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Grants for Your Dream to Start a Business – Be Your Own Boss!

Ever had a dream to save the world but woke up disappointed realising that you are not Batman? In Singapore, there are many ways to find your Batman to help you achieve your dreams – on being your own boss!

Being one of the best place to start a business, there are many available government schemes in Singapore to help new businesses with funding, the main conditions for the entrepreneur to fulfill to be eligible for such fundings is:

  • Singaporean/PR
  • The company has to be based in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding

 

Editor’s Note: This is not a sponsored post, we wrote these to help you, big dreamers!

StartupSG Founder

Grant: Up to S$30,000 by matching S$3 to every $1 raised by the startup

This is mainly for people who are starting their own businesses for the first time.

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  • Mentorship and business guidance from Singapore-based incubators.
  • Apply through an Accredited Mentorship Partner (AMP)

Conditions:

  • Must hold or propose to hold a minimum of 30% equity in the new company.
  • Must be working on the business and not employed full-time elsewhere
  • Must be a key decision maker in the company
  • Must not have already received funding for the proposed business from another government organisation.
  • Upon approval, the first-time entrepreneur must register a private limited company in Singapore.
  • If the first-time entrepreneur has already registered a company, it must not be more than 6 months old and must have at least 51% shareholding in Singapore.

StartupSG Equity

Grant:

  • The Singapore government will provide 70% of the funding in an initial investment round of S$250K (S$500K for “deep tech” startups).
  • Thereafter, the Singapore government will invest S$1 for every S$1 invested by private investors up to a cap of S$2 million (S$4 million for “deep tech” startups).

This is mainly for startups that are improving existing technologies, that require exorbitant capital and may take longer to succeed commercially.

StartupSG Tech

  • Companies will receive funding for both Proof-of-Concept (POC) and Proof-of-Viability (POV) projects
  • POC project – funding up to S$250,000
  • POV project – funding up to S$500,000

Criteria:

  • Annual revenue must be less than S$100 million or the company must employ fewer than 200 people

There are six pillars of support, the rest are Startup SG Accelerator, Startup SG Loan, and Startup SG Talent, which focuses on other aspects of building your business. You may read more on Startup SG here.

Enterprise Singapore

Capabilities Development Grant (CDG) by Enterprise Singapore

  • The grant defrays up to 70% of qualifying project costs such as consultancy, training, certification and equipment expenses.
  • The application requirements for smaller scale projects (grant support of S$30,000 or less) has also been simplified. Look forward to an easier application process with more streamlined forms and documentation requirements.

Criteria:

  • Group annual sales turnover of S$100 million or less, or group employment of up to 200 employees.

Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) by Enterprise Singapore

  • S$5,000 voucher for you to develop your business capabilities
  • Such as upgrading and strengthening  their core business operations
  • Entitled to a maximum of eight vouchers, and the duration of each project should not exceed six months.

Criteria:

  • Group annual sales turnover of S$100 million or less, or group employment of up to 200 employees.
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore.

National Research Foundation (NRF) – Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF)

  • Invest in Singapore-based early-stage technology start-ups.
  • Through ESVF, NRF invests $10 million on a matching basis, to seed corporate venture capital (VC) funds to invest in startups.

Criteria for these aren’t explicitly mentioned but you may read more about them.

Except that it would like the startup to source for innovative technologies and business models as part of their overall corporate strategy, and in the process improve their innovation capacity.

Singapore Tourism Board – Business Improvement Fund (BIF)

  • SME applicants: up to 70% of qualifying costs
  • Non-SME applicants: up to 50% of qualifying costs

Criteria:

  • Tourism companies taking on capability development initiatives
  • Technology companies that create innovative technology products and services for tourism businesses.

Loans

Apart from the available grants that I have listed above (not exhaustive), other ways you can fund your business would be by taking up a loan.

But never take up a loan to only land yourself up in more loans which will reflect negatively on your debt to equity ratio.

SME Micro Loans

  • Companies with 10 or fewer employees that have products or services on the market may access working capital financing of up to S$100,000 to support their day-to-day business operations.

SME Venture Loan

  • Innovative, high-growth companies that have products or services on the market may access alternative financing of up to S$5,000,000 for the purpose of business expansion.

There are many ways you could fund your dreams, some other alternatives could be pitching your business models to angel investors or venture capitalists.

Keep trying, you’ll never know if you don’t try. One day you might be living your dream but of course, don’t expect that to come without hard work!

Starting a business might put your personal finance journey in a position where your finances may go in either direction, you may ask our community any questions if you would like to seek different opinions.

With that said, all the best!

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