Singapore Company Incorporation: 4 Government Grants for Start-up
Singapore government has been putting every possible measure to lift entrepreneurial activity on its soil in order to support its latest push to strengthen the country’s economy. To provide financial grants and funds to start-up is one of those measures that lures a large pool of global entrepreneurs to relocate to the island nation to take the plunge.
In addition to it, the scheme like full tax exemption for the newly incorporated company has added charm to Singapore company incorporation. This guide will help you understand about the various government-backed cash grants that have been rolled out for Singapore start-up companies.
Please note that this blog does not include the exhaustive list of grants but only intends to cover the most important and popular cash grant schemes available to owners of newly incorporated companies.
ACE Startups Grants
The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is one of the best grants provided by Singapore the government. It is facilitated and administered by SPRING Singapore for the new start-up companies. This grant provides funding support to the entrepreneurs (Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident) who want to incorporate a company in Singapore for the first time in any differentiated business. During the course of allotting ACE grant, SPRING will match S$7 to every S$3 raised by the entrepreneur and it is capped at S$50,000.
Do note that application will be shortlisted based on the 4 key evaluation criteria of specializations, business model feasibility, potential market opportunity and management team.
The applicant must
- be a first-time entrepreneur
- hold minimum 51% equity in the company
- be the key decision maker and committed to the company on a full-time basis
Additionally, the company must be in its early stage of operation, i.e. 0 to 6 month from the registration date of the Singapore company.
Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme (TECS):
TECS is administered by SPRING Singapore and it is an early stage funding designed for the technology-oriented start-up business who want to develop a proof-of-concept which can be used for commercialization in the later days.
The scheme is split into two grants i.e. POC (Proof of Concept) and POV (Proof of Value), depending on the maturity level of the technology, concept or solution. The cash grant available under POC is up to S$250,000 and the amount of S$500,000 is capped for POV. Precisely, a start-up could get up to S$750,000 cash grant under TECS. However, to qualify for this grant, a start-up must undergo a rigorous process of application. Having a strong technology Intellectual Property and a scalable business model can be a boon in this regard.
ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF):
ComCare Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a cash grant fund, administered by Ministry of Social and Family Development. It aims to provide seed funding for new social enterprise start-ups and expansion funding for existing social enterprises that train and employ needy disadvantaged Singaporean to become self-dependent.
Under this scheme, a social enterprise can avail up to 80% of the total cost of the project, capped at S$300,000.
Idea Inc. Business Challenge
SPRING Singapore in collaboration with Nanyang Technical University (NTU) has introduced Idea Inc. Business Challenge, a cash grant competition, started with an aim to provide funding support and expert mentorship to the young entrepreneurs of the age group of 18 to 26 years. This competition furnishes up to S$65,000 cash to the winning participants so as to commercialize their new innovative products and services.
There are some eligibility criteria for the participants. Under which, the participant must
- be a first-time entrepreneur
- form a team of a minimum two and a maximum of six members
- have at least 1 Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident as a team member
- be between the age group of 18 to 26
- be prepared to incorporate a company in Singapore in the form of private limited company with business activities wholly or mainly based in Singapore.
The above write-up clearly suggests that each grant has some nuances that every start-up entrepreneur should be aware of. Qualifying criteria, disbursement methods and other terms and conditions are a few things that you must consider when determining which Singapore funding scheme would work best for you. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to open a company in Singapore, you are recommended to review the terms and conditions of the grants prior to approaching respective government agencies for making an application.