With the ever-increasing cost of starting a business in Singapore, aspiring entrepreneurs need to research and explore grant and scheme options available to assist with financing their startup. Fortunately, there are many grants and schemes provided by the Singapore government that can help lower the cost of setting up shop. The incentives range from cash payouts to tax deductions, and each grant has its own specific criteria. It is, therefore, essential for any budding entrepreneur to familiarize themselves with these options in order to make an informed decision about which route is best for their business going forward. With some research and knowledge, startups in Singapore can gain access to much-needed kickstarts and potentially open up new doors of opportunity.
For aspiring business owners or new companies looking for startup capital grants, Singapore has several government schemes that aim to support and fund these startups, including Startup SG, Startup SG Equity, Startup SG Tech, and Startup SG Founder. By enabling these Singapore-based startups with reliable funding, the challenges of securing funds can be overcome while fostering a dynamic startup ecosystem in the country.
Startup SG Network, for example, grants the opportunity for a new business to access technology startups ecosystem within Singapore. Between the local and global reach of the network, these startups can profile themselves and expand their connections, pioneering the way to partnerships between startups and potential investors or partners.
However, we’re here to explore more than one option regarding Singapore startup grants. Here are eight more of them.
For first-time entrepreneurs with startups that bring innovation to the table, the Startup SG Founder grant will not only provide your business with the startup venture capital you’re looking for, but it will also connect you with mentors who can contribute to the development of your startup with relevant experience and connections in Singapore. The program will have startups allocate a cash grant extending up to $50,000 for startups, in which $5 will be matched for every $1 raised by the aspiring entrepreneur.
The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) targets cultivating a system where a Singapore startup can flourish and grow. It provides a platform for the business to extend beyond the local market in Singapore and into overseas’ as well. The EDG strictly function under these three pillars:
1) Core Capabilities
Strengthens the foundations of a business to accommodate it for growth.
2) Market Access
For companies looking to expand overseas, Market Access will provide funding support with EDG, also helping subsidize the cost of tapping into the overseas market.
3) Innovation and Productivity
By reassessing and redesigning the workflow, enterprises can discover new ways of increasing efficiency and improving sustainable performance by optimizing the usage of resources.
Depending on if your business is a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) and whether the costs are associated with equipment and software, EDG will grant a 30%-70% subsidy of a project’s costs.
Startup SG Tech revolves around startups within the Singapore tech industry. Approved applicants under this scheme will be allocated early-stage funding for the commercialisation and development of the proprietary technology. For startups looking to apply, they are given the option of either a Proof-of-Concept (POC) or a Proof-of-Value (POV), both grants capped at $250,000 and $500,000, respectively. The grant application depends on the development stage of the startup’s concept or technology.
Should the grant be offered, there will be a safeguarding of the applicant’s commitment in the form of increasing the paid capital by 10% for POC and 20% for POV. Enterprise Singapore has the right to exercise a share subscription in the equity component. Enterprise Singapore will be entitled to exercise a share subscription of the equity component.
The Startup SG Equity Programme is a scheme for startups based in Singapore that's specific to the government. The Singapore government will co-invest in a potential startup with qualified outside investors under the programme. The scheme's goal is to encourage the private sector to invest in startups and businesses that contain intellectual property and the capability of reaching the global market. Based on the startup, the investment terms may vary.
The programme associates with deep tech startups and provides an investment that will come in a co-investment ratio of 7:3, granting up to $500,000, or a 1:1 co-investment ratio for fundings up to $4 million. Other tech startups will retain the same ratio of 7:3 but with a grant of up to $250,000 instead; or a 1:1 co-investment ratio for fundings up to $2 million.
Under raiSE, the VentureForFood grant aims to provide support to Singapore social enterprises across various stages of their development. For new and existing social enterprises that are just starting up, they can apply for a grant with funding of up to $300,000.
With the Market Readiness Assistance Grant, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore can benefit from being able to take their businesses to the market overseas, with a coverage of 70% of eligible costs. However, the grant is capped at $100,000 per new market throughout the duration of three years, and each only one activity will be permitted per application.
- Overseas market promotion (capped at $20,000)
- Overseas business development (capped at $50,000)
- Overseas market set-up (capped at $30,000)
The Business Improvement Fund (BIF) allocates grants to startups within the Singapore tourism board to promote the innovation of technologies and remodel the business flow and its processes in the sector to improve competitiveness and productivity. Grants depend upon the business or company, with SMEs being eligible for a defrayal of up to 70% of costs. Non-SMEs will only be granted a maximum of 50%.
The Productivity and Solutions Grant (PSG) is a government grant offered in Singapore to help companies and businesses enhance productivity, develop new solutions, and enhance overall competitiveness. The scheme grant provides funding for companies to implement various types of projects, such as automation, training, and research & development (R&D), with the grant covering up to 70% of the project cost.
Applying for a grant or scheme can be a great way to give your company in Singapore a head start. Before you jump into the application process, it is vital to research any schemes and grants that may suit your corporate goals and objectives. You should read the instructions thoroughly, ensure you fully understand the requirements, and meet all the eligibility criteria before beginning your application. Make sure to provide detailed financial information about your company's current situation and its plans for success, as the decision-makers will often look at this during their review process. Taking the time to be sure that every aspect of your application is filled out accurately will pay off when you are on track to receive the funding that could help propel your business forward.
Lina heads up all things marketing and branding at Lendingpot. With a keen aesthetic eye, she believes in the use of design to communicate with our SME community and aspires to turn Lendingpot into a household name. Out of work, she is an avid camper and appreciator of nature’s best works.