Fortitude Budget: S$285m to attract matching investments for startups

PROMISING startups in Singapore will get financing support to help them sustain their innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

The government is setting aside S$285 million to match private investments for such startups, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament on Tuesday.

This is in addition to S$300 million set aside under the Unity Budget as part of the Startup SG Equity scheme helping deep-tech startups gain better access to capital, expertise and industry networks.

Mr Heng said that business leaders have given feedback that some startups are “finding it hard to raise capital and develop their business”, even with the enhanced financing support in the past Budgets.

“Left unaddressed, this could set back our efforts and result in the loss of good jobs and good companies. It is important to preserve what has been built up in our innovation ecosystem so painstakingly over the years,” he added.

Startups can also make use of the SGUnited Traineeship scheme to bring in graduating students and build up their talent bases, Mr Heng said.

In the previous Budgets, the Singapore government had introduced and bumped up various financing schemes - such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme and the Enterprise Financing Scheme.

Such schemes have seen “high” take-up rates and have catalysed S$4.5 billion of loans so far, benefitting 5,000 businesses, Mr Heng said on Tuesday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, together with banks, finance companies and insurers, has also introduced relief measures to help individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises to continue servicing their loans and paying for insurance coverage.