Media Releases
02 Apr 2018 Updated 20 Apr 2018

Enterprise Singapore formed to grow stronger companies

Single enterprise development agency to help companies build capabilities, access global opportunities and create good jobs for Singaporeans

MR No.: 01/18

Singapore, Monday, 2 April 2018

  1. Enterprise Singapore was officially launched today. It was formed through the merger of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore.

  2. Enterprise Singapore will be the single agency championing 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.

  3. 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 (click here for Minister Iswaran’s speech). Mr Png 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. (Please see Annex 1 for speech by Mr Png)

  4. Taking an enterprise-centric approach

  5. Globally, there is now a greater economic tilt towards Asia, along with the emergence of new technologies and an ageing population. These bring great opportunities but also disrupt the traditional ways of doing business. Companies need to respond nimbly to the changing environment and integrate capability building, innovation and internationalisation simultaneously in their growth strategies.
  6. Enterprise Singapore is structured to help companies of all sizes - from startups, micro and small companies, to mid-sized and large companies - grow stronger and stay globally competitive. Based on their stage of growth, the industry in which they operate, and their overseas markets of interest, Enterprise Singapore will work with companies to enhance productivity, innovate, go digital, develop talent and internationalise.
  7. Enterprise Singapore will enhance its global networks to support companies going overseas. This includes working with them to capture new opportunities in emerging markets and sourcing for technology solutions and partners in developed markets.

  8. Streamlining assistance to be more effective

  9. As the single touchpoint, Enterprise Singapore will streamline its assistance and processes to support the growth of committed companies. For a start, the new Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) integrates three existing programmes, making it easier for companies to apply for ready-to-adopt IT solutions and equipment to improve productivity; the new Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) combines the Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant and Capability Development Grant (CDG) into one single grant to support companies to transform and innovate. EDG will be available from October 2018. (Please refer to Annex 2 for details)

  10. Leveraging partnerships for greater reach

  11. To expand the agency’s reach and support ecosystem, Enterprise Singapore will partner both Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) and companies more closely to drive collaboration. For example, the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme has been enhanced – it integrates other programmes to offer stronger support for sectors, and will introduce a LEAD Evaluation Panel to boost inter-association partnership. The PACT programme has also been enhanced to include overseas projects and drive collaboration among companies of all sizes, be it between small companies, small and large companies, multinational corporations or government agencies. (Please refer to Annex 2 for details)
  12. “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 Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore at the official launch

  13. Developing Singapore as a global trading hub and strengthening trust in our products and services

  14. Enterprise Singapore will continue to develop Singapore as a global trading hub, and build trust in Singapore's products and services. This includes working with industry partners to enhance our trade infrastructure ecosystem across finance, risk management, logistics and more, to ensure Singapore’s relevance to the global trading community.
  15. 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. Enterprise Singapore also oversees the safety of general consumer goods in Singapore.

Annex 1: Speech by Mr Png Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore

Annex 2: Details of new and streamlined assistance programmes

Minister Iswaran’s speech at the launch event

Get your story leads from Enterprise Singapore’s Facebook (@enterpriseSG), LinkedIn and YouTube.

- End -

For media enquiries and/or photos, please contact:

Ms Cheryl HOW
Business Partner
Corporate Communications
DID: +65 6433 4655
Email: cheryl_how@enterprisesg.gov.sg

About Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. Our vision for Singapore is a vibrant economy with globally competitive Singapore enterprises.

International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING came together on 1 April 2018 as a single agency to form Enterprise Singapore. Our mission is to grow stronger Singapore companies by building capabilities and accessing global opportunities, thereby creating good jobs for Singaporeans.

We work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. We also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups. As the national standards and accreditation body, we continue to build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

Visit www.enterprisesg.gov.sg for more information.


