Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) Frequently Asked Questions

EDG (Enterprise Development Grant) is a new grant by Enterprise Singapore. It combines CDG (Capability Development Grant) and Global Company Partnership (GCP) Grant into a single grant.

General Questions

EDG Grant was officially launched on 25th October 2018. Eligible companies and projects can get up to 70% of the qualifying costs defrayed by ESG.

EDG is designed to help Singaporean companies grow and transform their business for the future and for the global market. Hence, it is undergirded by three pillars: Core Capabilities, Innovation & Productivity and Market Access. You can view it as a progression: from developing internal core capabilities to innovating for productivity growth and finally, expanding overseas.

Each pillar consists of specific project areas which are supportable. Under Core Capabilities, there are Strategic Brand & Marketing Development, Business Strategy Development, Human Capital Development, Service Excellence and Financial Management. Under Innovation & Productivity pillar, supportable project areas include Product Development, Process Redesign and Automation. Finally, under Market Access, project areas include Pilot Project & Test Bedding, Overseas Marketing Presence, Mergers & Acquisitions and Standards Adoption.

Core Capabilities

Business Strategy Development

To spur the growth of your company through interventions in business strategies. Businesses may embark on projects to enhance internal management systems to enable your employees to perform better locally as well as benchmark internationally. An external review of your organisation will help build better practices and provide insight on how to achieve success.

Scope of work can cover:

  • Diagnosis and gap analysis of your company
  • Assessment of internal and external factors, such as strengths and weaknesses, and competition
  • Development of a strategic roadmap, business frameworks, policies or processes
  • Recommendations and plans for implementation

Project may address any of these areas:

  • Strengthening of management system and processes based on the internationally-benchmarked Business Excellence framework to achieve “Singapore Quality Class” certification
  • Formulation of growth strategies to capitalise on opportunities and enhance competitiveness
  • Analysis of the impact of tariffs and International Trade Agreements, and the development of strategies to optimise business performance
  • Development of strategies and processes to protect and monetise intellectual property assets as well as optimise R&D operations

What is not covered:

  • Stand-alone IP registration costs.

Note:

  • If you are applying for a Business Excellence project, you need to undergo the Business Excellence assessment which is to be completed within the project qualifying period. Certification fees will be covered.

Support level:

  • SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.

Resources:

 

Financial Management

Your organisation will undergo this financial management project if you wish to evaluate your current financial state of business or if you wish to prepare for the next stage of corporate growth. The project can focus on revenue growth, cost-saving measures through financial modeling. By developing methods to better invest revenue, optimise financial resources and allocate internal assets, your company can drastically improve profitability and sustainability.

Typical Activities

  • Develop a robust new framework to manage and deploy resources
  • Examine and enhance framework to better manage internal governance and promote stakeholder accountability
  • Audit business practices to create a stronger risk management system
  • Create a corporate financial strategy to help with change management and mergers and acquisitions

Non-supportable Activities

  • Regulatory compliance costs, such as preparation of consolidated financial statements, accounting/ tax filing services
  • Legal documentation for mergers and acquisitions
  • One time business valuations, documentation for investor valuation projects, and purchase price allocation
  • Procurement of ICT solutions

Support level:

  • SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.

Resources:

Human Capital Development (HCD)

Manpower and a management system that properly attracts, trains and retains key employees is important for every business. Grants support development of your company’s human capital. Having a strong human capital strategy and good HR practices will help you to be in a better position to attract and retain people for business growth. Enterprise Singapore supports companies in strengthening HR capabilities across various areas.

Scope of work can cover:

  • Diagnosis and gap analysis of your company
  • Development of a strategic roadmap, business frameworks, policies or processes
  • Recommendations and plans for implementation

Supportable Activities

The following are examples of different areas that the Human Capital Development (HCD) EDG can cover:

  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Employee Engagement & Communication
  • Employee Value Proposition
  • HR Management
  • International Mobility
  • Job Redesign
  • Learning & Development
  • Manpower Planning
  • Organisation Culture
  • Performance Management
  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Talent Management & Succession Planning
  •  

Supportable Activities

What is not covered:

  • Standalone training courses
  • Incentives, benefits and welfare subsidies for employees

Support level:

  • SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.

Resources:

Service Excellence

Service-oriented SMEs which wishes to enhance operations through better service interactions with customers/partners may apply for this grant. Your company can embark on projects that are designed to address the needs of the customer through changing the service practice or may adopt a technological solution to gather customer analytics.

