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SPRING’s Capability Development Grant Supports Growth of SME sector

Singapore has consistently outranked the world as the easiest place to do business in according to the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report. Beyond making company formation in Singapore easy, the government also provides comprehensive support to small and medium enterprises in the city-state through grants, assistance programmes and schemes.

The Capability Development Grant or CDG, facilitated by the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING), is among the government’s efforts in heartening SMEs to progress in terms of productivity. A funding assistance programme that covers a full spectrum of capability improvement schemes, the Capability Development Grant seeks to assist SMEs to be more competitive and equipped to amplify growth locally and inspire expansion abroad.

SPRING will shoulder up to 70 percent of the costs qualified companies invest in projects that involve employee training, business consultancy, skills certification, and equipment upgrade. Specifically, the governing body encourages SMEs to focus on developing capabilities in any of the following 10 areas of business development including Business Innovation and Design, Financial Management, Branding Development, Development of Human Capital, Service Excellence, and Business Strategy Development.

In addition, the grant helps SMEs undertake large scale projects that are aimed at improving the internal process, developing products and services, heightening productivity level, and getting better market access.

The grant is offered to enterprises that are registered or incorporated in Singapore with at least 30 percent local shareholding, and either has a group annual sales turnover that does not exceed S$100 million or has an employee count that does not exceed 200.

The application process for the grant is divided into three phases:

Pre-Application

Before applying for the grant, the interested SME must ensure its eligibility for the grant and pinpoint its chosen area of development. The area of development must be relevant to the proposed project. The grant only covers projects that have not commenced yet. Below are the documents that must be prepared and included in the application:

a) Most recent ACRA Search or Instant Information

b) Most recent Audited and Consolidated Financial Statements

c) Comprehensive Project Proposal

d) Project Cost Proof of Quotation

For all projects except for Human Capital Development and Leadership Development, information for job creation and quantitative impact must also be furnished to SPRING.

Application Proper

SPRING published a Grant Portal Access Rights Guide in order to educate applicants on who within the company is eligible to submit the grant application. The application may be submitted online at the SPRING Grant Portal and usually takes about twenty (20) minutes to fill out all required information.

Post-Application

Once the application has been submitted, receipt of the application will be acknowledged by one of SPRING Officers through getting in touch with the company representative. Depending on the circumstances, the applicant may be asked to provide more information about the project and the company in a scheduled meeting, revise the application should the previously submitted documents are incomplete, and make available both present and projected indicators of productivity relevant to the proposed project. The application process will be assessed by SPRING based on the specific needs of the SME and scope of the project. SPRING also looks at how competent and effective is the service provider in enhancing the capabilities of the SME based on the areas outlined above.

A Letter of Offer will be provided to successful applicants through the SPRING Grant Portal. Note that in the implementation period of the project, the grantee must maintain all records that are relevant to the project such as timeline, scope of project, progress report, and the like. More importantly, all the records of financial transactions relating to the project including receipts or invoices must be properly kept.


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