7 SME grants in Singapore for every business

The Singapore government always strives hard to set up a pro-business and growth environment for small and medium enterprises.


For small businesses to flourish and develop their product and market reach, they need funding. They can take their business forward and achieve growth by making use of SME grants in Singapore.

1. Small Business Recovery Grant


Small businesses faced big hits when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2019. The Small Business Recovery Grant is an SME grant in Singapore introduced by the government to help them recover and even out the losses.

Grant amount


The eligible businesses will receive SGD 1000 for each local employee it has employed along with CPF for the period of November 2021 to December 2021.


This amount is capped at SGD 10,000 per firm. If the business is run by a sole proprietor, then they will receive SGD 1000, only if the net income of the owner falls under SGD 10,000.


Eligibility


To be eligible for this government grant for SME, the company must meet the following criteria.



Employee count should be lesser than 200


Annual income filed with IRAS for the period of assessment of 2021 should be lesser than SGD 100,000,000 million.


Businesses should be physically located in Singapore and registered there too.


Should fall under the mentioned sectors in the section below.


Who is it for


• Businesses from industries that were unable to operate in full potency


• Businesses that have relevant licenses; Food & beverages, retail, markets, coffee shops, sports, performing arts and arts education, museums and art galleries, and other tourism and hospitality industries like hotels, entertainment centers, indoor playgrounds, theatres, and cinema.

2. Capability Development Grant


Businesses who want to grow and reach the next stage can make use of one of the easily obtainable SME grants in Singapore, which is CDG. SPRING and IE Singapore together facilitate this for SMEs to focus on 10 important growth areas of their business.

Grant amount


The applicant should estimate the qualitative project costs needed to nurture one of the business areas that need improvement.


CDG will furnish 70% of the above estimate if the project qualifies under their scheme. The offered amount can go up to SGD 30,000.


Eligibility


• You should have registered your entity in Singapore and operate here.


• 30% or more shares should be owned by Singaporeans.


• Either the total number of employees be lower than 200 or the annual turnover be lesser than SGD 100,000,000 million.


Who is it for


It is for businesses that want to increase their operational capabilities in any of the following areas.



• Brand/marketing strategy


• Intellectual property protection


• Business strategy innovation


• Hiring or retaining employees


• Workflow processes improvement


• Service innovation


• Enhancing business standards


• Financial management


• And lastly, business excellence

3. Enterprise Development Grant


EDG is one of the SME grants in Singapore that aim at small businesses to grow and transform. Facilitated by Enterprise Singapore, this grant is focused on developing any one of the three major areas of a business that needs an upgrade.


The only difference between the CDG and EDG is the latter supports businesses of all sizes whereas the former is mainly focused on small and mid-sized businesses.

Grant amount


Similar to CDG, an Enterprise Development Grant offers 70% of the project costs.


Eligibility


• Singapore registered business that operates locally.


• Local shareholding should be 30% or more than that.


• Should be financially capable of starting and finishing the product.


Who is it for


Businesses of any size that are registered locally can seek this grant to fulfill projects that fall under one of the following areas.


• Core capabilities


• Innovation and productivity


• Market access (to develop the business overseas)

4. Productivity Solutions Grant


IT and technological solutions can be expensive. To help small businesses manage this cost and buy IT licenses, and products, or manage subscription costs of cloud technologies, they can obtain this government grant for SME, PSG.


Grant amount


For each financial year, a company is eligible to obtain a PSG grant up to the cap of SGD 30,000.


Eligibility


• 30% local shareholding.


• Businesses that are registered and operating in Singapore.


• The IT solution they decide to purchase, lease or subscribe to must be used in their Singapore location.


Who is it for


If you are planning to opt for sector-specific IT solutions, PSG will cover the cost if you are from the following industries.



• Food 


• Logistics


• Retail


• Precision engineering


• Construction and landscaping


Companies who want generic and basic IT solutions can be from any industry and still be eligible to get these business grants Singapore.

5. Temporary Bridging Loan Programme


A Temporary Bridging Loan from the Singapore government is a loan program that lets businesses access working capital.


Grant amount


Till March 2022, The maximum amount offered was SGD 3,000,000 for each borrower. From April 1, 2022, to September 2022, the amount is reduced to SGD 1,000,000 million per borrower with a risk share of 70 to 90%.


Since this is a loan, there is a repayment period of five years and the entire loan amount must be repaid. The interest rate is 5.5% which is way lower than what traditional banks offer.


Eligibility


In order to be eligible for this Singapore small business grants, your business should fulfill the following conditions.



• Should be registered in ACRA and have a live entity in Singapore.


• 30% of shares should be held directly or indirectly by Singaporeans.


Who is it for


Singapore companies of any size (small businesses to enterprises) can apply for this loan if they fall under the following business structure.



• Sole proprietorship


• Partnership


• Limited liability Partnership


• Corporations

6. Early Stage Venture Fund


What we have seen above are SME grants in Singapore, but this one is for seed stage funding. NRF launched this funding scheme in 2008 to help potential entrepreneurs to grow quickly and pass through the inception stages.


This is aimed at speeding up the growth of tech startups by organizing a stress-free funding sprint.

Grant amount


NRF along with other private investors invest in selected startups an amount of SGD 10,000,000 to SGD 50,000,000 on seed venture capitalists who further invest money in selected startups.


And for each company, the maximum investment amount will be 15% of the total funding amount awarded to them.


Eligibility


• Singapore registered technology-based startups


Who is it for


• Technology companies in their early stages who are based out of Singapore can apply for this seed funding grant.

7. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant


Business grants in Singapore are generally intended to support new startups to expand their operational capabilities and launch new projects. MRA grant is for businesses who want to get international exposure by expanding overseas.


Grant amount


Depending on the activities you need the money for, the cap limit varies.



• For marketing and promotion, the amount is capped at SGD 200,000.


• To set up your market abroad, it’s capped at SGD 300,000.


• To develop your business abroad, it is capped at SGD 500,000.


Your application is valid for one foreign country and one activity.


Eligibility


• Singapore registered business and 30% local shareholding.


• Company headcount shouldn’t be higher than 200 (OR) Annual turnover shouldn’t exceed SGD 100,000,000 million.


• In the past three years, the applicant business shouldn’t have made sales higher than SGD 100,000 in the target country they plan to expand.


Who is it for


• Businesses from any industry who want to capture a new market in countries other than Singapore can apply for these business grants Singapore. 

Alternatives to government grants for SMEs

While SME grants in Singapore are a relatively easier way to obtain funding, they aren’t foolproof. They have stringent requirements and eligibility standards and if you get disqualified, you won’t be able to carry out your plans.


What small and mid-sized businesses need is a dependable funding model that won’t disqualify or filter out your application based on multiple factors. If you are a small business owner looking for Singapore small business grants, you should consider Volopay’s line of credit.


This is a monthly credit added to your Volopay wallet that you can use to manage your business expenses. Volopay has relaxed repayment plans and you get an additional 10 days of grace period along with the standard one-month repayment period. 


You can get monthly credits up to SGD 500,000 and the best thing is that you don’t need any collateral. The obtained credit can be used within the Volopay expense management system and repay what has been used. 


Apart from the best business grants Singapore, growing companies also prefer lines of credit from trustworthy partners. Volopay is one among them. 

Grow your business operations with a flexible line of credit