SMEs in the service industries with staff who interact with customers frequently can undergo consultancy projects or certification for the following:

Typical Activities

  • Examine the customer journey map to enhance the experience
  • Service process redesign
  • Create new service benchmarks
  • Audit of current service abilities and implementation of consultancy recommendations
  • Create structured framework for service innovation
  • Adoption of technology to gather customer analytics
  • Preparation for Singapore Quality Class with Service certification

Non-supportable Activities

  • Payment for survey participants or incentives
  • All testing and certification fees
  • Costs for foreign consultants inclusive of travel and lodging
  • Equipment and software not related to the project
  • Incentives for mystery shoppers and customer survey respondents

Support level

  • SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.

Resources:

Strategic Branding & Marketing Strategy

To help your company better capture target audiences and markets by differentiating your brand, and your products and services.

Scope of work can cover:

  • Diagnosis and gap analysis of your company
  • Assessment of internal and external factors, such as strengths and weaknesses, and competition
  • Primary or secondary research
  • Recommendations and plans for implementation

Project may address any of these areas:

  • Development of effective brand strategy that appeals to targeted consumers and offers differentiated proposition from the competition
  • Assessment of a brand’s financial value and identification of brand levers
  • Development of a strategic plan to optimise marketing resources and improve customer communications

What is not supported:

  • Production of corporate and/ or marketing collaterals, such as brochures, videos, websites, photography, stock pictures, and copywriting
  • Implementation of marketing or PR campaigns, including retainer fees of consultants, advertising and media buys, engagement of social media influencers, management of websites/ social media platforms, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Support level:

  • SMEs up to 70%; non-SMEs up to 50% of qualified costs.

Resources:

Core Capabilities

Product Development

Embark on research & development projects to develop innovative products that can be sold to the market and will differentiate your business offerings and stay competitive. Projects here will help your company collaborate with vendors to help create a physical product, market viability testing, and product safety accreditation. In short to help your company develop innovative technology and products with the end goal of commercialisation.

Scope of work can cover:

  • Assessment of market viability. Check if a new product will be viable through user and market tests
  • Evaluation of potential demand and user understanding.
  • Development of product roadmap and proposed functionalities for the product.
  • Demonstration of market validation.
  • Development of commercialisation plan.
  • Review of IP considerations.
  • Development of prototype and small batch production, where relevant.
  • Development of the innovative product for trial after viability test is complete
  • Bill of Material (BOM), design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) and production of new and novel innovative products. (After proof of viability and interest from buyers must be secured)

Non-supportable Activities

  • Development of first product for business entry
  • Projects with low levels of technology innovation in relation to industry norms like creation of basic online platforms or mobile apps or other technological innovation associated typically with normal business growth

Support level:

  • SMEs: up to 50% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 70% for all other qualified costs.
  • Non-SMEs: up to 30% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 50% for all other qualified costs.

Resources:

Process Redesign

Projects that fall under this category largely help businesses diagnose and improve current business operations. This can be done through streamlining workflow, creating new processes, digitization, or resource management optimisation. The end goal of adopting these new processes is to help your business stay profitable and efficient. This is a critical first step before introducing automation or technology.

Scope of work can cover:

  • Review and streamline of workflow and processes to reduce or remove redundant processes
  • Explore the use of technology to automate processes
  • Review and/or development of performance measures
  • Development of tracking and measurement system
  • Development of detailed roadmap of actions for further improvement

Supportable Activities

  • Review existing business processes, identify areas for improvement, and develop a productivity measurement system to track and analyse company productivity levels
  • Adoption and implementation of proposed solutions to automate existing operations and streamline internal processes
  • Acquisition of relevant equipment identified to improve the productivity of your company

Non-supportable Activities

  • Office equipment or warehouse items that are typical for everyday use
  • Software and equipment not relevant to the project
  • Costs associated with setting up your business
  • Items already subsidised through other grant schemes

Support level:

  • SMEs: up to 50% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 70% for all other qualified costs.
  • Non-SMEs: up to 30% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 50% for all other qualified costs.

Resources:

Automation

An automation project allows you to adopt cutting-edge technology and robotics to increase productivity and gain significant benefits for your organisation.

