Venturing into a new market is risky and costly. Thus, it is advisable for Singapore’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make optimum use of the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant to grow their businesses internationally.
The rollout the MRA grant indicates that there is a chance for SMEs to acquire government’s financial support in expanding their business profile into the global market.
But how does it work and what are the requirements you need to qualify? Let’s delve deeper into the fundamentals of the Singapore government funding.
What is Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant?
Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant is a funding program offered by Enterprise Singapore to help Singapore incorporated companies to tap into overseas markets by providing financial assistance. This includes support for the following:
- Overseas market set-up
- Overseas business development
- Overseas marketing promotion
The enhancement period for the MRA Grant is from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023.
Click here for the full list of supportable activities.
What are the benefits of the MRA Grant?
MRA grant offers funding up to 70% of eligible costs that companies incur on qualifying activities. For instance, identification of overseas business partners, marketing and promoting their products and services overseas. Moreover, the grant is capped at S$100,000 per company per new market with the following activity sub-caps:
- Overseas market promotion (capped at S$20,000)
- Overseas business development (capped at S$50,000)
- Overseas market set-up (capped at S$30,000)
Is your company eligible to apply for the MRA Grant?
To be eligible to apply for the MRA Grant, your company should meet the following criteria:
- Business registered/incorporated in Singapore and have at least 30% local shareholding
- New to target overseas market , whereby the applicant has not exceeded annual sales of S$100,000 in the last 3 preceding years
- Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company’s Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees
Otherwise, the application is likely to be rejected if the company:
- Does not meet the eligibility criteria
- Has its main business operations outside Singapore
- Is a non-profit organization
- Seeks support for the purpose of fundraising or increasing domestic sales
- Have used up the full S$100,000 support for a particular market (will no longer be eligible for the same market)
How to apply for the MRA Grant?
To begin, submit your application at Business Grants Portal (BGP). Applications must be made at least 6 months before kick-starting the overseas project.
Each application is only limited to one activity in single overseas market. In other words, a company is granted with application on multiple markets simultaneously, provided that new market criteria are met and projects are within each activity grant sub-cap.
Here’s the MRA Grant application flowchart from start to finish for your quick reference.
Remember to keep track of your application status through the BGP and wait for IE Singapore’s Letter of Offer.
How to claim your expenses?
At the end of the project, you are required to submit all claims through the BGP within three months from project end date for disbursement.
Note that all expenses of the approved activity need to be audited. Companies must assign an Enterprise Singapore auditor to verify the eligibility, authenticity, and accuracy of the items listed in the Statement of Claim.
For more information, refer to Annex 6 of your Letter of Offer in the BGP for the contact details of Enterprise Singapore-appointed auditors upon approval of the MRA grant.
For more information on the programme details, please visit the Enterprise Singapore website.
Need help in your overseas marketing plan?
If you’re interested to apply for the MRA Grant but you have zero idea for your marketing plan, IH Digital can help you build a winning strategy that works in your new Asia market.
IH Digital is a 360° digital marketing agency in Asia that provides B2B services, including market research, social media, China and Korea digital marketing, e-commerce, SEO, SEM, influencer marketing and more.
Interested to work with us and boost your brand’s Asia marketing strategy? Contact us today to schedule a quick chat with our marketing expert soon.