Last September, the Government announced the merger of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Spring Singapore where Enterprise Singapore was formed.
Spring focuses on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in various aspects such as financing, capability development and innovation, while IE Singapore helps local SMEs expand overseas. SMEs will have to align to the government’s proposed changes and in turn, Enterprise Singapore will respond by directing greater effort in taking said firms global.
See how Spring Singapore can help SMEs.
In a special interview with former Singapore politician and entrepreneur advocate, Inderjit Singh, he talks about how the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore is largely shaped by government policies, reforms, and regulations to better support such enterprises. Importantly, cost structures such as property rentals and land costs have to be rein in.
Singh shared his personal experience on how he formed a committee on my own to study the financing landscape in Singapore. He managed to rope in entrepreneurs, banks and even government representatives to be part of the committee. The Recommendation for Financing of SMEs was then published in 2002 after Singh and his team travelled widely in search of plausible methods of SME financing. The government got word of the published paper and asked for Singh to communicate these findings to them and thereafter accepted most, if not all of the recommendations stated in the paper. In the next 10 years, these suggestions were then implemented gradually to help growing SMEs go global.
Singh also spoke on how there may be a distortion in the kind of incentives offered by local government and non-government agencies. He believes that these agencies have their own KPIs and works exclusively in silos. While Singh argues that these funding opportunities is not entirely bad as it still largely drives the formation of more companies, Professor Wong Poh Kam offers a slightly different perspective. Singh and Wong are in agreement on one thing though. That funding goes into building gazelles, rather than zombie companies could propel Singapore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem forward.
See here for SME SPRING loans.