5 Popular SME Grants from Singapore Government | 2022 Edition

By
Writers@Aspire
Published
July 14, 2020

The Singapore government has always been supportive of SMEs by providing numerous avenues for financial support from tax incentives to grants. As such, this is one of the many reasons why the Lion City has become such a popular spot for global businesses to site. That's why it's key to know what types of grants and schemes are available out there that businesses can leverage on. 

Government grant for SME 2022: Why it's important

In Singapore, inflation is on the rise. In fact, according to the Straits Times, it is the highest it’s ever been in 14 years. Business expenses such as utilities, renting of office spaces and hiring are found to be rising fast. As a business owner, you may want to consider Singapore’s plethora of government grants to protect your bottom line. It may also ensure that your business’s cash flow remains healthy as you continue to navigate Singapore’s current economic conditions.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 government grants for SMEs 2022 geared towards small businesses and entrepreneurs based on their different needs.


Top 5 SME Grants in Singapore:

 

1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

4 most popular grants for SMEs in Singapore: 1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is a relatively new grant launched by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on 25th October 2018. Essentially, this SME grant is a combination of the former Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant.


The EDG aims to help SMEs in Singapore by building internal capabilities within 3 main areas: Core Capabilities, Innovation and Productivity, and Market Access.


popular smes grant | enterprise development grant

This grant is suitable for local companies who are looking to upgrade the business, innovate or expand overseas. It funds up to 80% of qualified project costs including consultancy fees, purchase of software and equipment and internal labour costs. For enterprises that have been severely impacted by COVID-19, the maximum support level may even be raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis.

Application of the EDG grant will be assessed based on the project scope, project outcomes and competency of the service provider.


To be deemed eligible for Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) grant, applicants need to:

  • Be a registered business and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholdings
  • Be in a feasible financial situation to start and complete the project


Additionally, you will need your company’s CorpPass and the following requirements to apply: 

  1. ACRA information
  2. Audited financial statements
  3. Relevant proof of quotation or proposal
  4. Management consultancy scopes
  5. Relevant consultants’ certification

2. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA)

4 most popular grants for SMEs in Singapore: 2. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA)

The focus of the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant is to help Singapore SMEs to expand and gain access to overseas opportunities; from market set-up, identification of overseas partners to promotions.

This grant funds up to 70% of eligible costs capped at S$100,000 per company per new market* from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023 and covers:

  • Overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000)
  • Overseas business development (capped at S$50,000)
  • Overseas market set-up (capped at S$30,000)

SMEs must submit applications no earlier than 6 months before the project start date. Applications filed after 10 March will be treated as an application for the new fiscal year.


Here's the eligibility criteria to be deemed qualified for the MRA grant:

  • The business entity is registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • The business has at least 30% local shareholding
  • Group annual turnover not exceeding S$100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report or group employment not exceeding 200 employees


*A new market refers to a target overseas country where the applicant company has yet to exceed S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years. 


3. StartupSG Founder

4 most popular grants for SMEs in Singapore: 3. Startup SG Founder

The StartupSG Founder scheme provides first-time entrepreneurs with mentorship, funding support and comprehensive access to business networks. This scheme is relatively unique as it matches mentors to start-ups by co-matching S$5 to every S$1 raised by the entrepreneur, which can go up to S$50,000 in funding capital. 


To be eligible for this StartupSG Founder grant, the main applicant(s) must:

  • Be a first-time entrepreneur & Singaporean Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Hold more than 30% equity
  • Commit full-time and be the key decision-maker of the company upon acceptance of the grant


Additionally, the startup company must also: 

  • Be operating within 6 months of incorporation at the point of application
  • Have a minimum of 51% Singaporean Citizen/ PR shareholding
  • Have business activities conducted mainly/wholly in Singapore
  • Have not received funding for the proposed business idea from another government organisation
  • Not be in areas such as cafes, nightclubs, lounges, bars, foot reflexology, massage parlours, beauty salons, gambling, prostitution, social escort, etc.


