Singaporean entrepreneurs and SMEs now have the chance to learn from best and set up their business overseas with various initiatives.

Annabelle Jeffrey  |  Singapore
Published 2016-08-31 17:24:16

Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SME) have been flourishing over the past few years, and now have the chance to expand their outreach globally, as more and more opportunities are being provided for these entrepreneurs and business to collaborate with different countries.

We have collated some of those latest initiatives that allow for Singaporean startups to expand their businesses overseas.

Germany-Singapore Collaboration

According to a report on Channel NewsAsia, the inaugural Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme was launched by S Iswaran, the Trade and Industry Minister on Monday 29 August.

Minister S Iswaran speaking at the Singapore international energy week in 2013/ Image Credit: green business.sg
Minister S Iswaran speaking at the Singapore international energy week in 2013/ Image Credit: green business.sg

This was done so in an attempt to strengthen business collaborations between the two countries and their companies. Two new agreements were signed during the event as well.

A grant of up to 70 percent will be given to research and development (R&D) projects, with hopes to boost partnerships between German and Singaporean SMEs. Businesses from both countries will be supported by SPRING Singapore’s capability development grant, and BMWi’s Central Innovation Programme for SMEs.

The programme is targeted on the development of innovative products and applications in all technological and application areas. SMEs from the Medical Technology, Clean Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing industries are desired.


First call for proposals will be held until 31 December 2016.

Interested business need to be registered and operating in Singapore with at least 30 percent in local shareholding. They also need to equal or less than 200 employees. More information can be found at the SPRING website.

“Startup Visas” For Those Looking To Enter The US

Obama in his final state union address/ Image Credit: USAtoday
Obama in his final state union address/ Image Credit: USAtoday

A few days prior, President Obama announced a proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow entrepreneurs from other countries to set up base in the United States.

The aim of the rule is to attract the world’s best and smartest entrepreneurs to start the next wave of great companies in the US.

According to the Straits Times, Mr Tom Kalil, a technology policy adviser at the White House said that immigrants have co-founded as many as one in four high-tech startups across the US and more than half of all start-ups in Silicon Valley.

Under the rule, the DHS would issue these visas for entrepreneurs if they have at least 15 per cent of ownership in startup companies formed in the US within the last three years and show growth of investments from American investors

The rule allows for entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. for up to two years. They can then apply for an additional three years if the company is still growing, and shows that it benefits the American public.


This new rule has yet to be implemented, but would allow Singaporeans who founded their business in the US to stay and reap the profits they sow – instead of worrying when their visa might expire and the possibility of closing down operations abruptly.

Microsoft-Temasek Holdings Partnership

Microsoft and Temasek Holdings have entered a global partnership to help support and scale startups across the world. This was reported by Channel NewsAsia earlier in June.

Microsoft's Accelerator website
Microsoft’s Accelerator website

Temasek, along with six of its companies – CapitaLand Limited, Ascendas, InnoVen Capital, Quann, ST Engineering and Fullerton Financial will join the Microsoft Accelerator programme as global network partners in countries like London, Berlin, Seattle and Bangalore.

Startups under the initiative will be provided with support to quickly scale up into enterprise-ready companies. It also aims to help the startups in challenges they might face like the launching of their business, finding clientele and getting into global markets.


The Microsoft Accelerator offers a four to six month tailored program for later staged startups who wish to go beyond their current stage.

Invested applicants need apply through the Microsoft Accelerator website.

Going Global

All these efforts Singapore and the other countries might instil confidence in the entrepreneurs and SMEs, leading more companies to enter into global markets.

Fighting with bigger and more experienced businesses is definitely a hard thing to do but with the right support Singaporean SMEs will be able to do well.

Feature Image Credit: officesnapshots.com

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