Are you a small business owner looking to grow your business, develop deeper capabilities, and internationalize?
Are you looking for assistance to cover the costs?
Look no further: the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) exists specifically to help you achieve these goals.
This Ultimate Guide will cover all the nitty-gritty details you need to know to make the most of this grant: from eligibility criteria to the activities funded, how to apply, and everything in between.
What’s Enterprise Development Grant?
Well, it’s a big ol’ pot of money set aside by the Singapore government to help small businesses expand.
It’s one of the many grants the Singapore government offers to help small companies and enterprises upgrade, innovate and venture overseas.
That’s right — they’re practically throwing money at you.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the Enterprise Development Grant and how to use it to give your business a competitive edge.
A Brief Overview of the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
The EDG is a Singapore government initiative that grants funding to small businesses that can demonstrate their commitment to upgrading and internationalizing. It covers up to 70% of the costs of approved activities, with a cap of $300,000 per grant.
The grant was officially launched on 25th October 2018. About five years later, the grant has helped thousands of companies in Singapore strengthen their capabilities, upgrade, and expand their businesses to adapt to global markets.
The grant came to be
as a combination of two existing grants: the Global Company Partnership (GCP) and the Capability Development Grant (CDG). Now the EDG combines these two grants into a single grant, making it simpler for businesses to understand and apply.
The GCP grant was offered by IE Singapore (International Enterprise Singapore) and was meant to help local companies form partnerships with foreign companies or set up overseas subsidiaries. The CDG, on the other hand, was offered by SPRING SG, and it served to help local companies upgrade their capabilities.
So, What Are the Eligibility Criteria for EDG?
If you are a small business in Singapore, you meet the first eligibility criteria. Besides that, you must also meet the following requirements:
- Your registered business must be registered and operating in Singapore
- The company must have at least 30% local shareholding
- Your business must be strategically and financially viable, with a proven track record to start and complete the project.
If your organization is large and not classified as an SME, you may still be eligible for the EDG, but only if you meet the following:
- Your group sale is less than or equal to S$100 million
- Your employment size is less than or equal to 200
For more details, here’s the application checklist for the EDG.
Application Checklist for the EDG
You might want to refer to the following checklist while applying for the EDG:
Documents for All Applications
These documents are required regardless of the nature of your business or proposed project:
- Audited financial statements of the applicant company or certified management account for the last financial year of your company, accompanied by a consolidated financial statement of your parent company if applicable.
- A detailed project proposal that includes the following information:
- Description of activities, duration, and expected outcomes
- The amount of funding requested
- Preliminary timeline of activities
- Breakdown of estimated project costs
Proof of Quotation for the Project
Submit details of quotations obtained, including the cost and scope of works.
- You may also be required to offer clarification on the choice of the vendor or an alternative quotation from a different vendor.
- Once these documents are ready, the EDG will assess and review your application to determine if it meets the eligibility criteria.
Supporting Documents for Hardware/Equipment or Software Purchases
- Quotation of the item by the vendor by number of units and cost per unit
Supporting Documents for Salaries and Training
- Appointment or employment letters of your staff
- If the staff can’t be identified yet, provide their job designation and description
Supporting document for consultancy services
- Consultancy proposal with fee breakdown, including the scope of work and deliverables
- You want to describe each phase, cost breakdown, and activities.
- For projects involving management consultants, you want to obtain the lead management consultant’s name, certification number, NRIC/FIN, and scanned copies of their RMC/PMC/SCMC certificates.
Supportable Items and Activities Under EDG
EDG supports projects that fall under the following three categories:
Projects under core capabilities must focus on upgrading the company’s productivity and core capabilities, such as improving processes or technology adoption.
They should equip the company to adapt to rapid growth and transformation.
The following aspects of your business are all covered under core capabilities:
#1. Business Strategy Development
Objective: To improve and advance the company’s business strategy and capabilities.
