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Key Grants Available to SMEs in Singapore

Others | February 18, 2021

A guide to government financial assistance for small businesses.

Over the past year, lockdowns and restrictions have rapidly brought forward timelines on plans to digitise business for many organisations.

New technologies across industries have been implemented to allow companies to remain in business as well as connected to colleagues and clients from anywhere. The uptake and use of cloud-based technology, e-commerce platforms, and new digital technologies is expanding, and the Singapore government has stepped in to support small to medium sized businesses in going digital.

SMEs are an essential foundation of the Singapore economy, employing two thirds of the workforce and contributing nearly half of Singapore’s GDP.

While the uptake and roll-out of digital tools started as a necessity to enable businesses to continue operating, there has been a growing acceptance and appreciation for the benefits of a digitised workplace.

The Singapore IMDA launched the SMEs Go Digital programme, promoting the use and update of digital technologies to build stronger digital capabilities. These alongside other existing government grants can make a huge difference to businesses who have been hard hit over the past year.

Productivity Solutions Grant

The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) supports businesses in the adoption of IT solutions or equipment that improves business productivity.

The PSG grant supports sector-specific solutions as well as solutions which benefit all industries. Solutions are pre-scoped by government agencies, including Enterprise Singapore, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STM).

How much is the Productivity Solutions Grant?

In 2020, PSG was enhanced to encourage the digitisation of small business, to counter the effects of restrictions due to COVID-19.

As part of the Supplementary Budget 2020, funding for PSG was raised to 80%, effective from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

Who is Eligible for the Productivity Solutions Grant?

If you fit the following eligibility criteria, you can get up to 80% off the qualifying costs of digital solutions covered by the PSG grant.


• Business is registered and operating in Singapore

• Purchase/subscription of the digital solution must be used in Singapore

• Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding; with Company’s Group annual sales turnover less than S$100 million, OR less than 200 employees

What can the Productivity Solutions Grant be used for?

Businesses may choose the solutions that would most benefit their businesses from a list of pre-approved vendors. This includes IT solutions, digital equipment, and consultancy services.

How to apply for the Productivity Solutions Grant?


Visit GoBusiness Gov Assist for a list of pre-approved solution providers to find technology that suit your business needs. Once you have selected a vendor, ask them for a full quotation.


Go to ‘My Grants’ tab in the Business Grant Portal (BGP). Click ‘Get New Grant’ to submit application. Check eligibility, fill in company and the technologies details. You’ll need your Corp pass and ACRA details.


Once you receive notification of your Letter of Offer (LOF), go to ‘My Grants’ tab in BGP and click ‘proceed’ in the ‘Letters And Documents’ section. Only a company’s ‘Acceptor’ in CorpPass can do this.


Once you have provided the LOF to your vendor they will be able to prepare an invoice based on the approved quotation. You will need to pay the invoice in full and receive a payment receipt from the vendor.


Login to BGP and go to ‘My Grants’ tab. Use the invoice and receipt to make a claim under the ‘Claims’ tab. Claims are processed within 4-6 weeks, with funds credited directly to the company’s bank account.

SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) encourages employers to invest in enterprise transformation and capabilities of their employees.

How much is the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit?

Businesses will receive a one-off payment of $10,000 to cover up to 90% of the out of pocket expenses incurred on qualifying costs. This is an additional payment on top of other support grants.

Who is Eligible for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit?

To qualify for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit, businesses must have met the following criteria in one of the qualifying periods.


• Have contributed at least S$750 Skills Development Levy over the period

• Have employed at least three Singapore Citizens (SCs) or Permanent Residents (PRs) every month over the same period

• Have not been qualified at any of the earlier periods

Qualifying Periods

• 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020

• 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

• 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020

• 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020

What can the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit be used for?

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit can be used to pay for programmes that fall under the categories of ‘enterprise transformation’ or ‘workforce transformation’.

Enterprise transformation initiatives tie closely with other support programmes such as the Market Readiness Assistance Grant, Productivity Solutions Grant, and Enterprise Development Grant.

If these grants are utilised, and the digital solutions adopted during a qualifying period, this will satisfy the requirement of enterprise transformation under the SFEC.

