The 6 Singapore Government Grants For Small Businesses You Need to Know

July 26, 2016

Don’t we all love government grants?

Not that we should ever complain about having too many options and too much support… but for a new business owner it can be daunting to navigate through the world of ACE’s, A*STAR’s, IDA’s, NRF’s, and SPRING’s world of acronyms.


Below we list some of the most popular and widely-used government programmes for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, as well as a short description on how they can apply to you:

1) Engage and attract talent from local institutions with the STP

The SME Talent Programme (STP) lets you offer internships, sponsorships and training programmes to local students from Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs), Polytechnics and Universities.

For example, the STP funds up to 70% of the monthly internship stipend you pay when you employ an intern. You will also get to enjoy similar funding if you choose to sponsor a student’s school fees, in exchange for an employment bond of up to two years.

Find out more about your eligibility criteria for the STP here.

2) Send your employees for training with WDA’s enhanced training support for SMEs

The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) subsidises or funds up to 90% in course fees and academic programmes when you send your employees for training. In addition to funding for higher course fees, you can also claim absentee payroll funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a cap.

The Enhanced Training Support for SMEs covers more than 8,000 certifiable courses supported by WDA and academic CET courses offered by local institutions. View the library of courses available here.

3) Tap on the expertise of qualified business advisors with the BAP

The Business Advisors’ Programme (BAP) matches business advisors to your SME and provides funding for projects. Under BAP, SPRING co-funds 70% of the full project costs i.e. the fees paid to the business advisor, while SMEs only have to pay upfront 30% of the full project cost and a small administrative fee. This means that to engage a qualified business advisor for six months at a fixed fee of S$5,000 per month, you will only have to pay S$9,000 upfront (not including administrative fees and GST).

Apply for the Business Advisors Programme here.

4) Receive funding support under WorkPro for implementing age-friendly workplaces

WorkPro encourages and rewards age-friendly workplaces. You can apply for grants if you implement work-life measures, redesign jobs, improve workplace practices, or place employees on flexible work arrangements.

For example, if you employ at least five mature workers (aged 40 years and above), implement two out of six age management practices, and attend compulsory training in age management, you may qualify for an Age Management Grant of up to S$20,000.

Learn more about WorkPro.

5) Receive tax allowances and cash payouts under the PIC scheme

Budget 2016 announced a reduction in the percentage of cash payout option under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. This means that you have up to 31 July this year to purchase qualifying equipment and services, and file your claims under PIC.

Note that in order to be eligible for the cash payout option, you must have least three local employees (Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents with Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions). Sole-proprietors, partners under contract for service and shareholders who are directors of the company do not contribute to the three-local-employee condition.

From YAs 2016 to 2018, the CPF contributions must be made for three local employees in the last three months of the relevant financial quarter or combined financial quarters.

The cash payout conversion rate will be reduced to 40% as of 1 August 2016.

Read more about claiming PIC on or before 31 July.

6) Get S$5,000 via ICV for consultancy projects and integrated solutions

Innovation and Capability Vouchers (ICV) aim to encourage capability development in SMEs. Each ICV is valued at S$5,000 for you to use when procuring approved consultancy services in relation to innovation, productivity, human resources, and financial management. Similar support is also available when you engage the services of pre-qualified Integrated Solution Providers (ISPs). View the full list of pre-qualified service providers here.

Do you tap on any government grants that are missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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