Examples: Strategic planning, enterprise risk management, competitive intelligence gathering, customer relationship management
You can strengthen your company’s core capabilities through business strategy development for scalable and sustainable growth.
- Develop strategies to maximize your opportunities and gain a competitive advantage
- Optimize your research and development operations
- Improve management systems based on business excellence to achieve quality class certification
#2: Financial Management
Objective: To enhance the company’s financial management and reporting capabilities.
Examples: Financial forecasting, cash flow planning and cost optimization to improve profitability
It focuses on understanding the financial health of your organization and improving financial performance.
- Establish a plan to improve your business finances through investment, borrowing and asset management
- Develop plans to ensure proper cash flow management
- Analyse risk exposure and create a risk management plan to minimize potential losses
- Create financial forecasting models to predict future performance and long-term plans.
#3: Human Capital Development
Objective: To develop the company’s capabilities in the areas of Human Resources (HR) and talent management
Examples: Training, skill upgrading and knowledge transfer
Human capital development helps to enhance the capacity of your staff and build a more effective team.
- HR recruitment and management
- Compensation and Benefits
- Employee skills development and training
- Succession planning
- Understand the requirements of foreign job permits and ensure full compliance with HR-related regulations.
#4. Service Excellence
Objective: To improve the company’s service excellence capabilities.
Examples: Service process design, customer service training and quality management system development
Service excellence helps to deliver better customer service and build customer loyalty.
- Develop a plan for improving customer experience
- Design processes for delivering excellent service
- Train staff in customer service best practices
- Implement a quality management system to ensure consistent delivery of services.
#5. Strategic Branding and Marketing Development
Objective: To develop the company’s branding and marketing capabilities through product or service differentiation.
Examples: Market research, branding, advertising and digital marketing
Strategic branding and marketing help to promote product or service differentiation.
- Conduct market research to understand customer needs and preferences
- Develop a branding strategy to create a strong brand identity
- Design an advertising plan for the effective promotion of your products
- Implement a digital marketing plan to boost online presence.
Innovation and Productivity
Projects under this category should focus on improving innovation and productivity in areas such as process automation, technology adoption and business model transformation.
They should explore new growth areas and look for ways to enhance efficiency, optimize resource usage, and improve sustainability performance.
It may also include reviewing and redesigning your workflow processes and workflows.
Companies can also tap into automation and technology adoption to make routine tasks more sustainable and efficient.
Finally, leveraging new business models can help companies tap into new markets and increase top-line growth.
Objective: To automate processes to improve efficiency
Examples: Process automation and workflow optimization
Automation can help to reduce human errors, speed up workflows and improve the overall efficiency of your organization.
- Identify routine processes and workflows which can be automated
- Develop a plan to adopt automation technologies
- Design automated processes to reduce manual works
- Review and optimize existing automated processes for better performance
- Training staff on how to use the new technology implementations
#2. Process Redesign
Objective: To redesign processes and restructure current workflows
Examples: Process mapping, process improvement and reengineering
Process redesign helps to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs.
- Conduct detailed analysis to gain insights into current processes
- Redesign and restructure existing operations to improve efficiency
- Develop process improvement plans for better performance
- Implement process reengineering to streamline the current workflow
#3. Product Development
Objective: To develop new products for commercialization processes
Examples: Research and development, product design and market testing
Product development helps to create new products or services for commercialization.
- Assessment market viability
- Crafting a commercialization plan
- Making a product prototype
- Testing the product in the market
- Develop a timeline for launching the new product or service into the market
Projects under this category should focus on expanding into new markets, enhancing market access and strengthening the company’s presence in overseas markets.
They should look at opportunities in new markets, enhance market access and explore ways to tap into overseas networks.
You can use EDG to defray part of the cost of expanding into new markets and building an overseas presence.
Examples of projects under this category include: market exploration, establishing local partnerships, setting up overseas branches, launching new products overseas, conducting market research and setting up marketing channels.
