Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

At Firefish, we have over a decade of experience working with government grants. This include Capability Development Grant (CDG) by SPRING, which is the precursor to the current Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) by Enterprise Singapore (ESG). Please note that we do not represent Enterprise Singapore or any government agencies. Our objective is simply to provide good advice about Enterprise Development Grant which is based solely from our own experience. 

What is EDG?
EDG is the short form for Enterprise Development Grant. This grant was announced in the Annual Budget 2018. In short, EDG is a grant for established local SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) to help them grow and transform their businesses.

How much funding can I get?

You can get funding up to 50%.  The only exception is sustainability projects which will be supported up to 70%.

Why is there a reduction in support level?

The support level was raised because of COVID-19 pandemic. The storm is over.

Who approves EDG?

Enterprise Singapore, ESG in abbreviated form, gives the final green light to all EDG grants.

What is the maximum grant?

That really depends on the scope of the project. The grant is correlated to the size of the company in terms of turnover and manpower. We do not have the exact algorithm nor science on this. Neither will ESG give you a definite answer on this. But you can try asking them.

Can you give me an actual number so that I can work with?

Ok, this is strictly based on our experience with CDG and based on some assumptions.
Usually, projects are about $40k (based on the previous CDG Lite).
But, there are projects way above $40k, hitting above six figures, depending on the scope of work.

What kind of projects are covered under EDG?

The projects can fall under these scope:
1. Core Capabilities
a) Strategic Brand & Marketing Development
b) Business Strategy Development
c) Human Capital Development
d) Service Excellence
e) Financial Management

2. Innovation and Productivity
a) Process Redesign
b) Product Development
c) Automation

3. Market Access
a) Pilot Project & Testbedding
b) Standards Adoption

For those who are thinking of starting an overseas office or expanding beyond Singapore, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant will be more relevant. Click here to learn more about MRA. 

Am I eligible for EDG?

To be eligible, you are required to
1. Have a registered company and operating in Singapore
2. Have at least 30% local shareholding
3. Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project.

And if you come from a big organisation, your organisation or group holdings should
1. Have less than $100 million revenue
2. Employ less than 200 employees.

What does it mean by “Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project”?

Based on our previous experience with CDG and our experience with EDG as well, a company should have a reasonable amount of turnover for the past three years. The 3 years audited accounts will be required when you apply for the grant.

Is there a minimum annual turnover?

Based on our previous experience with both CDG and EDG, a working hypothetical figure should be at least S$400k. A $1 million turnover will be ideal.

Is there a minimum employee size?

Our experience tells us that it should not be zero or just one. And the project sum must justify the size of the company. A good number should be 5 employees and they should not include directors, partners or owners.

Are there KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for an EDG project?

Yes. With effect from 1 April 2020, SMEs will need to commit to improving workers’ outcome, such as creating more jobs or increasing wages.

So, are startups eligible for EDG?

In general, startups are not eligible for EDG. If you are a startup, you can look at the ecosystem meant for startups: Startup SG network. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Anecdotally, some startups with groundbreaking products get funding.

How long does a typical EDG project take?

Depending on the scope of your project, the timeline could range from 4 to 12 months. This includes time to establish proposed objectives and conduct research. Our typical branding project takes about 4 to 6 months. Some projects may take up to 1 year, depending on the complexity of the project.

What do you mean by certified consultants?

From 1 January 2017, if you engage consultants, they need to be certified management consultants.  SMEs should ensure that consultants involved in EDG possess Enterprise Singapore-recognised certification; failing which Enterprise Singapore reserves the right not to support the consultancy fees incurred.

Are Firefish consultants certified?

Yes! Consultants from Firefish are certified and accredited by TÜV SÜD PSB and this certification is recognised by Enterprise Singapore.

Is the application process easy?

The application process is not particularly onerous. You can easily apply EDG directly on Business Grant Portal by Enterprise Singapore. Click here to access Business Grant Portal.

How is the application process like?

We have created an EDG Walk-through so that you will understand the process and requirements better. 

Click here to see the entire application process.

It looks complicated. Can you help us fill the application form?

If you have officially appointed us as your consultant, we are more than happy to guide you along.

What other supporting documents do we require for the application?

