Entrepreneur

S'pore SMEs Looking To Digitise Can Apply To 'Start Digital' Scheme - Free For First 6 Months

Since the launch of Start Digital in January 2019, over 4,000 budding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have leveraged on the initiative.

The initiative, started by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore, enables the digitalisation of businesses with competitively-priced solutions.

SMEs can take up to two digital solutions, free for at least six months with a minimum 18-month contract period.

The two solutions can be from any of the five categories that are: accounting, human resource management system and payroll, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and digital transactions.

According to The Straits Times (ST), the first three categories are the most popular.

Businesses looking to apply for Start Digital must have at least 30% local shareholding and revenue of not more than $100 million or fewer than 200 employees at group level.

To apply, they can approach any of the Start Digital partners – DBS Bank, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Singtel, StarHub, and United Overseas Bank (UOB).

Vendors with ready digital solutions interested to collaborate with partners can also reach out to them.

Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran said SMEs are at the heart of Singapore’s economy, making up 99% of all enterprises and two-thirds of the workforce.

Thus, it’s important to aid with their digitalisation efforts if Singapore is to become a Smart Nation.

Mr Iswaran said, “I don’t think it’s about a lack of awareness or will on SMEs’ parts anymore but more about them being resource-constrained and lacking the capacity to get the transformation done.”

“And that’s where all the work that IMDA is doing comes in. Start Digital is a simple plug and play solution. SMEs only have to think about what solution they want and how to integrate it into their operations.”

Start Digital is part of the $80 million SME Go Digital scheme that was launched in 2017 aimed at helping SMEs affected by the digital disruption.

10,000 SMEs have benefited from Go Digital to date, with 6,000 more in the last six months.

For more information on the Start Digital initiative, visit the site here.

Featured Image Credit: Singapore Manufacturing Federation

 

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