#1. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
Objective: To evaluate and prepare for M&A opportunities
Examples: Due diligence, financial analysis and contract negotiations
Companies can undertake EDG-supported projects to review potential M&A opportunities, assess the financial implications and undertake due diligence.
- Engage industry experts to review M&A opportunities
- Undertake financial modelling and risk analysis
- Organize and manage data for due diligence
- Negotiate and finalize M&A contracts with relevant parties.
#2. Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)
Objective: To establish an overseas marketing presence
Examples: Developing a local website, setting up offices and launching campaigns
Companies can use EDG to set up a marketing presence overseas. That includes developing a local website, setting up and managing offices and launching campaigns in the target market.
- Identifying local partners
- Developing a local website and associated digital assets
- Setting up offices and launching campaigns overseas
- Monitoring the performance of overseas campaigns and assessing their impact.
#3. Test Bedding and Pilot Project
Objective: To test bed technologies and conduct pilot projects
Examples: Test-bedding of technology, pilot project implementation, project management and training
Companies can use EDG to prove the feasibility of their products in the market
- Develop material to exhibit product effectiveness and usability overseas
#4. Standards Adoption
Objective: To comply with international standards
Examples: Compliance audit, adoption of relevant technology standards
Companies can use EDG to ensure that their products meet international standards and regulations. That includes conducting compliance audits, adopting applicable technology standards, and engaging external consultants for advice.
How to Apply for the EDG Grant
The application process for the EDG grant is straightforward. You can apply for the grant online via the Singapore Business Grants Portal (BGP).
Note that you need a CorpPass account to access the BGP portal. If you do not have one, you must create an account here.
Before applying for the EDG grant, you must assess your business’s eligibility by completing a pre-application assessment.
Check to See if Your Business Qualifies for the Grant
Your business must meet a few criteria to qualify for the EDG grant.
- It must be registered and operating in Singapore.
- It must have a 30% local shareholding
- Be financially viable to start and complete the project
Identify the Key Project Category to Apply Under
Before applying for the EDG grant, you should determine which project category your business is eligible to apply under.
As mentioned earlier, EDG supports projects in three key areas: Core Capabilities, Market Access, and Innovation & Productivity
Need help scoping your project?
If you need help with scoping your project, refer to the project scope in each section. Download relevant proposal templates and a checklist for the supporting documents to prepare for the application.
You can download the proposal templates and checklists here:
- EDG Project Proposal Template for Core Capabilities
- EDG Project Proposal Template for Market Access
- EDG Project Proposal Template for Innovative Productivity
Alternatively, approach a SMEs Centre near you to discuss your project and get help with the application process.
Identify a Suitable Project Provider to Support Your Project
Once you have finalized the scope of your project, you should identify a suitable project provider to support your project.
Project providers are certified vendors eligible to bid for projects under the EDG grant.
Companies engaging the EDG grant for consultancy-related costs must engage management consultants with Singapore Council-accredited TR 43 or SS 680 certification.
You can find a list of project providers here.
The EDG only supports new projects yet to start generating revenue at the point of application.
A project is considered to have already commenced if you have done any of the following before applying:
- You have already started work
- You had already made payment to a third-party vendor who’s part of the project
- You’ve already signed a contractual agreement
- You have made any purchase of assets related to the project
Preparing the Project Proposal
Once you have identified a suitable project provider, you should prepare the proposal. The proposal should include key objectives and outputs of the proposed project.
You should also include a project timeline and details of how you plan to use the grant funding.
Your proposal should accompany other supporting documents, such as the latest ACRA records and financial statements.
It should also include a list of third-party vendors, contracts, and quotations, if applicable.
