Singapore doubles down on digital support for SMEs

Whatever industry you care to look at, marketplaces are ever-evolving and move quickly. Businesses, then, need to embrace disruption and ensure their operations are ready to flex and scale.

The key is to innovate effectively, leverage relevant , establish greater market presence and dominance, improve operational strategy, and build a more skilled workforce.

In various instances, feats like these are easier said than done. Businesses clearly need a solid support system from the public and private sectors. After all, their growth and success is vital to stimulate a country’s economy.

In Singapore, government bodies are stepping up efforts to help local businesses strive in the market, innovate and digitize through new initiatives such as the Enterprise Grow Package and Grow Digital.

Announcing the move was Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat who claimed that the Enterprise Grow Package, for one, will include a new digital payment platform, business grants, and improved versions of current support mechanisms.

While the business grants and present support mechanisms will be substantial in offering local businesses the necessary resources and funding, the new digital payment system, on the other hand, will revolutionize the way businesses transact with the government.

‘Incubators of innovation’

Coined as ‘GoBusiness’, the platform will also include channels for business license applications and streamlined guides on relevant government help.

The country’s food services sector has already had a taste of GoBusiness. The platform will now be launched on a larger scale to help establish the business landscape.

The ‘package’ is part of the Singapore Budget 2002 planning. During his speech, Heng said, “Our enterprises must be the incubators of innovation, the crucibles for skills upgrading and the creators of good jobs for our people.”

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On the other hand, there is also Grow Digitial, an initiative set up by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore to allow businesses to gain increased access to global markets through digital channels. This initiative is still in development, but more details will follow later this year.

Nevertheless, previously established schemes and projects are getting an upgrade. For instance, the Go Digital project will be completing all 23 of the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) this year.

The maps offer digitization guides to SMEs looking to transform within the capacities of their related industries. Additionally, SMEs will be able to learn how to select the right digital solutions and receive the right digital training to help them transform successfully.

Another existing scheme to receive a boost is the Productivity Solutions Grant. The scheme, which primarily focuses on providing funds to businesses that are looking to leverage pre-approved digital solutions, will now include consultancy services for job redesign.

Singapore’s move is another testament of how, in Asia, government bodies have always tried to accommodate to SMEs that are keen to go digital and grow beyond their market capabilities.

Businesses, now, must realize that they have all the right tools to help them level up, grow, and progress. So, there is no more reason to stall transformation efforts and stay behind in the market place. Businesses must act and they must act now.

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