Employers can only use up to $7,000 for enterprise transformation. To encourage employers to train and upskill their workers, $3,000 of the SFEC credit is reserved for workforce  transformation programmes, but there is no cap on the amount of the full $10,000 that can be used for workforce transformation.

How to apply for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit?

There is no need to apply for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit. Eligible businesses will be notified in writing if they have completed the eligibility requirements in any of the qualifying periods. Claims can then be made through the Business Grants Portal.

Enterprise Development Grant

The Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) helps Singapore companies grow and transform their businesses, through innovation and international expansion.

Successful companies are built on strong foundations with strategies to allow the

adoption of technologies and processes that help them innovate and grow.

The EDG grant funds project costs to support this, including consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost.

How much is the Enterprise Development Grant?

As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, the support level of the EDG will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2021.

In addition, unionised companies and e2i partners under the labour movement are eligible to receive an additional 10% funding, subject to NTUC-e2i’s endorsement.

Who is Eligible for the Enterprise Development Grant?

Qualifying criteria:

• Be a business entity registered and operating in Singapore

• Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding

• Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

Applications are assessed by Enterprise Singapore based on the project scope,

outcomes and the competency of the chosen service provider(s).

All EDG applications should include commitments to worker outcomes as part of the qualifying requirements. Worker outcomes include increase in wage increment, job creation, job re-design, or training for existing staff.

What can the Enterprise Development Grant be used for?

The EDG supports projects that fall under three pillars, core capabilities, innovation and productivity, and market access. Below are projects that may qualify for the EDG under each of the three pillars.

Core Capabilities

Help businesses prepare for growth and transformation by strengthening their business foundations. These should go beyond basic functions such as sales and accounting.

• Business Strategy Development

To spur the growth of your company through interventions in business strategies.

• Financial Management

Optimise your company’s financial performance to support corporate strategy and growth and/or equip your management team with the right competencies so they can be good stewards of your company’s assets and resources.

• Human Capital Development

To strengthen your company’s Human Resource (HR) capabilities, so as to support business growth strategies.

• Service Excellence

To improve your company’s service delivery by gaining a deeper understanding of customers’ needs and decision-making processes.

• Strategic Brand and Marketing Development

To help your company better capture target audiences and markets by differentiating your brand, and your products and services.

Innovation & Productivity

Support companies to explore new areas of growth, or look for ways to enhance efficiency. These could include reviewing and redesigning workflow and processes.

Companies could also tap into automation and technologies to make routine tasks more efficient. To qualify under innovation and productivity for EDG, you are encouraged to innovate and transform your business to create a new business model or innovative products and processes.

• Automation

To support your company’s usage of automation and technology which can result in tangible benefits and significant growth.

• Process Redesign

To help your company review existing processes and identify possible areas to improve efficiency. This is a critical first step before introducing automation or technology.

• Product Development

To help your company develop innovative technology and products with the end goal of commercialisation.

Market Access

Support Singapore companies that are willing and ready to venture overseas. You may tap into the EDG to help offset some of the costs of expanding into overseas markets.

• Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

To help your company grow through M&A. This may be in the planning, assessment of potential mergers and/or acquisition or post-M&A stage integration.

• Pilot Project and Test Bedding

To help your company expand into new geographical or product markets by building your track record.

• Standards Adoption

To help your company adopt internationally-recognised standards and certifications in key industries, as well as in new and emerging sectors. By doing so, your company should achieve increased business competitiveness locally and internationally, enhanced market access, and/ or increased trust in your products.

How to apply for the Enterprise Development Grant?

The EDG only supports projects that are new, have not commenced and are not generating any revenue at the point of grant application.

Application for the Enterprise Development Grant is a lengthy process. Before you apply, you must identify the category in which you will apply.

You must prepare the proposal and collate the supporting documents including:

• Latest ACRA search or instant information (dated no earlier than 6 months from date of project application).

• Audited financial statements or certified management accounts for the last FY of your company and consolidated financial statements for the last FY of your ultimate parent company, if applicable.

• Relevant proof of quotation for the cost of your project items.

The application can be submitted through the Business Grants Portal, once all documents are ready.

Applicants will have to provide projected figures in the following areas arising from the implementation of the project:

• Company revenue

• Staff remuneration

• Depreciation

• Net operating profit before tax for three years’ post-project (inclusive of the year of project completion)

• Impact on workers (Singaporean/ PR) benefiting from project in the form of increased wages, job creation, job redesign or training

A complete submission will usually take eight to twelve weeks from the time you submit your project application.