ANNEX 1

SPEECH BY MR PNG CHEONG BOON,

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE,

AT ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE LAUNCH EVENT,

ON 2 APRIL 2018,

AT SPACE @ SAVOURWORLD

2 SCIENCE PARK DRIVE, SINGAPORE 118222

Growing Enterprises

Mr Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry),
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Chairman & Colleagues,

Introduction

  1. Welcome to the launch of Enterprise Singapore. Today marks the coming together of 2 government agencies, IE Singapore and SPRING Singapore, who, between them, share a rich history of supporting the growth of enterprises.

  2. Minister Iswaran has spoken about the rationale for the merger of both organisations to form Enterprise Singapore at various occasions, so I shall not reiterate that. The formation of Enterprise Singapore combines both agencies’ expertise and networks, builds on what they have done, to provide better support for Singapore enterprises to grow and globalise, and be a source of valuable jobs for Singaporeans.

  3. But before I talk about what Enterprise Singapore is going to do and how it is going to do so, I would like to thank the following:
    • IE and SPRING’s Boards of Directors for your strong leadership and tremendous contributions over the years.
    • Our partners – the Singapore Standards Council and Singapore Accreditation Council, unions, the Trade Associations and Chambers, Institutes of Higher Learning, Research Institutes & Centres of Innovation, Financial Institutions, many foreign and local enterprises, foreign agencies and representations, and fellow government agencies - all of you have supported and worked closely with IE and SPRING, to help the Singapore businesses to connect, upgrade and globalise.
  4. We fully appreciate your support and partnership. As Enterprise Singapore, we hope to continue working with you.

  5. Let me now talk about what Enterprise Singapore will do.

    Singapore Enterprises 


  6. We want to grow stronger Singapore enterprises, so that they are a key engine of growth for our economy, and they can create good jobs for Singaporeans.

  7. We will do so by helping Singapore enterprises upgrade & enhance productivity, innovate & transform, grow and globalise their businesses.


  8. Let us first look at the enterprise landscape in Singapore. We have about 200,000 enterprises today:
    • The majority, around 160,000, are micro enterprises, with annual revenue of less than S$1 million. Collectively, they employ about 540,000 employees (around 18% of the workforce, averaging 3-5 employees each) and contribute to 4% of our GDP;
    • The next group, with revenues above S$1 mil up to S$10 mil, comprises 30,000 small enterprises. They employ about 830,000 employees (27% of our workforce) and contribute to almost 10% of our GDP;
    • The third group comprises 8,000 medium enterprises with revenues between S$10 mil and S$100 mil, employing 840,000 employees (27% of our workforce) and contributing 20% to our GDP; and,
    • Finally, we have the large enterprises. There are 2,000 of them (1% of all enterprises in Singapore), employing 900,000 employees (30% of our workforce) and contributing 65% to our GDP.

  9. Clearly, each group of enterprises are at different stages of growth, face different challenges and resource constraints, and have different capacities and capabilities. The enterprises also come from diverse industries, each with its own challenges and opportunities.

  10. Therefore, we can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to support all. But neither can we customise it for individual enterprises and try to do everything for everyone.

    An Enterprise-centric Approach


  11. What Enterprise Singapore will do is to:
    • Look at the specific needs of each group;
    • Provide simplified but comprehensive suite of programmes aimed at helping enterprises in each segment;
    • Focus our programmes and efforts on helping enterprises upgrade & enhance productivity, innovate & transform, grow and globalise;
    • Work with public and private sector partners, local and foreign, to provide domain-specific, industry-specific and market-specific assistance.

      This is so that Singapore enterprises who are willing, will find it easy to tap on these assistance programmes to compete in their respective markets.


  12. We will work with companies of all sizes who are willing and committed to grow and transform. Large enterprises can become obsolete if they are not nimble and respond to the fast pace of change in the global economic landscape. Or if they do not have a competitive ecosystem of partners or suppliers supporting them. Small enterprises or startups can become global champions quickly if they have a unique value proposition and tap the global market efficiently.