Since the grant is only available for first-time entrepreneurs, there must not be more than one business entity registered under the applicant's name. The business should also not have been registered or incorporated for more than 6 months at the point of application for the grant. 

4. Productivity-Max (P-Max)

4 most popular grants for SMEs in Singapore: 4. Productivity Max (P-Max Program)

P-Max is a Workforce Singapore (WSG) Grant. The main purpose of the P-Max program is to support SMEs in recruiting, training, managing and retaining newly-hired PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians). This scheme is best suited for local SMEs looking to hire PMETs and/or looking to improve their HR practices within the company.

Participating SMEs can also reimburse up to 90% course fee subsidy for PMET, SME training workshops and Age Management workshop (applicable for P-Max for Older Worker only).

On top of that, eligible SMEs will receive a one-time $5,000 Assistance Grant or $10,000 Assistance Grant (P-Max for Older Workers only) upon completion of the Programme and six-month retention of the newly hired PMETs.

P-Max SME grant scheme eligibility requirements:

  • Companies must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • Group annual turnover not exceeding S$100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report or group employment not exceeding 200 employees
  • At least 30% of local shareholding being held by Singapore Citizen or PR
  • Hired a PMET within the last three months (90 days) prior to enrolment into the program, offering a gross monthly salary of at least $2,500

‍5. Jobs Growth Initiative (JGI)

If your SME is looking to expand your local headcount from September 2020 to March 2023, you may be qualified to receive Government support via the JGI. The payout quantum will depend on your hires such as whether they are vulnerable hires, mature hires or non-mature hires. 

It’s worth noting that in order to be eligible for JGI, your business needs to fulfill these criteria: 

  1. An increase in local workforce size
  2. An increase in local workforce size earning more than or equal to $1,400 per month compared to: 
  • August 2020 local workforce for Phase 1;
  • February 2021 local workforce for Phase 2;
  • September 2021 local workforce for Phase 3; and
  • March 2022 local workforce for Phase 4

 

To check out the quantum you may receive through JGI, check out the summary below:

Source: IRAS

Which SME grant is most suitable for my business? 

Before deciding which SME grant schemes to apply for, it is best to understand the needs of your business to maximize the use of the facilities and supports. Below are the key takeaways from each scheme:

  1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG): Best for companies looking to upgrade the business, innovate or expand overseas.
  2. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA): Best for companies looking to expand to overseas markets.
  3. StartupSG Founder: Best for companies looking to expand to overseas markets.
  4. Productivity-Max (P-Max): Best for companies looking to hire and improve HR practices.
  5. Jobs Growth Initiative (JGI): Best for companies looking to expand local hiring.
💡 Tips: Apart from government grants, corporate credit lines can give business owners access to flexible cash flow while building business credit at the same time. Learn more about Aspire Credit Line.

Aspire is officially an accepted account by Enterprise Singapore  


On top of these 5 grants, the Aspire Business Account has recently been deemed eligible to accept grants by Enterprise Singapore. With this, businesses will be able to accept grant payments and receive them directly into their Aspire Business Account. Easier access to grants, more funds to grow your business.


If you are a small business owner and could use the additional funds to take your business to greater heights, there are plenty of grants, subsidies, and financial assistance schemes available for you to take advantage of. With a plethora of options to choose from, don’t miss the chance to benefit from the resources that are right in front of you. 


Are you looking to find a COVID Recovery Grant instead? We have compiled them for you here.

Ready to get started?
Aspire makes business finance easier - expense management, invoicing, FX, employee claims and more. This is the all-in-one finance OS for your business
Try it out today >>
Subscribe
Get high quality finance and entrepreneurial resources in your inbox.
Subscribe to the newsletter >>

Get high quality finance and business content in your inbox

Get insights and resources on building & managing your finance team, your finance tech stack and growing your business
Cheers! We'll share our best articles with you shortly. See you around!
Seems like something went wrong. Could you try again?

Explore the all-in-one finance solution built for finance teams

Save time and money with borderless payments, corporate cards, expense management, and more