SMEs are Important for Economic Development
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is an essential part of the economy. SMEs constitute a major source of employment, domestic and export earnings. However, SMEs are also fraught with different roadblocks and limitations brought about by its size and staff. Some of the most common predicaments SMEs face include lack of funding, difficulty in setting up and barriers to business growth. Removing these constraints and making government programmes accessible to SMEs at both micro and macro levels is not an easy endeavour. Enterprises must proactively take advantage of available opportunities for growth, international trade and investment opportunities in order to remain competitive and highly productive.
Acknowledging the role of SMEs in promoting economical growth, the Singapore Government has outlined innumerable measures to improve and advocate the growth the SME sector. For one, setting up a business and company registration Singapore is relatively easier. Government agencies such as ACE ( Action Community for Entrepreneurship), IDA (Infocomm Development Authority), SPRING (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board) support the sector by providing various programmes and schemes to improve training, operational assitance, skills development, innovation, and management. The government support may come in the form of cash bonus, reimbursements, tax incentives and manpower support.
Through government support, SMEs are encouraged to improve productivity and business processes to reach consumers not only locally but also internationally. To minimize the limitations faced by SMEs in business development, government agencies provide consultancy services in areas of overseas business development and identifying business opportunities. Many SMEs lack knowledge, market research, and experience in dealing with legal and tax matters. To address this, the government has launched Market Readiness Assistance Grant (MRA) to provide advice in key areas of tax, legal matters and market research through pre-approved consultants. Apart from this, companies can receive up to $20,000 or 50% of the funding support, whichever is lower per company per fiscal year. The MRA aims to promote internationalism, create sustained growth, and provide an outreach to global markets. More tha promoting entrepreneurs to start and operate a business in Singapore, the government has been actively encourage companies to restructure and constantly innovate in order to increase productivity and hire more locals.
Considered the pillars for SMEs, the Enterprise Development Centers provides advisory assistance to SMEs in the area of human resources, financing, and overseas development.
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