  13. Let me now talk about how we will work with each segment.

    Startups

  14. Together with our partners (ACE, A*STAR, EDB, the IHLs, JTC, MAS, NRF, SG Innovate, VCs, incubators & accelerators, angel investors, etc), we have developed a vibrant startup ecosystem in Singapore, spanning a range of industries like ICT, fintech, biomedical, etc. We will continue to:
    • Enhance the Startup SG suite of programmes and strengthen the startup ecosystem in Singapore;
    • 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 plug into the Singapore ecosystem and hopefully, use Singapore as a base to connect to the region or to the world.

    Micro enterprises & “First-time Upgraders”

  15. For many micro enterprises as well as SMEs who are upgrading for the first time, we will support them in 3 areas:
    • Easy access to advice, information and help through the SME Portal (a self-help online tool), our Business Advisors at the 12 SME Centres operated by the major TACs islandwide, and the Enterprise Infoline (tel: 6898 1800). So advice is a click, a phone call, or a bus/MRT/taxi/Grab ride away;
    • Simplified and easy to use assistance programmes. Many micro enterprises have tapped on the PIC, ICV and IMDA’s iSPRINT in the past few years to upgrade their operations. To help them continue their upgrading journey, we have launched the new Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for more impactful, ready-to-adopt IT and equipment solutions. They can also tap on the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant if they are venturing overseas for the first time. And we will also connect them to other agencies’ programmes like Tech Depot and IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programmes;
    • For markets like China, India and Southeast Asia, they could tap on our Plug & Play Network, which offers a list of in-market advisors, business matching partners and co-working spaces for quick set-up, as well as the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Enterprise Centre in Shanghai.

    Small and medium enterprises

  16. Amongst the small and medium enterprises, many have embarked on their upgrading journeys and internationalised their businesses over the years. While they can continue to tap on those programmes mentioned in the previous slide, we want to help them deepen their capabilities & develop their innovative capacities. Specifically, we will focus our efforts 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;
    • Helping them globalise further through our 35 Overseas Centres and Plug & Play Network;
    • Combining our existing Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) grant into a single Enterprise Development Grant (by Oct this year) that can support capabilities upgrading, innovation, business transformation and internationalisation, and is customisable for enterprises. This will also reduce the administrative burden for enterprises;
    • Helping enterprises 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;
    • Leveraging the expanded PACT programme to drive more collaborations between enterprises, be it in terms of capability upgrading, product & solutions development, or jointly developing and securing new opportunities overseas.

    Industry-specific assistance

  17. For micro, small & medium enterprises, we will also help them tap on the industry-specific capabilities upgrading programmes offered by the lead agencies under the various Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).

  18. We will step up our partnerships with Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) through the LEAD programme so that the TACs can:
    • Develop and implement more meaningful programmes as part of the ITMs;
    • Help more SMEs internationalise;
    • Help reach out to more SMEs and bring them on board the industry transformation efforts;
    • Help upgrade industries that are currently not covered by the ITMs.

  19. TACs that we will be working closely with this year include the Singapore Business Federation, the Federation of Merchant Associations, Singapore Timber Association, Singapore Crane Association and the Singapore Motor Workshop Association, just to name a few.

    Large enterprises

  20. 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.

  21. 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 our SMEs upgrade and facilitate their internationalisation efforts.

    Helping Singapore Enterprises Internationalise


  22. Enterprise Singapore will support the internationalisation efforts of our enterprises through our global network, which comprises 35 overseas centres, 9 Plug & Play partners in 6 countries, 4 Global Innovation Alliance locations, the Enterprise Singapore-Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Enterprise Centre in Shanghai, and several bilateral business forums and collaboration platforms. This is supplemented by the network of 22 Free Trade Agreements and Economic Partnership Agreements that Singapore has signed with 33 trading partners globally.

