SINGAPORE: Singapore companies, regardless of size, sector and stage of growth, will now find it easier to access government support in their efforts to grow, transform and go global.
This is with the launch of a new government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Monday (Apr 2), which formed through the merger of government agencies International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING.
Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry) S Iswaran told around 300 industry participants at the launch of ESG that it will work with a broad spectrum of businesses. This included startups, small- and medium-sized enterprises and high-growth companies.
The agency will also serve as the single point of contact for companies, said Mr Iswaran.
“Enterprise Singapore will support upgrading, innovation and business model transformation to capture new revenue streams," he added.
The merged agency will also "promote digitalisation, automation and adoption of new technologies to improve productivity and overcome resource constraints facilitate expansion into overseas markets and strengthen leadership and management capabilities”.
New initiatives like the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) have also been launched in line with the agency.
Under the grant, companies can receive a subsidy of up to 70 per cent when they purchase ready-to-adopt IT solutions and equipment to improve productivity.
The new grant consolidates three existing grants – National Parks Board’s (NParks) Landscape Productivity Grant (LPG), SPRING Singapore’s Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) and the Infocomm and Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) ‘SMEs Go Digital’.
COMPANIES EXPLORING OVERSEAS OPPORTUNITIES
Companies looking to grow their business overseas can also look forward to a 70 per cent subsidy that would defray costs of exploring opportunities overseas.
This will be made possible under the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) which will be made available from October this year.
The grant combines International Enterprise Singapore's Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant and SPRING Singapore's Capability Development Grant (CDG).
Mr Png Cheong Boon, chief executive officer of ESG, said that the involvement of all stakeholders, including public and private sector partners, is crucial in helping local companies scale up and create good job opportunities for Singaporeans.
By ramping up partnerships with Trade Associations and Chambers (TACS) as well as unions, ESG will be able to "broaden the reach and magnify the impact of our industry transformation message", said Mr Png.
This would also enhance the collective competitiveness of our industries, he added.
“TACs can help reach out to more SMEs and bring them on board the industry transformation efforts and help upgrade industries that are currently not covered by the Industry Transformation Maps,” Mr Png said.
At the same time, enterprises must also be willing to "upgrade and stay competitive" amid the external challenges, he added.
"They must be prepared to come forward, to seek advice. They can go online, call their associations, SME Centres or the Enterprise Singapore hotline. Or call their friends who know these channels. And they must be prepared to commit their time and resources, and want to upgrade their operations and develop their people.”