Today, Singapore has emerged as the premier hub for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. For the last six years, the World Bank has consistently ranked the country as the best place to start a business.

Available Singapore Grants

The Singaporean government has taken an active role in nurturing the pro-business environment within the country. Singapore provides many great opportunities for startups including equity financing schemes, business incubator schemes, debt financing schemes, tax incentive schemes and cash grants.

Singapore Grants #1
Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Startups Scheme

Formerly spearheaded by the government, ACE is now a private sector-led movement for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, ACE continues to uphold the same principles. Through this scheme, ACE matches SGD7.00 to every SGD3.00 raised by the entrepreneur for up to SGD50,000. This means that the entrepreneur will need to raise SGD21,429 to receive a grant of SGD50,000.

This grant is available for Singapore citizens as well as permanent residents who want to set their business up within the country for the first time. Interested entrepreneurs need to have at least 51% equity in their business. Moreover, the business should not be registered for over six months during the submission date of the application form. Read more about the grant at ACE Website.

Singapore Grants #2
ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF)

Administered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), CEF strictly caters to social enterprise start-ups in the social service sector. This cash grant was made to enhance the social projects launched by enterprises in Singapore. It is available for enterprises that provide employment and training programs for disadvantaged Singaporeans such as ex-offenders, persons with disabilities, and persons who are suffering from psychiatric illnesses.

This cash grant offers seed funding of up to 80 percent of the capital expenditure and the operating costs for the first two years with a maximum sum of SGD300,000.00. Read more about the grant at ComCare.

Singapore Grants #3
Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS)

Jointly managed by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and SPRING Singapore, TEC caters to technology-oriented start-up companies. This scheme assists technology start-ups with initial funding needs for the commercialisation of their own technological ideas. To be eligible, the startups have to be registered for less than five years at the time of award, have at least 30 percent local shareholding, have an annual sales turnover less than SGD100,000,000, and have less than 200 employees.

Under this scheme are different grants. For entrepreneurs at the conceptualisation stage, TEC provides up to 100 percent of the qualifying costs for a project up to a maximum of SGD250,000. For entrepreneurs who need further research and development, TEC provides up to 85 percent of qualifying costs up to a maximum of SGD500,000. Read more about the scheme at Spring Singapore.

Related: Setting up a Business Structure for Small Business in Singapore

Singapore Grants #4
Increase SME Productivity with Infocomm Adoption & Transformation (iSPRINT)

Also managed by IDA, iSPRINT focuses on providing pre-packaged solutions for accounting and payroll, customer relationship management, resource planning and other areas. This scheme is available to small and medium enterprises registered in Singapore that have at least 30 percent local shareholding, have an annual sales turnover less than SGD100,000,000.00, and have less than 200 employees.

For pre-packaged solutions, the scheme reimburses up to 70 percent of the qualifying cost. For more customised solutions for the first-time automation of business functions, the scheme reimburses only up to SGD20,000.

Singapore Grants #5
New Initiative Grant (NIG)

Managed by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), NIG caters to start-ups with philanthropic initiatives for the community. The grant provides up to 80 percent of volunteerism and philanthropy-related costs for one year, subject to a maximum of SGD200,000. As of now, this grant is on hiatus until May 2015 so watch out for its newly refined strategy next month. Read more at NPVC Website.  

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).