SMEs are at the heart of our economy

The Government is committed to supporting our SMEs even as we press on with economic restructuring.

03 Mar 2017

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of Singapore’s economy. They make up 99% of our enterprises, employ two-thirds of our workforce, and account for about half of Singapore’s GDP.

Finding help

SME Centres remain the first touch-point for SMEs, including heartland and micro enterprises. The centres help SMEs with customised business advice and help them understand Government initiatives. The online SME Portal complements the SME Centres by being the first online touch-point for SMEs and useful information and services suitable for SMEs at various business stages.

A new one-stop Tech Depot will be added to the SME Portal by the second quarter of 2017. The Tech Depot is a showcase of easily adoptable technology solutions and includes A*STAR’s ready-to-go (RTG) technologies as well as IMDA’s pre-qualified Infocomm and Media (ICM) solutions. These can help companies improve inventory and asset tracking processes, supply chain management and planning processes.

Extending the Capability Development Grant

SPRING’s Capability Development Grant (CDG) supports SMEs to take on upgrading projects across 10 key business areas such as product development, productivity, branding and marketing.

To make it easier for companies to embark on capability development, SPRING simplified the application process for grants below $30,000 in 2015. This year, it will strengthen its support in product development by extending the grant coverage to small batch production, to help co-share risks associated early stage of production and help SMEs scale.

Strengthening partnerships

Given the large number of active SMEs in Singapore’s economy, the Government alone cannot help all businesses transform and needs to strengthen our partnerships and collaboration to help SMEs succeed.

Recognising the important role that Trade Association and Chambers (TACs) play, SPRING and IE Singapore have engaged about 40 TACs actively through the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme over the past decade. They work on projects to support their members in capability upgrading and internationalisation.

The overall FY2016 to 2020 budget for the LEAD programme will be increased to S$100 million to help more TACs step up and do more for their members. The Government will also support TACs by providing the know-how to help them improve their internal systems and processes to help them embark on projects to support their members.

TACs will also help collaborate with each other to reap greater rewards. Cross-sectoral, multi-TAC projects or projects where larger TACs step up to support smaller TACs, can be supported up to 90%, from the current 70%. Such projects should have clear productivity enhancements or innovative outcomes for a sizeable number of SMEs.

Model Factories

In order to enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector and position our SMEs as solution providers of advanced manufacturing solutions, the Government will establish two “Model Factories”.

The Model Factories will allow SMEs to experience new technologies in a learning environment without affecting their existing business operations and test-bed and develop innovative solutions for their manufacturing processes. The Model Factory@SIMTech will allow SMEs to gain hands-on experience of advanced manufacturing technologies. The second Model Factory@ARTC will allow companies to test-bed the integration of smart, digital and advanced technologies with their existing manufacturing processes to improve productivity.