If you are awarded the grant, your company will receive a Letter of Offer (LOF) indicating the conditions of support and the amount of grant awarded.

Market Readiness Assistance

Small and medium sized businesses will receive an international boost with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to help take your business overseas.

How much is the Market Readiness Assistance Grant?

Eligible SMEs will receive up to 80% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new market until 30 September 2021. After this time, 70% of eligible costs will be covered on applications until 31 March 2023.

Individual cover limits apply:

• Overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000)

• Overseas business development (capped at S$50,000)

• Overseas market set-up (capped at S$30,000)

Who is Eligible for the Market Readiness Assistance Grant?

Qualifying criteria:

• Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore

• New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country where the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years

• At least 30% local shareholding

• Group annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR company’s group employment size of not more than 200 employees

What can the Market Readiness Assistance Grant be used for?

The MRA Grant can be used to offset costs of overseas market promotion, overseas business development, and overseas market set-up. Supported activities under each of these categories are below.

Overseas Marketing Promotion

• Overseas marketing and PR activities, including launch of instore promotions, road shows, pop-up stores

• Participation in physical trade fairs, including space rental and booth design and construction

• Participation in virtual trade fairs (newly extended to under the Supplementary Budget), including digital collateral creation, payment for business meeting sessions, speaking slots, post event analytics

Overseas Business Development

• Business matching, including third-party costs incurred to identify potential partners and/or customers

• Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP) to pay for the salary of 1 permanent BD staff

• In market business development, including third-party costs relating to subscription costs of outsourced BD services for up to 12 months

Overseas Market Set-up

• Advisory, legal and documentation expenses relating to market entry including filing and registration, necessary licences etc.

• In depth FTA consultancy

• Each application is limited to one activity in a single overseas market (e.g. market entry, or participation in a trade fair)

How to apply for the Market Readiness Assistance Grant?

Before applying, note that retrospective applications will not be accepted. An application will be deemed retrospective if any of the following events took place before the application date:

• Signed an engagement letter with the third-party consultant

• Made the first payment to the third-party consultant

• Commenced the project with the third-party consultant

Companies must submit your applications no earlier than six months of project start date.

Applications can be submitted through the Business Grants Portal. For all claims, an independent auditor must verify the expenses. An audit grant fee, capped at S$500 or 70% of the audit fee will be given to companies who engaged an Enterprise Singapore-appointed auditor to verify the expenses.

Digital Resilience Bonus

The Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB), a payout of up to S$10,000, was announced to encourage food service and retail sector businesses in Singapore to digitise their businesses.

This DRB is a bonus payout on top of any other assistance or grants provided under the SMEs Go Digital initiative, and is specifically for these sectors, as the food services and retail sector were majorly affected by social distancing and the 2020 Circuit Breaker.

How much is the Digital Resilience Bonus?

There are three categories under the Digital Resilience Bonus which each have their own bonus qualifying amount.‍‍

‍Category 1:

Business Process Solutions ($2,500 payout)

Category 2:

Digital Presence ($2,500 payout)

Category 3:

Data Mining and Analytics ($5,000 payout)

Utilisation of qualifying solutions in all three categories will unlock a DRB payout of S$10,000.‍

Who is Eligible for the Digital Resilience Bonus?

Your business UEN must have been incorporated on or before 26th May 2020, and fall under the Food Services or Retail sectors.

Your UEN must have an active PayNow Corporate account, and be using InvoiceNow (to support Bonus payout).

You must then meet the eligibility criteria of each category to qualify for the payout:

Category 1 Additional Requirements:

Under category 1, to access the bonus your enterprise must use all three qualified solutions below at least once a month.

‍Food Services:

Accounting, HR/Payroll, Digital Ordering (Dine in/Takeaway)


Accounting, HR/Payroll, Inventory Management

Category 2 Additional Requirements:

Your enterprise must either use a qualified solution to enable sales via an online shop or online food delivery at least once a month, OR make purchases on an e-Procurement platform at least once a month.‍

Category 3 Additional Requirements:

Your enterprise must be using a qualified solution for data mining and analytics to obtain insights on how to improve operations at least once.

