Money is often the lifeline of any business, but why exactly do businesses need funding?
Apart from the fact that it serves many purposes, it is also essential for companies to have enough working capital. This ensures that they can keep their operations running and pay their employees on time.
Funding can also cover the costs of starting up, expanding operations, boosting cash flow, or purchasing new equipment or inventory.
In some cases, they may also need funding to cover their operating costs until they become profitable. There are many ways businesses in Singapore can get funding, such as loans from financial institutions or government grants.
What Are the Key Business Grants in Singapore?
As a business-friendly country, Singapore is known for its variety of government grants. These grants are accessible to businesses and each sector may have grants unique to them.
We look at some of the main business grants available in Singapore:
Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
The EDG is a grant aimed at helping Singapore businesses development and transform. It backs projects that help in upgrading businesses, go overseas, or innovate.
Successful applicants will obtain up to 70% of financial support for eligible costs. This grant is open to firms operating in a diverse range of industries, including:
- Environmental Services
- Financial Services
Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
The PSG assists businesses in implementing productivity solutions, hence its name. Companies can choose from a list of pre-examined solutions and get up to 70% of funding aid for qualifying expenses.
Grow Digital supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are prepared to bring their businesses overseas. When these companies participate in eligible B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms with a regional or international reach, they will receive funding support.
Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant
The MRA grant offers up to 70% of support on eligible costs to SMEs that wish to expand their businesses overseas. It runs till 31 March 2023.
It offers coverage for activities like overseas market promotion and overseas market set-up.
Related Read: Overseas Expansion for Singapore SMEs: The MRA Grant »
Energy Efficiency Grant (EEG)
The EEG is directed at assisting companies in these sectors:
- Food services
- Food production
It will help them manage rising energy costs with co-funding investments in energy-efficient equipment. SMEs can get up to 70% in funding support to use pre-approved energy-efficient equipment, capped at a maximum of S$30,000 per firm annually.
Business Improvement Fund (BIF)
The BIF is managed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). It endeavours to boost technology innovation and implementation, as well as the transformation of business structures and processes in the tourism sector for better productivity and competition.
It is also aligned to the Enterprise Development Grant under the 2 pillars of Innovation and Productivity and Core Capabilities.
Funding support depends for SMEs and non-SMEs, and covers costs like consultancy fees and travel costs linked to the project.
Startup SG Founder
This grant is aimed at helping first-time entrepreneurs with novel business concepts. It offers mentorship and a startup capital grant of S$50,000 that will also help startups manage their finances.
However, it is also mandatory for successful applicants to contribute S$10,000 as a co-matching fund.
Startup SG Tech
Startup SG Tech is a grant programme that aims to speed up the growth and development of proprietary technology and startups based on those technology with scaleable business models.
Firms can choose to apply for either the Proof-of-Value (POV) or Proof-of-Concept (POC) grants to commercialise their innovative technologies.
Related Read: 6 Startup SG Schemes You Can Tap On »
How Can Companies Apply for Government Grants in Singapore?
Businesses can go online to the Business Grants Portal (BGP) to apply for their desired grants. The portal makes it convenient for businesses to apply for grants according to their requirements and industry.
These are the grants that are currently available for application on the BGP:
- Energy Efficiency Grant (EEG)
- Business Improvement Fund
- Aviation Development Fund
- Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund
- Electric Vehicle Common Charger Grant
- Experience Step-Up Fund
You must register your Corppass account before you can log in to BGP through your Singpass.
Next, enter your company profile and note that your Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore profile will be automatically populated.
Fill in the details of your application and monitor it on the “My Grants” page. If your application is successful, you must accept your Letter of Offer via BGP.
Lastly, you can file your claim before the due date by logging in to BGP. The approved claim amount will be credited to your business’ bank account.
What Are Other Ways to Fund Your Business in Singapore?
Of course, apart from getting government grants, there are also other methods to obtain business funding in Singapore.
Here are the other popular methods of financing:
Bank loans are available from most banks in Singapore, such as DBS Bank, UOB, and OCBC Bank.
Some examples are:
- OCBC Business First Loan
- DBS Business Term Loan
- DBS SME Micro Loan
- UOB BizMoney Loan
What is an Unsecured Loan and a Secured Loan?
An unsecured loan is a loan that is not backed by any collateral. This means that if the borrower does not repay the loan, the lender cannot take any of the borrower’s property to repay the debt.
A secured loan is a loan that is backed by collateral. This means that if the borrower does not repay the loan, the lender can take possession of the collateral to repay the debt.
Most banks offer unsecured loans, subject to certain conditions or requirements.
Related Read: Banking on the Future: Why Are Neobanks in Singapore on the Rise? »
Crowdfunding is a way of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people. The process is typically carried out via online platforms and is often used by startups or developing companies to access alternative funds.
There are 4 types of crowdfunding:
- Donation-based crowdfunding
- Equity-based crowdfunding
- Rewards-based crowdfunding
- Debt-based crowdfunding
Examples of crowdfunding platforms are Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
Angel investors are affluent private investors who finance business ventures with their own net worth in exchange for equity. They are also known as seed investors.
A venture capital is a type of private equity financing provided by investors to companies with long-term growth potential. It usually takes place after seed funding at the start.
Related Read: What are the Venture Capital Fund Management Criteria »
Government-Assisted Business Loans
The Singapore government doesn’t just offer grants, but also assisted loans as well. This loan scheme was introduced in 2022 during the pandemic as a means for the government to help companies in Singapore.
The loans are managed by Enterprise Singapore and the participating financial institutions. Currently, it has 2 primary credit facilities:
- Enterprise Financing Scheme: SME Working Capital Loan
- Maximum loan of S$500,000
- Government risk-share of 50-70%
- Only for SMEs
- Enterprise Financing Scheme: Trade Loan
- Maximum loan of S$5 million
- Government risk-share of 70%
These credit facilities have been enhanced since 1 October 2022 and will remain till 31 March 2023.
Let InCorp Help You Get the Funding You Need
As a reliable corporate services provider in the region, we have a full suite of end-to-end services to aid your company. Our advisory team offers grant assistance to help you secure the funding your business needs!
Contact our team
- You can engage InCorp’s advisory professionals to help determine and secure the business grant you need to finance your business plans.
- Most grants are considered non-taxable, but there are exceptions - for example, if it is revenue in nature, it is taxable.
- Yes, foreigners may apply, but there may be certain requirements or conditions to meet.