Enterprise Singapore launched as single agency helping companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise
Enterprise Singapore, formed through the merger of International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING Singapore, was officially launched today. The merger of the two agencies had been announced in September last year.
Enterprise Singapore will be the single agency promoting the growth of Singapore companies of all sizes. It will also continue to establish Singapore as a leading global trading hub, and build trust in Singapore’s products and services.
Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Enterprise Singapore, shared the role and focus of the agency at the launch event today graced by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) and 300 industry partners.
“The success of Singapore companies is critical to our economy and to create good jobs for Singaporeans. Enterprise Singapore builds on the strengths of IE Singapore and SPRING to drive and shape the future of our companies. To do this well, the work of Enterprise Singapore cannot be done alone. We will work closely with partners to help committed companies innovate and transform, be it to change business models, adopt technology, strengthen talent pool or deepen global networks,” said Mr Png said.
He outlined the agency’s strategies to take an enterprise-centric approach in working with committed companies; streamline assistance for greater effectiveness; and leverage partnerships for greater reach.
Helping companies of all sizes
Singapore has around 200,000 enterprises today. Each group of enterprises are at different stages of growth, face different challenges and resource constraints, and have different capacities and capabilities.
Enterprise Singapore is structured to help companies of all sizes grow stronger and stay globally competitive. While a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be used to support all, customised support cannot be provided for every individual enterprise.
Enterprise Singapore will look at the specific needs of each group and provide simplified but comprehensive suite of programmes aimed at helping enterprises in each segment. It will focus programmes and efforts on helping enterprises upgrade & enhance productivity, innovate & transform, grow and globalise; and work with public and private sector partners, local and foreign, to provide domain-specific, industry-specific and market-specific assistance.
Mr Png said that a vibrant startup ecosystem has been developed in Singapore in partnership with ACE, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), EDB (Economic Development Board), the IHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning), JTC, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), NRF (National Research Foundation), SGInnovate, VCs, incubators & accelerators, angel investors, etc., spanning a range of industries like ICT, fintech, biomedical and so on.
Enterprise Singapore will continue to enhance the Startup SG suite of programmes and strengthen the startup ecosystem in Singapore.
The entity will also work with EDB to expand the Global Innovation Alliance to more innovation nodes overseas, so that more Singapore startups can plug into these innovation communities and expand their business globally. More foreign startups can also tap into the Singapore ecosystem and use Singapore as a base to connect to the region or to the world.
Micro enterprises & “First-time Upgraders”
These enterprises will be supported
in 3 areas. Firstly, they will be provided easy access to advice, information
and help through the SME Portal (a self-help online tool), Business Advisors at
the 12 SME Centres operated by the major TACs (Trade Associations &
Chambers) islandwide, and the Enterprise Infoline (tel: 6898 1800).
Assistance programmes are being streamlined. Many micro enterprises have tapped on the PIC (Productivity and Innovation Credit), ICV (Innovation & Capability Voucher) and IMDA’s iSPRINT in the past few years to upgrade their operations.
The new Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) streamlines three existing productivity schemes - SPRING’s Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV), National Parks Board’s Landscape Productivity Grant (LPG) and IMDA’s SME Go Digital Programme and it features a simplified application process through one grant (via Business Grants Portal). The PSG provides IT productivity solutions pre-qualified by sector lead agencies and aligned to industry needs, ensuring these meet companies’ needs and shortens processing time.
They can also tap on the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant if they are venturing overseas for the first time. And in addition, Enterprise Singapore will connect them to other agencies’ programmes like Tech Depot and IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programmes.
With regards to SMEs, Enterprise Singapore will focus on helping them innovate and transform their business, through the Centres of Innovation, A*STAR’s Research Institutes, Productivity Centres, human capital and leadership development programmes;
They will be helped in globalising further through 35 Overseas Centres and Plug & Play Network.
The existing Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) grant will be combine into a single Enterprise Development Grant by October this year, to support capabilities upgrading, innovation, business transformation and internationalisation, and is customisable for enterprises. This will also reduce the administrative burden for enterprises;
Enterprise Singapore will also help SMEs tap on various programmes offered by the Ministry of Manpower, Workforce Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore and the unions, to develop the critical skills and human capital, and become more competitive in a manpower-lean environment.
Enterprise Singapore will continue to assist large Singapore enterprises to broaden and deepen their global presence. This would include connecting them to overseas contacts and networks, and supporting and facilitating their efforts in securing new opportunities and projects.
Beyond this, Enterprise Singapore aims to leverage on the PACT programme and work closely with EDB, to encourage more large Singapore enterprises and MNCs to help SMEs upgrade and facilitate their internationalisation efforts.The enhanced PACT programme combines the existing Partnerships for Capability Transformation Programmes by SPRING and Economic Development Board, the Collaborative Industry Projects under SPRING, and projects supported under the GCP Grant by IE Singapore. It is being broadened to support collaborations among enterprises of all sizes, inclusive of local and overseas partners, to pursue business development needs such as knowledge transfer, capability building, co-innovation and accessing overseas opportunities.
Developing Singapore as a global trading hub
Enterprise Singapore will continue to strengthen Singapore as a Global Trade Hub by expanding into new sectors of growth (e.g. LNG), increasing the networks of enterprises, improving the trade infrastructure, and building a pipeline of trade-ready talent.
It will also drive the digitalisation of marketplaces and trade platforms, connecting them to global platforms and attracting global platform players to Singapore. Enterprise Singapore will launch the new Trade Infrastructure Development Fund (TIDF) this year to support enterprises developing B2B e-marketplaces and innovative trade and financing solutions.
Building talent pipeline and enhancing standards
Enterprise Singapore will work with Workforce Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore and the Institutes of Higher Learning, to help our enterprises build a talent pipeline and groom leaders, with specific programmes targeted at students/pre-employment candidates, mid-career professionals and existing business leaders.
As the national standards and accreditation body, Enterprise Singapore will continue to build a robust Quality and Excellence ecosystem to strengthen trust in Singapore’s enterprises, products and services through quality and standards.