Typical Activities

An automation project typically comprises of the following:

  • Adoption / development of sophisticated hardware and/or software solutions
  • Development of solutions that involve purchase of machinery and integration of systems
  • Training of staff to deploy solutions

What is not supported:

  • Set-up costs that are essential to starting a business
  • Cost of equipment and gadgets, such as copiers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones
  • Equipment and software costs that are supported under the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

Note:

  • To defray the cost of large scale deployment of automation solutions, eligible businesses can also apply for the Automation Support Package

Support level:

  • SMEs: up to 50% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 70% for all other qualified costs.
  • Non-SMEs: up to 30% for qualified software and equipment costs; up to 50% for all other qualified costs.

Resources:


Automation Support Package (ASP)

Automation Support Package (ASP) is meant for large-scale deployment of automation solutions. ASP provides you with:

  1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) for qualifying costs such as consultancy, equipment and training
  2. Tax incentive of up to 100% Investment Allowance for equipment
  3. Business loan of up to $15 million for automation equipment.

Market Access

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Information

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive an international boost with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to help take your business overseas.

Eligible SMEs will receive the following support:

  • Up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at 20K per company per fiscal year that covers:
    • Maximum of two applications per fiscal year, starting 1 April and ending 31 March the following year
    • Limited to one activity (e.g. market entry, or participation in a trade fair) per application

Note: The MRA Grant support level of up to 70% will be extended until 31 Mar 2020. Click here for details

Eligibility

Companies should meet the following criteria:

  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore
  • At least 30% local shareholding
  • Group annual turnover not exceeding S$100 million per annum based on the most recent audited report, or group employment not exceeding 200 employees

Click here for full list of supportable activities.

Apply

Pre-application

Please note that retrospective applications will not be accepted. An application will be deemed *retrospective only if any of the following events took place before the application date:

  • Signed an engagement letter with the third party consultant
  • Made the first payment to the third party consultant
  • Commenced the project with the third party consultant

Companies must submit your applications no earlier than six months of project start date. Applications filed after 10 March will be treated as an application for the new fiscal year.

Application

Please apply through the Business Grants Portal.

Claims

Send all claims with relevant supporting documents to us through the Business Grants Portal within three months from  project end date.

 

For all claims, an independent appointed auditor must verify the expenses. An audit grant fee, capped at S$500 or 70% of the audit fee will be given to companies who use Enterprise Singapore’s appointed auditors.

 

All claims will be disbursed strictly on a reimbursement basis.

Pilot Project and Test Bedding

Adopting a pilot project or test-bedding will help your organisation penetrate into a new country and expand your customer base.

This may include a demonstration of product or solution market viability and the establishment of a track record for scalability in new markets. The product should be a new product and cannot be producing any revenue.

Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)

Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP) projects will assist you to penetrate into new markets by establishing a presence overseas to initiate marketing and business development activities.

Activities must include the following:

  • Marketing and business development
  • New Market Criteria (NMC) which means a new city in which your company’s sales is NOT above S$100,000 in any single year for the past 3 years.
  • Posting of at least ONE (1) Singaporean or Permanent Resident to perform marketing and business development activities.

Eligible expenses include the following:

  • Salary of a maximum of TWO (2) staff
  • Rental of office.

In addition, OMP projects are subjected to the following:

  • A cap of S$100k grant per project
  • A cap of S$100k per company per year
  • Maximum support of TWELVE (12) months per project

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) is a viable and proven strategy for strategic business growth and acceleration.

Your project may include the following:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Strategy
  • Feasibility study
  • Due diligence in legal, financial or taxation matters
  • Valuation
  • Integration

These activities are not supported:

  • Actual closing of the M&A transaction for example, drafting of purchase, sales contracts and cost of acquisition.

Standards Adoption

Adopting international or industry standards lend your business credibility and trust amongst consumers. Through standards, businesses can improve operational processes, enhance the quality of products and services, increase competitiveness and access new markets.

Typical Activities

  • Adoption and assessment of standards for business growth

Non-supportable Activities

  • Operational equipment and software costs
  • Set-up materials and consumable items
  • Fees for surveying business site
  • Application costs for existing certification
  • Recertification of existing standards
  • Common standards referred to in local regulatory acts
  • Testing and validation of existing or off-the-shelf products
  • Basic standards for example, ISO 9001, ISO 14001,OHSAS 18001, SS 506, and ISO 45001

About Our Services

How can EDG help me?

Once your project is approved, you can use the funds to defray part of the project cost. The approved grant will be reimburse back to your own bank account after project completion.

How much funding can I get?

Eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can get up to 70% grant on qualifying costs.

What is the maximum grant?

Technically, there is no cap. However, the amount is directly correlated to your annual turnover, where less than 70% of the project cost is approved

Am I eligible for EDG?