Prepare the following supporting documents:
- The latest ACRA search or related information dated no earlier than six months before the EDG submission
- If you’re a corporate shareholder, you want to provide the information for the corporate parent as well
- Relevant proof of quotation or contracts for outsourced services
- Latest financial statements of your company, audited or unaudited
- For projects you involve a management consultant, you want to ensure the proposal also includes person-day rate breakdown, the scope of work, and CVs and scanned copies of their Singapore Accreditation Council accredited TR-43 or SS-680 certification for each individual consultant
Applicants may also be required to provide the following projected figures:
- Company Revenue
- Staff remuneration
- Impact on Singaporean workers benefiting from the project (increased wages, job redesign, job creation, training, etc.)
Submission and Evaluation
Once you have prepared the project proposal and supporting documents, you can submit your application for assessment.
The Application Procedure
First, you must sign into the BGP portal, an online portal for applying for and managing EDG grants.
You must have a valid CorpPass account to access this portal.
You can set up a CorpPass account here.
Once you have signed in, you can submit your EDG application form through the BGP Portal.
The application usually takes eight to twelve weeks from the time of submission to complete the evaluation process.
Once the assessment is completed, you will be notified of the outcome via email.
You may also be contacted via the BGP portal for clarification and additional information if needed.
If your application is successful, you will receive a Letter of Offer from the government.
The Letter of Offer will outline the grant amount and the terms and conditions governing its disbursement.
You must accept the Letter of Offer within the given timeline before any funds can be disbursed.
Once you have accepted the offer, you can begin working on the project.
You should also adhere to the project timeline and deliverables as outlined in the Letter of Offer.
What Happens After You Submit Your EDG Application Claim?
Once you have completed the project, here’s a chronological breakdown of events that follow after you submit your EDG claim:
- An Enterprise Singapore office will review your submission and assess the project’s suitability for EDG funding. They’ll verify your project deliverables or contact you for clarification.
- A site presentation or meeting may also be arranged.
- The officer may also ask you to revise the project report or provide additional information.
- The officer will then decide if your project is eligible for EDG funding and issue a letter of offer.
- The appointed auditor will be required to verify your claim documents and issue audit report(s) upon completion.
- The auditor may reach out for further information if needed.
- Once everything has been verified and approved, your EDG claim will be processed, and you’ll receive the disbursement within six to eight weeks. The amount will be disbursed via GIRO to your designated bank account.
First-time applicants must ensure their GIRO accounts are set up properly before EDG funding can be disbursed.
They must also furnish the GIRO details to Enterprise Singapore through the BGP portal.
You’ll be notified of the disbursement via email.
The email will be sent by DBS (the bank appointed to process EDG grants) to the email address registered stated in the GIRO form.
When Must the EDG-funded Projects Completed?
The EDG-funded projects must be completed within 12 to 18 months from the disbursement date.
If you cannot meet this timeline, you must inform Enterprise Singapore and seek an extension for your project.
In such cases, a letter of extension will be issued, and you must adhere to the new timeline given.
Failure to complete the project within the stipulated timeline may lead to a clawback of part or all EDG funds disbursed.
Can You Re-apply After Your Application Was Rejected? Are You Allowed to Try Again?
The Enterprise Development Grant is highly competitive, and the selection of applications is based on merit.
If your application was unsuccessful, you could still re-apply, but you must ensure that your project is sufficiently innovative and beneficial to the Singapore economy.
You may also want to consider why your previous application didn’t go through and make changes accordingly when re-applying.
It’s important to note that all applications will be evaluated against the same criteria, and Enterprise Singapore will not give special consideration for re-applications.
For more advice, you can speak to a business advisor regarding your EDG application via Enterprise Singapore’s contact form (https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/contact-info).
Some Final Words of Advice
The Enterprise Development Grant can be a great source of funds for businesses looking to grow and expand. It’s important to do your due diligence when applying and be aware of the conditions that come with it.
Remember to adhere to the project timeline, deliverables and other requirements to ensure a successful EDG application.
To learn more about the EDG grant and other financial assistance available to businesses, visit Enterprise Singapore’s website (https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/financial-assistance/grants/for-local-companies/enterprise-development-grant/) for more information or speak to a business advisor.