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Local Enterprise and Association Development programme (LEAD) for the SMEs

Last modified: October 21, 2021
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Lead for SMEsThe foreign Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) owners opting to open a company in Singapore get great support from its pro-business policies. This country has specifically implemented a start-up ecosystem to support local as well as foreign entrepreneurs to make their initial struggle a bearable one.

Singapore government is constantly seeking improvements from its local companies. The authorities encourage them by providing various schemes. It is one of the major reason why start-up entrepreneurs choose to establish a company in Singapore.

The major beneficiaries of these are the SMEs. One of the most important schemes from the point of view of SMEs is the Local Enterprise and Association Development programme (LEAD).


LEAD for the Improvement of SMEs

The LEAD programme is initiated and managed by the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING Singapore) and International Enterprise Singapore. These entities assist the SMEs in enhancing their capabilities. They work through the competent chambers of commerce and industry associations to take the benefits of the program to the new Singapore company incorporations.


LEAD Development Projects

A few of the areas covered by the LEAD Development Projects are as follows:

  • Advisory and Consultancy
  • Expertise Competence
  • Business Collaboration
  • Intelligence and Research
  • Improvement of Technology and Infrastructure


The Motive Behind the LEAD Programme Initiative

The ulterior motive of the LEAD programme is to drive the industries, the beneficiary SMEs belongs to, to achieve improvements by increasing the level of competitiveness from within. The support extended to the SMEs through this initiative is designed to suit their needs at the industry level.


Benefits of LEAD

The participant Singapore SME owners, during the implementation of a project, are provided with up to 70% of funding to cover the following eligible costs.

  • Manpower-related expenditures
  • Intellectual Property (IP) costs
  • Professional services fees
  • Equipment and materials
  • Business development expenses


Application for the LEAD Programme

Singapore business associations, chambers of commerce, and industry associations can apply to the LEAD programme if they,

  • Represent a specific industry having potential to impact the economy in a positive manner
  • Have a record of launching SMEs oriented initiatives
  • Have a membership big enough to represent the industry


Guidelines to Follow Before Submitting Project Proposals for LEAD

Project proposals must elaborate on,

  • The industry road map and how it will be translated into practice
  • How it can improve job situation and revenue generation, industry, and number of beneficiary SMEs
  • How it can improve the competitiveness of the industry
  • How it can play a prime role in the creation of market and business opportunities
  • Their usefulness to SMEs and non-members of the association
  • The implementation period within the prescribed span of 3 years
  • The willingness of their organization to share the project costs

The representatives of industry associations and the chambers of commerce must see to it that their proposal aligns with the guidelines mentioned above. They need to send an application to the EnterpriseOne Singapore and get an Indication of Interest form. After submitting it, they are also required to prepare for a meeting with a LEAD programme Administrator for a deep discussion about their proposal.

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