23 December, 2019
SMEs Start Digital was an initiative announced by the Singapore government to help SMEs to build stronger digital capabilities to seize the opportunities for growth in the digital economy.
What are supported?
The following 5 areas are supported by Start Digital Pack offered by IMDA (Infocomm Media Development Agency)
- Human Resource (HR)
- Digital Marketing
- Digital Transactions
Major banks and telco are involved to participate in this initiative and some of the names that we are familiar includes OCBC, DBS, UOB, Maybank, Singtel, Starhub & M1.
There are many software solutions that are supported under SME Go Digital and some familiar names are Xero, Quickbooks Online, Shopify, Expensify, MailChimp, Talenox & many more. Different partner offer different kinds of digital solutions, for example, Xero & Shopify are only available with OCBC.
All digital solutions are on a monthly subscription basis, if you would like to own a digital solution by paying one off, you may consider ABSS (fka MYOB) but it is not offered under SME Go Digital program but under another assistance scheme, namely PSG Grant.
How much can I get?
The amount supported is generally capped at $500 but most partners do not give you money but rather free subscription for the first 6 months. There is a catch in the SME Go Digital grant, and they are,
- Applicant must take up at least 2 digital solutions (eg. Xero + Mailchimp)
- Applicant must commit at least 18 months of the digital solutions offered
Let’s work out the math, you will get first 6 months free but have to commit for the next 12 months after the first 6 months expires. Hence, be careful of what you choose as it is not a temporary solution. We will share what you should adopt in the next section.
Who is the best partner?
If you are getting the SME Go Digital grant from the banker, you must have a banking relationship with them. Whereas for telco, you need not subscribe anything else from them except the 2 digital solutions.
While most partners offer first 6 months subscription for free and not monetary reimbursement, OCBC is different. Instead of giving you 6 months free subscription, OCBC allow you to purchase 2 preferred digital solutions and submit your receipt to claim for $500 reimbursement.
The solutions offered have quite a good mixed and I felt the solutions are really suitable for startup. Some of them are listed below,