Being a startup often means you’re running on grit and determination, and that cash is in short supply – even when you spend the capital you’ve raised wisely. Often this means prioritising what to spend your money on, and what to put on the backburner.
But what if you didn’t have to?
In Singapore, there’s a bounty of government-funded grants specifically designed for SMEs and startups. Many of these grants provide financial assistance for companies who are in the market to upgrade technology, hire and retain local talent, embark on marketing endeavours or upskill their staff, among other goals. If you have a business need that you can’t currently cover with the funds in your bank account, then check out the types of grants available and see if any of them align with your wish list.
If there is one that you’re interested in, then the next step is to apply. Now, we know what you’re thinking – applying for a government grant must be a massive undertaking with tons of tricky requirements. As it happens, the grant eligibility guidelines for SMEs are quite simple. Though the list of requirements does differ slightly depending on the grant and funding department – and can pertain to the industry you’re in, percentage of Singapore-based shareholders, the size of your team and your annual sales figures – the main requirement is that your company be registered and incorporated in Singapore. Not so scary, right?
We’ve cherrypicked a few of the grants we think are the most beneficial:
- SME Talent Programme: Simply put, this grant assists businesses in paying interns from local institutions, polytechnics and universities. Considering that startups are often as fuelled by interns as they are by coffee, this financial assistance can be a huge help when you’re getting up and running.
- Productivity Max Programme: If it’s higher level employees you need, though, this programme assists SMEs with recruiting, training and retaining Singaporean candidates via a workshop – you’ll only have to pay 10% of the workshop fee, hire talent and complete a six-month follow-up to receive the funding. A pretty cool perk for landing a great employee, right?
- SMEs Go Digital: Looking for software support? This is the grant for you. Not only does it help fund productivity tools, but it also covers data protection and analytics, and cyber security. Yes, indeed.
- Capability Development Grant: Once you’re up and running, and looking to grow, this grant can come in very handy as it supports upgrading efforts in ten key areas, including branding and marketing, product development, and financial management. It helps fund 70% of the costs of such endeavours as training and equipment costs, which means it can be a huge windfall for you as you scale.
- Market Readiness Assistant Grant: If you’re hoping to expand your business overseas and enter into a new market, this is the grant for you. Helping to defray up to 70% of eligible costs for a year, it’s definitely a boon.
With a wide variety of grants available, it’s absolutely worth your while to peruse what your company may be eligible for and take the time to put in your application. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that you receive exactly what you need!