Bigger grants, more mentoring for new entrepreneurs

The Straits Times

More cash is on hand to help first-time entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground and generate jobs amid the pandemic.

They can apply for capital grants of $50,000, up from $30,000 now as part of enhancements to the Startup SG Founder programme.

The changes also include a three-month venture building scheme to help new firms get their innovative ideas up and running.

The enhancements were detailed by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo during a visit to The Greenhouse, Singapore Management University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

They follow Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s announcement on Monday that $150 million has been set aside to bolster the Startup SG Founder programme.

The programme, which is overseen by government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG), began in 2017 to provide mentorship and start-up capital grants to first-time entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

Mr James Tan, chairman of the Action Community for Entrepreneurship, a private sector-led organisation, noted that more fresh graduates want to form start-ups so the venture building programme will provide a structure where they can address specific problems.

“This… potentially massive group of people are going to be funnelled through the venture building programme and (they can) focus (their) energies on solutions that are actually a problem to solve, and not create something that the world is not looking for,” he added.

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