  23. We will continue to expand and deepen our global networks. Enterprises and TACs can tap on our International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP) for their internationalisation efforts. We have launched a new ASEAN Leadership Programme to help enterprises develop the critical talent pool to do business in ASEAN. We are in discussion with the Singapore Business Federation to see how to help more Singapore enterprises tap on these FTAs for their global businesses. And MAS and us will be jointly setting up a new Infrastructure Office to help Singapore enterprises tap on infrastructure opportunities in the region.

    Strengthening our financing environment


  24. Support for our enterprises would not be complete without two key areas: Financing and Human Capital. Let me first talk about financing.

  25. We will continue to strengthen our financing environment by
    • Improving our suite of tools (Micro Loan, Working Capital Loan, Venture Debt, Internationalisation Finance Scheme) to meet the financing needs of Singapore enterprises;
    • Working with multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, insurers, financing platforms, VCs & private equity players, and other players in the financing ecosystem, to provide more financing options to support the growth and globalisation needs of Singapore enterprises.

    Building a talent pipeline and grooming leaders


  26. Availability of human capital and strong leadership capabilities are critical to the growth of our SMEs. To this end, we 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. We will be looking at doing more in this aspect.

    A global trade hub

  27. 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;
    • Driving the digitalisation of our marketplaces and trade platforms, connecting them to global platforms and attracting global platform players to Singapore. We will launch the new Trade Infrastructure Development Fund (TIDF) this year to support enterprises developing B2B e-marketplaces and innovative trade and financing solutions.

    Quality & Excellence to support enterprises’ growth

  28. Lastly, in the area of quality and excellence, Enterprise Singapore continues to undertake our role as the national standards and accreditation bodies, as well as be responsible for consumer product safety and legal metrology. The consumer protection fair trading function will now be undertaken by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS).

  29. We will enhance our standards and quality infrastructure, and leverage on it to raise the competitiveness of Singapore industries, enterprises, products and services, and help them gain better access to global markets.

    Building a strong foundation to support enterprise growth

  30. Now, let me conclude.

  31. What I have outlined in the last 15 minutes is what Enterprise Singapore will do, and how we will go about doing so, to help grow stronger Singapore enterprises. It builds on the programmes that IE Singapore and SPRING have put in place and fine-tuned over the years, and also taps on the resources and programmes from all our partners. But this is only the beginning, and what I have outlined is really just Version 1.0.

  32. We will continue to look at the challenges and opportunities posed by the global environment, understand the issues and needs of our enterprises, and develop new or fine-tune existing programmes to address those needs. Specifically, we would want to step up our support for enterprises with high growth potential, that have strong innovative capabilities to create new value propositions for customers, and are committed to develop new capabilities just to stay ahead, to grow into large global enterprises.

  33. But with the large number of enterprises in Singapore and spread across diverse industries, we can’t do it on our own. We need to work with all of you, all our partners, so that collectively, we can reach out to more enterprises, and have the expertise and resources to support their specific needs.

  34. At the same time, enterprises themselves must be willing to upgrade and stay competitive amidst the external challenges. They must be prepared to come forward, to seek advice. They can go online, call their associations, SME Centres or the Enterprise Singapore hotline. Or call their friends who know these channels. And they must be prepared to commit their time and resources, and want to upgrade their operations and develop their people. And if you come across them, we hope you will encourage them to do so.

  35. For those that do come forward, Enterprise Singapore will try our best to make it easier for them to access advice, connect to our network, tap on our programmes & resources, and apply for schemes. For those with significant and longer term plans, and are willing to commit significant resources of their own to implement their plans, we will assign account managers to help them throughout their transformation & growth journeys.

  36. It is only by working together, that we can grow stronger Singapore enterprises, and help some of them to become bigger players in the region and globally. And in doing so, create good jobs for Singaporeans, not only in Singapore but also overseas.

