Singapore Budget 2020 – Strengthen Business Ecosystem

Table of Contents

What does it mean for your business?

As your business deals with new challenges and complexities, how can you stay nimble and embrace transformation to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities?

Budget 2020 introduces new measures and initiatives to help businesses develop new capabilities, deal with short-term challenges and set the stage for long-term growth.

#1 Special Situation Fund for Startups (SSFS)

  • Financing support for promising early-stage to late-stage startups with strategic capabilities that can contribute to Singapore’s national priorities.
  • EDBI and SEEDS Capital will invest in selected startups with private sector co-investors on a 1:1 basis.
  • Scheme will end when the funds are fully committed or by 31 October 2021, whichever is earlier.

The startups should be incorporated as a Private Limited company in Singapore for not more than 10 years, with headquarters and key value-added activities based in Singapore. Startups should also possess technology and innovation competencies and/ or sustainable competitive advantages that can contribute to Singapore’s national priorities (e.g. aligned to the broader industry transformation plans, or creating good jobs for our population). Startups should also be ready to provide details of current investment interest from potential co-investor(s), if available.


#2 SME Centre Enhancement – Partners for Business Growth

  • Pilot initiative for enterprises that demonstrate ability to accelerate growth and are keen to transform their business in areas such as digitalisation, talent development and internationalisation.
  • SME Centres will partner these enterprises to jointly develop business plans and support implementation efforts.
  • Pilot run will commence in Q3 2020.

Make an appointment with business advisors at SME Centres to access business advisory, capability workshops and group-based upgrading projects.

#3 Executive-in-Residence

  • Support for trade associations and business chambers to engage experienced professionals who have the expertise to assist companies and industries in business transformation, capability building, and internationalisation efforts.

The programme is open for application. For more information, contact

#4 GoBusiness Licensing Portal and E-Adviser

  • Businesses can look forward to simpler, faster and better processes when transacting with the Government through the GoBusiness portal.
  • The portal will provide a guided and streamlined journey for food services licensing applications, and will be expanded to cover other sectors.
  • An e-adviser will guide businesses in identifying the most relevant government assistance via a series of questions.

For more information, please contact MTI Pro-Enterprise Division at

#5 Heartland Enterprise Upgrading Programme

  • Support for selected merchants associations in place-making, enterprise capability and workforce upgrading, and infrastructural improvements.

Launching by mid-2020.

#6 SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) Programme

  • Programme will support funds set up by the Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) or industry groupings*, with the aim of supporting other businesses in the wider business community to tide over the challenges arising from COVID-19, and to push on with transformation efforts in preparation for the economic recovery.
  • Supportable uses of the fund include grants for business sustenance, business growth, and capability upgrading.
  • Valid from 3 March 2020 to 2 March 2021.


  • From 1 April 2020, Enterprise Singapore will match S$1 for every S$2 raised by such industry-led initiatives, up to S$1 million per fund.

For more information, contact us at

*An industry grouping is defined as a group of at least five companies collaborating to set up a fund, with an independent legal entity set up and an independent 3rd party secretariat supporting the management of the fund.

#7 Global Trader Programme

  • Programme will be extended by five years to 31 December 2026.
  • The scope of qualifying trading income will be expanded to include income from structured commodity financing activities with effect from 19 February 2020.
  • With effect from 1 April 2021, liquefied natural gas will be incentivised no differently to other qualifying commodities in GTP.

#8 Startup SG Equity

  • Programme will catalyse private sector investments into local-based deep-tech startups with strong IP and global potential.
  • Investment cap for deep-tech startups will be increased from S$4 million to S$8 million.
  • On top of partnering qualified third-party investors for co-investments, the Government will also invest in selected venture capital firms that will in turn invest in deep-tech startups.

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