Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Transformation – key to business development in Singapore

Emerging Stronger – “Stronger through Transformation” was the theme of the speech made by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State and Industry during the Committee of Supply Debate on Tuesday.

He reflected on his speech from last year which was based on ‘3 Ups’: Level Up, to strengthen enterprise and workforce capabilities; Scale Up, to help enterprises grow locally and abroad; and Team Up, to enable enterprises to achieve better outcomes together and then outlined what the Government has been doing and is going to do in order to achieve these goals.

Government Support already in place to help SME’s on transformation journey

Currently, companies can benefit from many government-led initiatives to help businesses such as free subscription under the Start Digital pack for six months, to access more customers through digital marketing and e-commerce. They could also receive up to $30,000 in support from the Productivity Solutions Grant to implement inventory and fleet management solutions.

Companies could also apply for up to $100,000 from the enhanced Market Readiness Assistance programme for each new market the business is expanding into. Businesses can also receive SkillsFuture support for up to 90% of course fees to upskill their employees.

“Enterprise Singapore supported more than 13,000 projects from over 11,000 enterprises last year. These will generate $17.3 billion in value-add and create 21,700 new PMET jobs, and also positive outcomes for existing workers” said Mr Chee Hong Tat.

SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to help with Transformation costs

The Government announced in the budget that they are introducing the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit. Each eligible employer will be given $10,000 in credits, valid for 3 years from 1 April 2020, to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses for enterprise and workforce transformation programmes. This will benefit over 35,000 enterprises, which hire more than 1.5 million local workers.

Firms can benefit from the credit by offsetting out-of-pocket costs for transformation projects. This is above the 70% co-funding support under the Enterprise Development Grant and Productivity Solutions Grant. They can also use the credit to help them redesign jobs under the enhanced Productivity Solutions Grant, and redeploy workers to more productive and meaningful roles. Businesses can also use the Credit to send their workers for approved training courses, including Design-related courses.

Improving Public Service Support for Enterprises

The Government are further developing GoBusiness to be the platform for enterprises to transact with the Government. Through GoBusiness, a company will be able to check such information by entering its postal code to find out which agency to approach, and the type of business activities already permitted on their premises.

The company does not need to apply for a licence if the activity is already permitted. This will save time and money. If a licence is required, the company can proceed to do so through the portal. The platform will also integrate other transactions beyond licensing, such as helping entrepreneurs to start new businesses and seek government assistance.

They also have plans to introduce an e-adviser. This is a joint project by MTI, GovTech and SNDGO, in collaboration with SME Centres and businesses. Instead of going through multiple sources to gather information on different government schemes, a company can visit the portal and answer a set of questions. The e-adviser will then recommend suitable schemes, based on what the company needs.

Improving Advisory Support for SMEs and Customised Support for Promising SMEs

The Minister also said that those who require further assistance can meet with a Business Advisor at an SME Centre. In 2019, the SME Centres assisted over 28,000 companies. The SME Centres will become partners for business growth, to provide more in-depth support for promising SMEs. Business Advisors will work with these enterprises to develop long-term business plans and chart the next steps.

Scale-up SG is for companies of different sizes and industries. Enterprise Singapore will look at the company’s track record, its commitment to grow its presence in Singapore, and the potential to create economic spin-offs for Singapore and to generate good jobs for Singaporeans.

Learning from the early success of Scale-up SG, Enterprise Singapore will launch a new Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Programme (“ELT”) later this year which was also mentioned as part of Budget 2020. ELT is a 3-year pilot programme that supports business leaders of promising SMEs to achieve their next round of growth. Applicants will be selected based on their demonstration of ambition and commitment, and their growth potential.

ELT will be designed and delivered together with partners such as the IHLs, professional firms and banks. The programme lasts about a year and includes business coaching and practical learning components. Participating local enterprises will receive up to 90% funding support for their programme fees.

Government encourages companies to Team Up to build deeper capabilities and accelerate growth

The third part of their strategy is Team Up. The Government encourages companies to Team Up to build deeper capabilities and accelerate their growth.

“When we work together with businesses to review our rules and regulations, the improvements will benefit many other enterprises. They can launch innovative ideas more quickly and lower their operating costs. Government agencies also benefit from having more efficient and business-friendly rules” said Mr Chee Hong Tat.

The Government role to be seen as a gate-keeper not a goal-keeper

The Minister said that “We see our role as a gate-keeper; not as goal-keeper. What’s the difference? A gate-keeper assesses the risk and decides who to let through and who to turn away. Whereas a goalkeeper’s mission is to prevent all balls from getting through. If we block all new ideas that push against our existing regulatory boundaries or have a risk of failing, there will be no innovation.”

He added that “listening to feedback and being open to new ideas, feeling comfortable to take a calculated risk, and experimenting together with industry partners, to turn ideas into reality – These are important aspects of Public Service Transformation, in line with the SG Together movement.”


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.