What can the Digital Resilience Bonus be used for?

The Digital Resilience Bonus is intended to encourage digitisation of your business. This covers qualifying solutions that help to build a digital presence for your business, support business processes, and help in data mining or analytics.

As we look forward this year, it is likely that these industries will remain affected by social distancing requirements. The following digital solutions (identified and described by IMDA) will help businesses in this sector adapt to the changes required.

• e-Payment (PayNow Corporate) and e-Invoicing enable your business to carry out cashless and paperless transactions, thus reducing the need for physical interactions between buyers and suppliers and being paid faster.‍‍

• Accounting and HR/payroll solutions enable your business to be more efficient, support remote working and business continuity.‍

• Digital Ordering for dining in and takeaways enables your patrons to place their own orders and make payments digitally. It sends your patrons’ orders to the kitchen immediately for food preparation, thus improving efficiency and accuracy.‍‍

• Inventory Management enables automatic synchronisation between your inventory movements and your orders, sales and deliveries, thus avoiding under or over-stocking and eradicating the need for manual stock-taking.‍‍

• e-Commerce, e-Procurement and Food Delivery Platforms enable your business to have better engagement with your existing customers and allow you to expand your market reach beyond your physical shopfronts.‍‍

• Data Mining and Analytics enable you to optimise business outcomes (e.g. maximise conversion, optimise product mix, reduce wastage) through analysing consolidated data from multiple sources in an insightful way.

How to apply for the Digital Resilience Bonus?

There is no need for you to apply for the DRB yourself. Qualified solution providers can support you and apply on your behalf by submitting your UEN to IMDA.

You will be required to have utilised the approved solution for one month before the application is submitted. IMDA will then directly credit the bonus to your corporate PayNow account, with processing time of up to one month.

Digital Acceleration Grant

The Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) supports small FinTech firms to uptake digital solutions to improve productivity, strengthen operational resilience, manage risks, and serve customers better.

The DAG focus on smaller FIs and FinTechs enables more targeted support to meet their specific needs. Larger FIs tend to have more sophisticated digital needs, and may access other grant schemes under the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) to support innovative and transformative projects.

How much is the Digital Acceleration Grant?

The DAG co-funds 80% of qualifying expenses capped at $120,000 per entity, for applications submitted by 31 Dec 2021. After this time, 70% co-funding will apply. Eligible entities can claim for expenses incurred from 1 February 2020. The funding period is capped at 1 year.

Who is Eligible for the Digital Acceleration Grant?

Singapore-based financial institutions and FinTech firms with not more than 200 employees. They must be regulated by MAS (licenced or exempt from licencing), or be certified by the Singapore FinTech Association.

The Digital Acceleration Grant is the first grant scheme under the Financial Sector Development Fund that specifically targets smaller FIs and FinTechs. This focus enables more targeted support to meet the specific needs of smaller businesses at this time.

What can the Digital Acceleration Grant be used for?

The DAG can be used to purchase hardware and software, including licences, maintenance and subscription costs; and pay for professional services tied to the adoption of the digital solution (e.g. consultancy, cybersecurity testing, IT audit, training, change management).

There is no pre-scoped list of approved providers for the DAG, however businesses may apply for grant funding support if the solution adopted comes under any of the following categories and meets the below criteria:

Qualifying solutions must:

• Be deployed and used for at least 6 months in Singapore

• Contribute to improvements in productivity, efficiency, risk management, operational resilience, or customer service

• Belong to any of the categories listed below

• Not be built from scratch nor require investment in heavy infrastructure e.g. servers


• Cloud services

• Communication and collaboration tools

• Compliance & KYC tools (including transaction monitoring tools)

• Customer relationship and engagement tools (including digital customer onboarding)

• Data-related services

• Enterprise services (including HR and accounting systems)

• Marketing productivity tools

• Office productivity tools

• Project management, software development and testing tools

• Risk management solutions

• Security-related solutions

• Solutions to support alternative working arrangements, operational resilience, BCP

How to apply for the Digital Acceleration Grant?

To apply for the Digital Acceleration Grant, you must complete, and submit your application to

Other Available Grants

There are plenty of additional government grants available to SMEs of all industries. For more information visit