What is Singapore’s MRA Grant?
The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant was first announced by the Singaporean government in 2013. Essentially, it is a government grant designed to introduce opportunities to Singapore’s SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and help them establish operations in new markets around the world. More specifically, it provides a capital incentive in the form of reimbursements to give SMEs a headstart in establishing their initial footprint. It is aimed to act as a catalyst for SMEs to seize opportunities and gain access to the global marketplace.
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The highest available support package of up to 80% of market expansion costs (or up to S$100,000 total) was extended to March 31, 2022 , as stated at the annual Singapore Budget in 2021. Thereafter, the general package valued at up to 70% (or up to S$100,000 total) will be extended to March 31 2023. The event also saw the addition of Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) as an included area for companies hoping to set up overseas within the MRA grant starting April 1, 2021. This development was aimed at preparing them to deal with buyer defaults in their new business environments.
Apart from financial support, the MRA grant also offers development consultancy, especially in regards to foreign trade agreements (FTAs) that SMEs can take advantage of in their expansion efforts.
To be eligible for an MRA application, the business entity must meet these requirements:
- Be registered or incorporated in Singapore with at least 30% local shareholding;
- Either have an annual sales turnover of less than S$100 million, or employ no more than a maximum of 200 workers;
- Record less than S$100,000 in overseas sales within each of the three preceding years.
Singaporean companies that have previously benefited from the MRA grant but have not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales for their chosen market can still be supported during the grant’s effective period. However, the maximum support amount of S$100,000 still applies.
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Companies can apply to multiple new markets concurrently provided the new market criteria is met. Since the MRA grant encourages internationalization, business activities within Singapore will not be eligible for support.
Eligible Business Activities Covered under MRA
Although the incentive provided by the MRA grant comes to a total of S$100,000, this amount is divided into three areas of effect with individual caps. The areas are detailed below.
- Overseas Marketing Promotion (Capped at S$20,000): This includes activities that belong to the global marketing strategies of the SME. Some examples of PR activities and marketing events can be In-Store Promotions, Roadshows, Pop-Up Store and Overseas Physical/Virtual trade Fairs. These aim to educate the new market about the enterprise’s products or services.
- Overseas Business Development (Capped at S$50,000): This encapsulates activities that help SMEs define their position in the new market, such as business matching endeavors or setting up of an Overseas Market Presence. This also covers In-Market Business Development which aids in engaging a third-party outsourced BD provider to facilitate activities such as Product training, implementation of market entry activities, reviewing market entry strategies and developing new business leads.
- Overseas Market Set-up (Capped at S$30,000): This includes activities pertaining to establishment of the business in the international scene. Advisory and Legal Documentation Services are largely included in this section. Appointment of such consultants largely helps a company to overcome the legal and technical challenges faced during incorporation of a new business internationally.
MRA Application Procedure
Companies can appoint consultants from Enterprise Singapore’s list of FTA consultants or approach their preferred consultants to seek quotations. Companies can proceed to sign the contract with the third-party consultants after submitting the application via Business Grants Portal. Project commencement and completion dates must be in accordance with the project support period stipulated in the Business Grants Portal.
MRA Grant Applications should be made 6 months before the start of the project. Each business activity chosen by the company and approved by the grant will be supported for 12 months at most. The information required in the proposal from the third-party consultant/vendor includes but is not limited to:
- Testimonials/credentials of the project team
- Track records of past completed projects
- Detailed scope of services
- Cost breakdown by scope of services
- Expected deliverables for the project
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2021 and was updated for better readability and more recent developments in July 2022.
Originally published on April 7, 2021 at 01:56 pm; updated July 19, 2022
How Cekindo can help
Setting up an enterprise overseas can be a daunting task. Cekindo’s consultants help overcome the hurdles faced during international incorporation and ease the process of overseas company registration.
Cekindo provides professional assistance in the application for such grants and mitigates the challenges faced in international company registration. To know more about how Cekindo’s solutions can help you register your company in Vietnam, schedule a free call with one of our business consultants and they will talk you through the entire process. Fill out the form below.