International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), a company established by the Singaporean government, encourages regional businesses to expand globally and have a global footprint. In order to provide businesses with the resources for international expansion, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) award was launched in 2015.
MRA grant enables companies to claim the cost incurred for the qualifying activities while establishing the overseas business.
Companies who have successfully applied for the grant will receive up to 80%* funding for the eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per new market.
This implies that you can access several legal systems simultaneously.
Remember that after March 31, 2023, funding support will decrease from 80% to 70%.
To be eligible for the MRA Grant, a corporation must:
1. Be incorporated into Singapore
2. Have a minimum of 30% of local shareholding
3. Meet New Market entry criteria; doesn’t exceed S$100,000 in annual overseas sales in each of the past 3 years
4. Group Annual Sales Turnover of less than S$100 million; or Company’s 5.Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees
6. Qualifying Activities
There is a wide list of activities for which a company can claim the MRA grant:
1.Overseas marketing promotion
2.Overseas Marketing and PR activities
3.Participation in Overseas Physical and Virtual Trade Fairs NOT supported under LEAD International Fairs & Missions (LEAD)
4.Overseas business development
6.Overseas Marketing Presence (OMP)
7.In-market Business Development
8.Overseas market set-up
9.Market Entry and Market Assessment
10.In-depth trade Agreement (FTA) Consultancy
There is an eligible cost for the 3 broad categories among the ones listed above:
1.Overseas market set-up including market assessment and entry (market research, market feasibility, property (IP) search, import-export licenses, legal and tax advisory, etc)- capped at S$30,000
2.Overseas business development including business matching (identifying business partners, venture partners, agents, distributors, etc)- capped at S$50,00
3.Overseas market promotion: including overseas and online marketing and PR activities (promotions, SEO optimization, trade conferences, campaigns, etc). capped at S$20,000
Benefits of MRA grant to a business:
1. Adopting a twinning strategy by diversification of business presence. This helps in driving revenue by increasing the buyer base.
2. Low-risk method of expanding business outside of Singapore by investing lesser market setup and cost.
3. Establishing Global branding by sharing your strong presence across multiple jurisdictions with the consumers will induce some kind of credibility and trust.
What is the limit of grants a company can get?
It totally depends on a case-by-case basis, whatever information you submit at the time of application will decide the grant qualification.To get a maximum amount of grant, there must be a justified business plan.
How to apply for the Grant?
Following are the steps for applying for the MRA Grant:
1.Cost Quotation: a price estimate is required
2.Through business grant portal: Apply for the grant through Business 3.Grants Portal or engage the services of a company service provider.
4.Offer Letter: IE Singapore’s letter of offer is required
5.Claim Submission: Once the offer letter is received, complete the project within 6 months and send the claim for disbursement.
Do note that:
Retrospective applications aren’t accepted; meaning that if your company signed an engagement letter with the third-party consultant, or made the primary payment to the third-party consultant, or commenced the project with the third-party consultant, then the appliance will not be considered.
Applications must be submitted at least six months following the project’s commencement date.
Example of MRA Grant calculation
For example, if your overseas business development cost is $50,000. a corporation is eligible for 80% of funding support (0.80 * $50,000 = $40,000). Therefore, only the remaining 20% of the value is required to be paid by the company (0.20 * $50,000 = $10,000).
How long does it take to get approval?
As of July 2022, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) typically takes 3–4 months to respond, with a six-month maximum. During this time, ESG asks further questions or requests additional information regarding applications.
Venturing into a replacement market may be a tough challenge for a business to decide on the financial requirement of the company. However, the Singapore government is aware of the significance and needs of SMEs going global.
If you’re a local company set up in Singapore and looking forward to expanding your business in multiple countries, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant is best suited to organizations looking for financial assistance.
Hiring a corporate specialist who can advise you on the best strategies to meet the objectives in your business plans is always advised.