Start-up grants and funding sources in Singapore – IMC Group
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Start-up grants and funding sources in Singapore

Start-up grants and funding sources in Singapore

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Singapore is one of the most attractive places in the world for entrepreneurs to set up a business. Apart from the ease of doing business and low tax rates, what attracts entrepreneurs to Singapore is its multiplicity of financing sources for start-ups. The government in Singapore offers various attractive grants and funding schemes that assist entrepreneurs in raising capital for the early stages of their business

Enterprise Singapore is a government agency supporting the growth of Singapore enterprises. Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is responsible for driving entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. The organisation helps Enterprise Singapore to offer grants to start-ups

Some of the grants offered by the government agencies to start-ups in Singapore include:

  • SG Founders

Start-up SG Founders scheme offers mentorship and start-up capital grant to new entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. Enterprise Singapore provides up to S$30,000 by matching S$3 for every S$1 raised by the entrepreneur (3:1 paid-up capital). Accredited Mentorship Partner (AMP) identifies the qualifying applicants on the basis of uniqueness of business concept, strength of management team, feasibility of business model and potential market value. The grant is open to all Singaporeans/Permanent Residents who are first-time entrepreneurs. In addition, the entrepreneur would need to adhere to the following conditions at the time of application:

  • Applicant must hold or propose to hold at least 30% equity in the underlying company.
  • The company must have at least 51% of local shareholding and not be incorporated for more than six (6) months at the point of application to Enterprise Singapore.
  • The entrepreneur must not have registered or incorporated any business entity.
  • The entrepreneur must not have received any grants or funding for the proposed business idea from some other government organisation
  • SG Tech

Start-up SG Tech scheme offers early-stage funding to local Singapore companies for commercialisation of tech ideas. It aims to offer funds for Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Viability (POV) projects. POC projects can receive grants up to S$250,000 if the project is designed for testing the technical and scientific viability of a new technology. Whereas, POV projects can receive grants up to S$500,000 if the project is designed for testing the commercial viability of a lab-proven technology.

In order to qualify for the grant, companies must fulfil certain conditions which include the following:

  • The company should be incorporated within the last 5 years.
  • The company should be operating in Singapore.
  • The local shareholding of the company should be minimum 30%.
  • Group annual sales of the company must be less than S$100 million or the group employment size must be less than 200 people.
  • Project must not have commenced at the time of application
  • Work should be done by the applicant (company), in Singapore, unless otherwise justified

Start-up SG Tech offers grants to companies in the sectors such as biomedical sciences and healthcare, advanced manufacturing and robotics, food science and technology, transport engineering, precision engineering, clean technology and information and communications technologies.

  • SG Equity

Start-up SG Equity facilitates start-ups engaged in technology innovation to access funding from private investors. It is a co-investment scheme where the Singapore government co-invests with private investors in start-ups that require notable capital expenditure and may require some time to be commercially viable.

Singapore government will offer 70% funding in an initial investment round of S$250k to the start-ups that are improving existing technologies. At a later stage, it will invest S$1 for every S$1 invested by private investors up to a maximum of S$2 million.

For deep tech start-ups, the government will offer 70% funding in an initial investment round of S$500k. At a later stage, it will invest S$1 for every S$1 invested by private investors up to a maximum of S$4 million.

In order to qualify for the grant, companies must fulfil certain conditions which include the following:

  • The company should be Singapore based and the core operations must be carried out in Singapore.
  • The company should be incorporated as a private limited company within the last 5 years.
  • The company should have a minimum of S$50,000 paid-up capital.
  • The company should not be a subsidiary or a joint venture.
  • The company should have identified a third-party investor who is independent.
  • The company should prove substantial innovative and intellectual property.
  • The company should have the potential for high growth and show its ability to do well in the international market.

The company should not be involved in acts that are against the law or public interest.

  • SGD Talent

Start-up SGD Talent aims to build a conducive environment for the promising global talent to set up innovative business in the country and for start-ups to attract outside talent. Some of the schemes that are a part of SGD Talent include SME Talent Programme (STP) for Startups, EntrePass and T-Up. Under this grant, 70% subsidy is offered on the stipend paid to the Singaporean/Permanent Resident intern.

In order to qualify for the grant, the entrepreneur must fulfil certain conditions which include the following:

  • The company should have a minimum of 30% shareholding in Singapore.
  • The company should be incorporated in Singapore within the last 5 years.
  • Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident intern must belong to approved IHL (i.e. ITE, Polytechnic and University)          
  • The company must pay the minimum stipend.
  • The entrepreneur must not have more than 50% shares in other business entity.

IMC Group is an associate member of ACE. For any help regarding availing grants, you may get in touch with us.

E-mail             : pankaj@intuitconsultancy.com
Contact          : +65-91269927
Website         : https://intuitconsultancy.com/sg

Author bio information

Pankaj Kumar

Mr. Pankaj Kumar is a member of ICAI (Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) since 2002. He has over 17 years of experience in cross border advisory, international taxation, structured finance, trade finance and management consulting. He advises MNCs and SMEs on formation of cross border corporations and business structures and structuring commercial transactions.

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