    Introducing the team


  37. Before I end, I would like to introduce the leaders in our Enterprise Singapore family.

  38. Our Industry cluster is led by Deputy CEO Ted Tan, Assistant CEOs Satvinder Singh, Eunice Koh and Chew Mok Lee.


  39. Our Global Markets team is led by Deputy CEO Kathy Lai, who also oversees our Capability Programmes & Policies team. The other leaders in the Global Markets team are Assistant CEOs Tan Soon Kim and Yew Sung Pei.


  40. Our Quality & Excellence team is led by Assistant CEO & Director-General (Quality & Excellence) Choy Sauw Kook.

  41. Our Corporate Development team is led by Assistant CEO Leung Wai Ling.

  42. Chua Taik Him continues to assist us as our Senior Advisor.

  43. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to introduce our Chairman, Peter Ong.


  44. The rest of the senior management team is amongst the audience. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of them. In the past 6 months, they have wholeheartedly supported the merger, constantly engaging their teams, hearing and addressing their concerns, and bringing them together to work as one. They drove the integration process, got the different systems to work together, aligned policies and programmes, developed the new workplans, ran the day-to-day operations and ensured that the support for enterprises was not disrupted. Thank you.

  45. And my biggest and most heartfelt thanks to all our staff, many are not here today as they have to continue to run the operations in our Fusionopolis and Bugis offices. Thank you for working tirelessly, for making the extra efforts to get to know one another, the work they do and the wide range of programmes that they administer. Today would not be possible without all of them working together, putting this ship together, and pulling this ship forward. For this, I thank you.

    Conclusion


  46. Finally, to all of you – our partners and customers – if we have been remiss or slow in our responses, or appear to not know what our programmes are, in the past few months and in the next few months, I seek your understanding and forgiveness. It is not easy for all of us in Enterprise Singapore to figure out what we do so quickly. Like new married couples, we would need time to know each other too. So, thank you all for coming. Enterprise Singapore looks forward to continuing and strengthening this partnership with all of you to grow stronger Singapore enterprises. Have a good afternoon.

ANNEX 2

DETAILS OF NEW AND STREAMLINED ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES

  1. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), effective 1 Apr (New)
    • Streamlines three existing productivity schemes - SPRING’s Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV), National Parks Board’s Landscape Productivity Grant (LPG) and Info-communications Media Development Authority’s SME Go Digital Programme;
    • Simplified application process through one grant (via Business Grants Portal);
    • Provides IT productivity solutions pre-qualified by sector lead agencies and aligned to industry needs, ensuring these meet companies’ needs and shortens processing time;
    • Up to 70% funding support.
  2.  

  3. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), available from Oct (New)
    • Streamlines two existing programmes – IE Singapore’s Global Company Partnership (GCP) and SPRING’s Capability Development Grant (CDG);
    • Enables companies to upgrade business capabilities, innovate and internationalise with one single grant;
    • Up to 70% funding support.
  4.  

  5. LEAD Programme, effective 1 Apr (Enhanced)
    • Integrates existing programmes from SPRING, IE Singapore and STB to support TACs to drive industry upgrading initiatives, internationalisation projects and internal competencies;
    • Expanded to cover URA’s TAC-led pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme;
    • Expanded scope for TAC-led pilot BIDs to cover place management activities such as physical improvements to precincts, public space management, enhanced transportation access, and enhanced cleaning and maintenance;
    • The LEAD Evaluation Panel (LEP) comprises TAC leaders and industry professionals, who will assess LEAD applications through sharing business insights and best practices, and driving inter-association partnerships, such as multi-TAC projects, for our enterprise ecosystem.
  6.  

  7. PACT programme effective 1 Apr (Enhanced)
    • Integrates programmes from SPRING, IE Singapore and EDB;
    • Broadened to support collaborations among enterprises of all sizes, inclusive of local and overseas projects, to pursue business development needs such as knowledge transfer, capability building, co-innovation and accessing overseas opportunities;
    • No longer requires a large organisation to be lead; SMEs with the capabilities can do so as well.