid, provide grants.
What are the different government grants for SMEs?
The Singapore government through its various agencies such as IMDA, Enterprise Singapore have traditionally been supporting SMEs in their journey towards digitization and adopting cutting edge solutions.
Over the years, there were many grants which catered to SMEs, some of which were - LETAS, GST Assistance Scheme, iSprint, PIC, CDG grant, etc.
However, the two grants which are popular and help the SMEs to go digital are EDG Grant and PSG Grant.
Are you seeking overall support to grow your business? EDG grant is just right for you!
The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is a type of Singapore SME grant that helps companies to upgrade, grow, and transform under three categories:
- Core capabilities: SME that is preparing to grow and transform by strengthening the foundation of business.
- Innovation and productivity: SMEs who are exploring new areas to grow and increase their efficiency.
- Market access: SMEs that are ready to venture overseas.
According to Enterprise Singapore, the EDG grant provides up to 80 per cent of the cost, for qualifying projects.
Read our comprehensive guide about EDG grants and know how you can apply and avail it.
Are you keen on enhancing your business by adopting IT solutions and equipment? The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) is just right for you!
PSG is an SME grant that encourages companies to adopt IT solutions to enhance their business process. According to Enterprise Singapore, the grant amount that an SME can avail is up to 70 per cent of qualifying project costs. The grant encourages sector-specific solutions such as retail, precision engineering, etc.
Learn about PSG grant in detail in our blog: An Ultimate Guide to Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).
10 Top tips for successful grant application
Grant funding is competitive. However, with proper guidance and a few tips, you can maximise the success of your grant application.
- Find out which grants pertain to your company. Confirm whether your company meets the eligibility criteria.
- Ensure to provide all the required documents. Follow template if provided.
- Ensure the information you have submitted is factually correct.
- Do not sign any contract, make any advance payment or start work before you have filed the grant application.
- Please remember that the Software/IT solution purchased under the grant must be used in Singapore.
- Grant is not applicable if you are just replacing one software solution with another. There must be some value addition and new capabilities must be added.
- In case there are any changes to the project, be proactive and inform the grant agency and seek their assistance.
- Be patient. Do not follow up with agencies if the time indicated for grant application processing has not been exceeded.
- All grants are typically on a reimbursable basis. So, plan your cash flow accordingly as there will be a time gap between you paying the vendor (cash outflow) and the grant amount being disbursed to you (cash inflow).
- If you are unsure of any aspect of the grant process, please do ask for help and seek clarifications. You can speak to business advisers at the SME centre.
The SME grants listed above are a part of the Singapore government’s ambitious strategy to position Singapore as a digitally advanced economy. SMEs should use these grants to migrate to cloud software and digitise their manual operations.
How can Pepper Cloud help you?
We, at Pepper Cloud CRM, help our customers to avail all applicable grants and assist in transforming their sales process by implementing CRM. You can mould and digitise your business operations while we take care of all the grant-related paperwork. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.
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