New SME Definition and Launch of New Online Tools and E-Services
New SME Definition
1. From 1 April 2011, small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore will be defined as businesses with annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million or employing no more than 200 staff. Currently, SMEs are defined as enterprises with fixed asset investments of $15 million and below for those in manufacturing, and employment size of 200 and below for non-manufacturing enterprises1
2. Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore, said, “The new definition reflects the changing economic landscape and diversified profile of businesses where tangible fixed asset may not adequately reflect the size or stage of development of a company. It helps us to better focus and allocate relevant resources, including grants to assist the SMEs. By using sales turnover or employment, we are also more aligned with global practices and this facilitates benchmarking."
3. The new definition comes after SPRING conducted an extensive review of global benchmarks and consulted various stakeholders. It was found that while the guidelines vary in the Asia-Pacific and European countries, sales turnover and employment size were commonly used to define SMEs.
4. SMEs can also look forward to more help with the launch of an online productivity assessment tool and two e-services to alert them to government procurement opportunities and to find suitable business premises.
Online IMPACT Assessment Tool
5. The Integrated Management of Productivity Activities (IMPACT) is an assessment tool that helps an SME to diagnose its productivity performance and pin-point the gaps to address. A new interactive version of the assessment tool is now available on the Productivity@Work website at the EnterpriseOne portal (www.enterpriseone.gov.sg
6. SMEs will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses in productivity management, benchmark against companies in the same industry, identify productivity improvement areas, and develop an actionable road map to improve productivity. Being an online tool, SMEs can perform their own assessment anytime at their convenience.
7. To date, about 120 SMEs have conducted IMPACT assessments through the five Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs) and via SPRING's SME Management Action for Results (SMART) initiative.
8. At least 1,000 enterprises are expected to use the online assessment tool annually.
9. Besides the IMPACT assessment, the Productivity@Work website launched on 1 June 2010 provides a rich source of information on productivity concepts, tools to upgrade productivity, relevant government assistance schemes and case studies on productivity. To date, about 45,000 unique visitors have used the website.
GeBIZ Alerts Saves SMEs Time and Effort
10. SMEs can now also benefit from two new e-services available at the EnterpriseOne portal. The first e-service is GeBIZ Alerts, which alerts subscribers to bids posted on GeBIZ. GeBIZ is Singapore’s government procurement portal. Annually, more than 67,000 projects worth about $15.5 billion are procured through this portal. Currently, companies have to monitor the GeBIZ website regularly to seek out government tenders and ITQs. GeBIZ Alerts will save them time and resources by pushing customised information on government procurements to them. Some 30,000 companies will benefit from this alerts service. For the government, this means more bids may be received, thereby increasing the choice of selection.
BizMap Helps SMEs Search for Suitable Premises
11. The second e-service is BizMap which makes it convenient for companies to search online for properties for rent or lease from government agencies such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA), based on location, rental rates, size and property types. The search results are displayed in an interactive map for easy reference. Currently, companies have to go to different government agencies’ websites to look up and compare rental rates. Now, BizMap enables them to quickly locate suitable premises in the best locations at the most competitive costs, all at one website. Annually, for example, there are over a million searches for HDB and SLA-owned properties for rent.
12. The two new e-services are joint efforts of EnterpriseOne and various government agencies such as the Infocomm Development Authority, the Defence Science and Technology Authority, SLA and HDB.
13. These announcements were made at the third annual EDC Conference. It is organised jointly by the EDCs located at the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With the theme “Go, Grow and Globalise – Building Capabilities”, this year’s conference focuses on strategies to build resilience, strengthen capabilities and achieve higher productivity. About 400 participants attended this free conference.
1 Non-manufacturing sectors includes services, construction, agriculture & fishing, utilities etc..
Click here for the Fact Sheet on New SME Definition
Click here for the Fact Sheet on IMPACT, GeBIZ Alerts and BizMap