6 Best Grants for SMEs in Singapore
It’s been proven again and again that economies often experience explosive growth whenever a decentralization of wealth generating assets from the few to the many happens, who then collectively have a stake in the productivity of those wealth generating assets – and thus the profits.
After all, there’s no better incentive to work harder than to receive the full rewards for one’s efforts – a simple but timeless economic concept that has powered the most successful economies since humans had learned to trade.
The Singapore government recognizes the importance of a self-driven economy based on merit and is supportive of SMEs with a good business plan, with over S$80 million in the pipe for their development.
Here are 6 of the best grants that SMEs in Singapore can apply for:
1. Capability Development Grant (CDG)
Overseen by SPRING, this grant is aimed at helping SMEs scale up their businesses and build its sustainability by supporting the development of human capital, products, productivity enhancements and business model transformation.
The CDG will subsidize up to 70% or S$30,000 (whichever is less) of the cost of activities related to consultancy, training, certification of employees and equipment. Eligibility for the grant are as follow:
- Registered and operating in Singapore.
- Minimum 30% local shareholding.
- Group annual sales turnover less or equal to S$100 million, or a group employment of less or equal to 200 employees.
The CDG also offers an optional CDG-WorkPro Job Redesign Rider, which raises the cap to 80% if the company that has demonstrated support toward its older employees, or S$20,000 payable per older worker that has benefitted from those activities.
In addition: local SMEs in Singapore forming partnerships with German SMEs will be eligible for the Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme, which provides funding for joint R&D projects between the two governments.
2. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
Provided by International Enterprise Singapore, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) was set up to support:
- Setting up of overseas markets; includes third-party cost for market research and advisory services.
- Prospecting for business partners; includes third-party costs related to licensees/franchising, agents and distributors and joint venture partners.
- Promoting of markets overseas; includes advisory, legal and documentation expenses.
The MRA is eligible to SMEs that meet the following criteria and application for the grant is open to a maximum of two tries per fiscal year:
- Have their global HQ based in Singapore.
- Have an annual company turnover of less S$100 million, based on the most recent audit report.
3. Productivity-Max (P-Max) Programme
Provided by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the P-Max is aimed at helping SMEs
- Recruit, train, manage and retain new professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).
- Improve communication between supervisors and employees and adopt progressive HR practices to improve management performance.
- Accelerated the acclimatisation of new employees of SMEs to their new work environment and getting them to stay.
The grant is targeted at:
- Local SMEs that are hiring PMETs or
- PMETs who are Singapore Citizens or Singaporean Permanent Residents looking to work for an SME.
SMEs that meet the following criteria are eligible:
- Be locally (Singapore) registered.
- Have a minimum 30% local shareholding.
- Have an annual turnover of not more than S$100 million or an employment workforce of not more than 200 employees.
- Are offering PMETs job positions with a minimum gross monthly salary of S$2,500 and/or have hired a PMET within the last three months before signing up for the P-Max programme and paying the employee a minimum of S$2,500.
PMETs applying must:
- Be Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident looking to commit fully to an SME.
- Be a Diploma holder or work experience in a PMET position.
- Completed National Service for a minimum of 12 months.
4. Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV)
Another programme overseen by SPRING, the Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) is a no-fuss voucher of $5,000 for use in SMEs business development, including areas involved in:
- Innovation; technical feasibility studies, IP Business Diagnostics, IP Legal Diagnostics, Customer Insights.
- Productivity; ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management, ISO 140011:2015 Environmental Management, OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health & Safety Management, Business Diagnosis, Service Improment.
- Human Resources; Recruitment & Selection, Compensation & Benefits, Performance Management, Learning & Development.
- Financial management; Planning and Budgeting, Cash-flow & Working Capital Management, Financial Assessment and Growth Planning.
The ICV also helps SMEs implement pre-designed solutions to improve efficiency and productivity.
In addition to being local SMEs, here are the criteria needed to be eligible for the ICV:
- Singapore-registered and operating locally.
- Have at least 30% local shareholding.
- Have a group turnover of less than $100 million or group employment size of fewer than 200 employees.
Click here to apply.
5. Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) Scheme
A funding scheme set up by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) give building contractors and prefabricators the funding they need to acquire the capability and resources for building projects, which includes:
- Professional Services/Subcontracting
- Acquisition of Intellectual Property Rights
The grant is eligible for developers, consultants, contractors, prefabricators and other proposals that help reduce site workers that are:
- Stakeholders in a construction project value chain.
- Registered and operating in Singapore.
The PIP scheme subsidies are as follow:
- [Standard scheme] Co-funded up to 50%, capped at $100,000 per application.
- [Enhanced scheme] Co-funded up to 70%, capped at $300,000 per application (only for selected technologies)
- [Standard scheme] Co-funding up to 50%, capped at $500,000 per application.
- [Enhanced scheme] Co-funded up to 70%, capped at $500,000 per application (for highly automated technologies)
- [Standard scheme] Co-funded up to 50%, capped at $500,000 per application.
- [Enhanced scheme] Co-funded up to 70%, capped at $500,000 per application.
- Industry (Actively controlled by Public Agency between at least two unrelated companies)
- [Standard scheme] Co-funded up to 70%, capped at $1,000,000 per application.
- [Enhanced scheme] Co-funded up to 70%, capped at $10,000,000 per application.
Also, firms must demonstrate a minimum 30% productivity improvement in 2 out of 3 areas in Financial Standing, Human Resource Development or Certifications/Awards.
Firms must demonstrate a minimum 40% productivity improvement and the technology employed must demonstrate the ability to transform the industry as a whole.
6. Global Company Partnership (GCP)
Set up by the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the purpose of the GCP is to help SMEs expand into the global market by providing assistance in building internal capabilities, manpower resources and market access.
Criterion for eligibility:
- Based and operating in Singapore.
- Have a minimum annual turnover of $500,000 based on latest audit report.
- A minimum paid-up capital of $50,000.
The grant offers:
- SMEs: Subsidies of up to 70% of costs for third-party professional building of firm level capabilities, including capability building, market access and human resource development.