To be eligible, you are required to
1. Have a registered company and operating in Singapore
2. Have at least 30% local shareholding
3. Be a viable business with track record –  financially stable to start and complete the project.

What does it mean by "Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project"?

A company should have a reasonable amount of turnover for the past three years such that the cash flow allow them to start and complete the project.

Is there a minimum employee size?

The company’s employee size should not be zero. And the project sum must justify the size of the company. A good number should be 3 employees and they should not include directors, partners or owners.

So, are startups eligible for EDG?

In general, startups are not eligible for EDG. If you are a startup, you can look at the ecosystem meant for startups: Startup SG network.

What if I am a one-man show?

If you are a sole proprietor or with less than 3 employees, the chances are reduced when applying for a grant. Consideration is given to companies with plans to expand and hire more staff.

What documents should I get ready?

Prepare the following documents (if applicable):

Latest audited group financial statements not more than 18 months old Project Proposal (Click here for templates)

  • Quotation for equipment, hardware or software
  • Supporting documents for salary support

Employment or appointment letters Staff’s NRIC or Passport number (for Overseas Marketing Presence projects)

  • Consulting firm’s proposal
  • Consultant’s certification
  • Rental agreement or quotation (for Overseas Marketing Presence projects)
How long does a typical EDG project take?

Depending on the scope of your project, the timeline could range from 3 to 12 months. This includes time to establish proposed objectives and conduct detail scoping, user requirement specification, development, user acceptance tests, bug fix, training and go-live. Our typical ERP project takes about 3 to 9 months.

What do you mean by certified consultants?

From 1 January 2017, if you engage consultants, they need to be certified management consultants.  SMEs should ensure that consultants involved in EDG must possess Enterprise Singapore-recognised certification; failing which Enterprise Singapore reserves the right not to support the consultancy fees incurred.

Do we really need a certified consultants?

Companies applying for EDG support for consultancy-related costs must engage management consultants. Those who do not need to be certified are:

  1. Members/ specialists in the consultancy team who are not providing management consultancy services, but are performing dedicated functions, such as market research, audit, fieldwork, design/ artwork, equipment installation, and drafting of legal agreements.
  2. Consultants offering technical advice and expertise in the development of new technology, and solutions vendors.
What is the usual process in applying for a EDG Grant?

• Discuss project with certified consultant or advisor at SME Centre.
• Consulting firm and vendors will provide a project proposal outlining the scope of work.
• Applicant prepares company proposals to build business case. (Our consultants can assist in this area.)
• Designated EDG application can use the proposal to apply online at Business Grants Portal.
• Companies may be interviewed by ESG prior to project approval.
• Await award notification through the portal with exact grant amount.
• Approve letter of offer and notify project partners.

Who can guide me through the process?

Talk to an advisor at one of the SME Centres or ASME centre or get a certified consultant. 

What are the common mistakes to avoid?

• Including activities not supported under EDG.
• Consultants who are not certified to handle projects.
• Incomplete breakdown of costs.
• Exclusion of productivity outcomes or tangible benefits.
• Too narrow project scope

How do I know if I get the EDG grant?

You will receive a letter of offer which you must accept within a time frame within the business grant portal. Or you will receive a letter of rejection.

Who will approve EDG?

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) will assess the application, determine the feasibility and impact of the project and gives the final approval.

How long will it take?

It takes about 2 – 3 months for a reply. Clarity of proposal and application can speed up the approval process.

What about PIC?

PIC (Productivity and Innovation Credit) is no longer offered as of 2018 and there is no replacement for that programme.

What if I failed to get the EDG grant?

You can appeal by emailing to Enterprise Singapore.

What other grants can SMEs apply for?

You can also apply for Productivity Solutions Grant which provides easy access to pre-scoped IT solutions. You can check with www.smeportal.sg for the current list of grants currently available for SMEs.

How can I increase chances of approval?

Your company can work with us or ASME Officer to ensure that your application has all correct relevant information. Activities that are vague or appear to non-relevant to the project may cause delays on project approval and may require more information from vendors before the project can be approved.

Can I apply for more than 1 project?

Yes, you may apply for multiple projects, however, one project must be completed before subsequent projects may start. Sufficient internal resources must be available to handle each project.

We aims to provide the latest information on Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG) Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) on this page. All information contains herein are subjected to change by Enterprise Singapore. All grants are subjected to final approval by Enterprise Singapore. We are not affiliated nor endorsed by Enterprise Singapore or Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore. 

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