Red carpet for business

Enterprise Singapore, the government agency championing enterprise development since 2018, supports companies to build, innovate and globalise. The growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and start-ups is part of its mission. International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING came together on 1 April 2018 as a single agency to form Enterprise Singapore.

In May 2021, Global VC firm 500 Startups teamed up with Enterprise Singapore to launch a new virtual programme, called 500 Ignition Singapore. This initiative is expected to help emerging startups in Singapore to grow from scratch by helping them assemble founding teams, validate potential opportunities and create a product roadmap and business plan. Set to run for 12 weeks, 500 Ignition Singapore aims to help selected startups by connecting them with industry experts for mentorship, finding the right co-founders, and providing them with shared resources that can help facilitate their startups’ long-term growth. Key mentors joining the programme include Leesa Soulodre (General Partner, R31Ventures), Jin Tanaka (co-founder and Managing Partner, Shogun Capital), Jaspreet S Dua (Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 500 Startups), Mimi Aminah Wan Nordin (CEO, Constellation Ventures), Anurag Rastogi (Member of the Board, FinCode), and Garry Huang (Entrepreneur-in-Residence, 500 Startups). The programme will take place in three phases.

Other popular programmes include Startup SG Founder which provides mentorship and start-up capital grants of S$30,000 to first-time entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. Start-ups are required to raise and commit S$10,000 as co-matching fund to the grant. Enterprise Singapore has appointed Accredited Mentor Partners (AMP) who will identify qualifying applicants based on the uniqueness of business concept, feasibility of business model, strength of management team, and potential market value. Upon successful application, the AMP will then assist the start-ups with advice, learning programmes and networking contacts.

Another government agency, the Singapore Economic Development Board is involved in investment promotion and industry development in the manufacturing and internationally tradeable services sectors. Industries within its purview account for more than a third of Singapore’s annual GDP. Besides facilitating investments, EDB supports Singapore’s existing base of companies to transform operations and boost productivity; and to generate growth in adjacent and disruptive areas by growing new businesses out of Singapore. The headline tax rate for foreign-sourced income is at a minimum of 15%; companies have to pay the higher rate between Singapore and its resident country. Given that Singapore’s resident corporate income tax of 17% is lower than most countries’ globally, and subject to further tax reliefs, it is more tax-efficient for companies to hold a Singaporean registration.

No surprise that Singapore consistently ranks at the top of ease of doing business indices citing clear and consistent policies and a robust judicial system, aided by being an acknowledged arbitration centre with low corruption.

About the Author

Ishaan Malik

Ishaan Malik is our Head – Client Relations (ASEAN and Australia). Through his prior experience at TCG-Digital, Ernst & Young, and Clearwater Capital Partners Ishaan has gained experience in Sales, Marketing and Risk across a diverse set of industries, thus affording him an eclectic knowledge base to support our clients’ aspirations in ASEAN.


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