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Government Grants to Support your Human Resources Functions

As a highly developed trade-oriented country, Singapore is a global financial hub, servicing not only its domestic economy but the entire Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, the recent trade agreements such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) earmarked the growth opportunity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to venture into new markets. Nevertheless, growth may not come as expected. As such, Singaporean government has rolled out grants and schemes to aid the new start-ups and SMEs in the country as well as to support SMEs to be more competitive and building up a better work place in Singapore. To name a few Government Grants to support your Human Resources functions, HR Shared Services (HRSS), Capability Development Grant (CDG), Customer Centric Initiative (CCI) as well as Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) are among the grants that could help SMEs to propel their business forward.

 

i. Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV)

  • What is it?

This is a special grant to help Singaporean SMEs in their business setup especially to those who are seeking to venture in new business. SMEs are encouraged to apply the said vouchers to boost and upgrade their business in the areas of innovation, productivity, human resources and financial management.  Often, ICV is recommended as the very first initiative for new start-ups.

  • Who can apply?

It is open for all local SMEs if they are registered and operating in Singapore, with minimum 30% local shareholding by Singaporean ( or PR ) and a group annual turnover of not more than S$100 million, or group employment size of not more than 200 employees.

  • About the grant

Successful applicants can leverage the voucher worth $5,000 to fund 100% of professional fees in various development of policies, processes or systems. A maximum of eight vouchers will be given out with the conditions that each ICV project must be completed before the submission of a new application and the duration for each project should not exceed six months.

 

ii. Capability Development Grant (CDG)

  • What is it?

This is a grant to equip Singaporean SMEs to be more competitive in current market. It is a financial assistance programme designed to help SMEs to grow and enhance their business in 10 key areas. To name a few, the 10 key areas are brand and marketing strategy development, financial management, technology innovation, business excellence, business strategy development, enhancing quality and standards, human capital development, intellectual property and franchising, productivity improvement and service excellence.

In short, this is a grant to help SMEs to move a step further.

  • Who can apply?

It is open for all local SMEs if they are registered and operating in Singapore, with minimum 30% local shareholding by Singaporean ( or PR ) and a group annual turnover of not more than S$100 million, or group employment size of not more than 200 employees.

  • About the grant

SMEs can leverage the grant to defray up to 70% of costs incurred on qualifying projects, for example in project to upgrade the productivity, market access as well as brand and product development.

 

iii. Customer Centric Initiative (CCI)

  • What is it?

Service excellence is undeniably a successful foundation of any business. How customer service is conveyed begins at the top and funnels down to the team members on the front lines. As such, Customer Centric Initiative (CCI) was launched with the purpose to help SMEs to have better-equipped customer services. It’s a customer service assistance package by a multi-agency (SPRING, National Trades Union Congress, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, and the Institute of Service Excellence at SMU) to help SMEs in target sectors such as Food & Beverage Services, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Transport and Travel Services.

  • Who can apply?

All application will be assessed by SPRING Singapore based on business needs and the project scope. As such, all applications and grant amount are subject to the assessment and approval by SPRING Singapore.

Eligible projects include the improvement tentative in upgrading the service leadership, service agility and customer experience.

  • About the grant

70% of eligible costs for SMEs and up to 50% for non-SMEs in target sectors will be covered by the CCI assistance package.

 

iv. Enterprise Training Support (ETS)

  • What is it?

Skills development is central to improving productivity. In turn, productivity is an important catalyse that will spur the development of companies. In this regard, Enterprise Training Support (ETS) is a scheme to help companies to achieve the employees’ productivity and skills levels. Developed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the wonder of this scheme is to provide company a complete and holistic package in HR and management systems, that will, in turn, raise the productivity of the company.

  • Who can apply?

The grant is open for all organisations, companies, societies and non-profit organisations registered or incorporated in Singapore. Note that companies who have previously tapped on similar government grants will not be qualified for specific grant components within ETS.

  • About the grant

A total of $20 million will be made available to companies over 2 years under 5 grants.
 

v. HR Shared Services (HRSS)

  • What is it?

Aimed at improving and optimising HR operational efficiency in SMEs, SPRING Singapore has since appointed certain HR service providers to share access of HR systems and services for SMEs. The share service include HR advisory services, HR operations and HR information services.

  • Who can apply?

It is open for all local SMEs if they are registered and operating in Singapore, with minimum 30% local shareholding by Singaporean ( or PR ) and a group annual turnover of not more than S$100 million, or group employment size of not more than 200 employees.

  • About the grant

Under the initiative, SMEs can receive funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs, including a one-time set up cost and monthly subscription cost capped at 12 months. Participating SMEs must commit to the subscription of these services for a minimum period of 12 months.
 

vi. Overseas Market Attachment

  • What is it?

Send your Singaporean/SPR staff for overseas Learning & Development activities (up to 6 months) to develop their country knowledge, prepare them for future postings or acquire business capabilities.

Companies can tap on the Overseas Market Attachment Programmes for the following purposes:

1. Pre-Market- Entry Feasibility Study
Enable staff to gain understanding of market conditions in order to develop the company’s possible market-entry strategies.

2. Pre-Posting Induction
Prepare and familiarise staff with overseas office business operations before potentially posting them to the country.

3. Acquire Business Capability or Technical Knowledge
Deploy staff to learn business capability or technical knowledge from overseas experts / partners (E.g. acquire e-commerce capability, supplier product training, exposure to overseas project)

  • Who can apply?

All Singapore-based companies, including SMEs with:
– Global aspirations
– Clear internationalisation plan
– Competitive product or service
– Potential economic benefits to Singapore

To qualify for the GCP Grant, you would also need to fulfil the following criteria:
– Global HQ* anchored in Singapore
– An annual sales turnover of at least S$500,000 in the most recent audited report
– A minimum paid-up capital of S$50,000

* Global HQ refers to global management control and decision making functions are based in Singapore. (Indicators could include the global CXOs being based in Singapore; board meetings are held in Singapore, etc).

** SME is defined as is a company whose turnover is not exceeding S$100 million based on the most recent audited report.

  • About the grant

For SMEs**: Up to 70% of manpower costs incurred for nominated Singaporean and PR employees on the overseas attachment. Valid until 31 March 2018.

For non-SMEs: Up to 50% of the costs incurred for nominated Singaporean and PR employees on the overseas attachment.
 

Related Links

Singapore Government Grants and Schemes
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Private Debt Financing in Singapore
Private Equity Financing in Singapore