You need the following:
1. Your project proposal
2. Latest ACRA search results
3. Past 3 years audited financial statements (including latest year)
4. Our consultant’s proposal
5. Our consultant’s certifications.

Can you help us write the project proposal?

If you already appoint us as your consultant, we can help you to craft the project proposal for you. We have experience in navigating through the process. 

How long do I have to wait to know the results of my application?

There is no fixed timeline. It may take 1 to 2 months. It is highly dependent on the amount of applications and the number of officers at any given time. So, bottomline, hold your horses and be patient. 

Can I start on an EDG project whilst applying for EDG?

Short answer is no. It is best to obtain an official letter of offer from Enterprise Singapore before commencing the project.

What does it mean?

It means that you should not have already begun on the project before your application has been approved. Neither should you have made payment to service providers or suppliers involved in the project.

Will you help us to do claims?

After you engaged our consultancy services, we will advise you accordingly how to make a claim.

How can Firefish help us with EDG?

We will guide you through the entire process step-by-step. If required, we will sit down by your side to guide you along.

What does Firefish actually do?

Good question. Our core businesses are in branding and marketing. We are able to help you transform your brand for the future and bring you to the global arena.

How many EDG Grants can I apply for?

In theory, there are no restrictions on how many EDG Grants you can apply for. Currently, ESG allows you to apply and work on more than one EDG project at any given time. However, you can only apply for an EDG grant in a specified area once. This means that if you are awarded an EDG grant for Branding and Marketing once, you are no longer eligible for another EDG grant under the same category that is Branding and Marketing. However, you can still apply for EDG grants under other areas.

What about Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)?

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) is a grant that supports Commercial Off-The-Shelf Solutions (COTS). Basically, COTS are more affordable and require little or no customisation work. It covers up to 50% of the solution cost. Click here more information about PSG. If COTS do not meet your needs and you require a bespoke solution for your business, do contact us!

Where can I get the latest updates on EDG?

The latest information can be found on Enterprise Singapore’s website.

Where can I apply EDG?

You can apply EDG directly at Singapore Business Grants Portal.

Can I talk to someone regarding EDG?

On first base, you can either reach out to certified consultants (like us) or SME Centres. We are more than happy to help and answer all your questions regarding EDG. Just fill in the form below.

What is the latest news on Business Excellence under EDG?

Business Excellence (BE) certification with the respective Singapore Quality Class (lionhead logo) will cease by end September 2020. Awards under BE will cease immediately. However, SMEs can still apply for Business Strategy under EDG as well as used the BE framework for their business.

How do I know if I am successful?

ESG will send you a Letter of Offer if you are successful in applying. You must accept the Letter of Offer in order to start the project. If you are not successful in the application, ESG will send you an email as well.

Can I appeal the decision?

Yes, you can appeal the decision. Do submit the application again and this time round, ensure you have closed all the necessary gaps or meet the requirements. ESG will treat it as a fresh application.

Can I claim for the project once I accepted the Letter of Offer?

Yes, currently, ESG allows you to make an advance payment claim. It will be a percentage of the total grant amount. This means you can request for this monies in advance even before paying the vendor’s invoice. The exact figure will be in the official Letter of Offer.

What about interim claims?

You can try to make interim claims before full completion. However, this is on a case-by-case basis.

What is this audit about?

After the completion of the EDG project, you will have to appoint an external auditor from a pre-approved panel. The auditor will ensure that the project is completed with proper transfer of monies between parties.

Who will pay for the audit?

The audit fee is absorbed by ESG. You can claim the audit fee from ESG.

Where do I make a claim for EDG?

You should make a claim on the same business grant portal at https://www.businessgrants.gov.sg.

How long does it take to get back the monies?

Usually it takes 1-2 weeks for ESG to process the claim.

Anything else I need to take note of?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Firefish and do not reflect the official policy or position of ESG or any agency of the Singapore Government. The content is based on limited information and assumptions have been drawn. EDG (Enterprise Development Grant) is administered strictly by ESG (Enterprise Singapore). All information herein is subjected to change. EDG grants are subjected to approval by ESG. Firefish does not represent ESG and does not claim to represent ESG in any way.

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