A number of stakeholders in Singapore’s business community, including business associations as well as academics, have recently come forward to offer their recommendations on how to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) regionalize. This comes on the back of the National Day Rally speech last weekend, which featured Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledging his commitment to help SMEs.
They acknowledged the efforts taken by the Singapore government to help SMEs cope with the country’s ongoing economic restructuring efforts. Early this year, the government has announced that S$5.3 billion has been earmarked for a Transition Support Package to help SMEs lower their business costs and improve their productivity.
The ASME, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises suggested that the merger and acquisition scheme mentioned in the last budget be fleshed out so that local SMEs are encouraged to become stronger companies. It would also like to see the government helping Singapore SMEs acquire foreign SMEs so that they can enjoy more breadth, balance and diversification. On the matter of talent, the association wants to see more access to technical, engineering and service staff.
The Singapore Business Federation, on the other hand, suggested that university students be trained as facilitators to help SMEs research on and apply for relevant government grants. They said this could be done as part as the students’ industrial attachments.
In this regard, the call to be given a leg up is a positive thing. SMEs here want to succeed and grow in the region. We anticipate the government will hear this out and offer their hand, in their bid to encourage entrepreneurship in the country.”
The Singapore Management University, the country’s first business university, recommended a job matching program which matches unemployed professionals to SMEs that are seeking to build their capabilities. It was suggested that the government could co-fund the salaries of these professionals for up to six months.
Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin acknowledges these recommendations as a positive indication of the SME’s drive to succeed.
Commenting further, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Rikvin said, “Singapore has often been lauded for making the process to start a company in Singapore a painless one for many entrepreneurs. However, the road to greatness, so to say, is mired with challenges. In this regard, the call to be given a leg up is a positive thing. SMEs here want to succeed and grow in the region. We anticipate the government will hear this out and offer their hand, in their bid to encourage entrepreneurship in the country.”