Singapore (PRWEB) June 06, 2012
In a bid to encourage more small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to take their first step towards upgrading their operations, Singapore has rolled out the
Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) Scheme, worth S$32 million. With effect from 1 June 2012, the ICV Scheme has replaced the Innovation Voucher Scheme (IVS), which was rolled out approximately 3 years prior.
Where the IVS focused specifically on technology services and benefitted close to 700 SMEs, the ICV Scheme encompasses a wider scope - namely in four key areas i.e. innovation, productivity, human resources management and financial management. The ICV Scheme is also set to support 1,600 SMEs per annum or 6,400 SMEs by the end of 2015.
Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Rikvin’s Operations said, “The ICV Scheme should not be confused with the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme which automatically grants firms of all sizes a 400% corporate tax deduction or 60% cash payout option. The ICV Scheme is designed specifically for SMEs that have opted for Singapore company incorporation, have at least 30% local shareholding, register under S$100 million in group annual sales and not employ more than 200 workers.”
The ICV funding will be issued by SPRING Singapore to eligible companies via vouchers valued at S$5,000 each. A company may then choose from 30 services offered by 120 participating service providers to redeem the voucher. The services, categorized by capability areas, include:
INNOVATION: technology development, intellectual property diagnostic and business thinking design;
PRODUCTIVITY: quality management, SME Management Action for Results (SMART), productivity management and service excellence;
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT: manpower planning, recruitment & selection, compensation & benefits, performance management, career management, learning & development, development of employee handbook;
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: planning & budgeting, cashflow & working capital management, financial controls for SMEs, financial & business assessment for growth and financial management advisory.
“This year, the Singapore government has been highlighting the importance of innovation and productivity in business as a way of coping with the permanent reality of higher labor and business costs in the republic. The move to upgrade the IVS Scheme to the ICV Scheme not only makes good business sense on the ground level, but aligns with the national goal of sustaining an economy driven by innovation, value-added services and high-quality business activity,” added Mr. Bakhda.
“On the ground level, the ICV Scheme is perfect because it proactively matches the services to small enterprises that want to but couldn't afford to invest in these capability-enhancing services. Through the ICV Scheme, small businesses will be better positioned to raise their productivity levels, strengthen their business operations and better manage business costs - all without incurring heavy consultation costs. We are confident that the republic will see more small enterprises sustain their businesses and grow; and hopefully, in time, this will encourage more people to become entrepreneurial and shake off the fear of running into failure when starting up a new business,” confirmed Mr. Bakhda.
Established in 1998, Rikvin has since partnered with thousands of investors, entrepreneurs and professionals in their pursuit to access business opportunities overseas. Rikvin’s areas of expertise include company incorporation, offshore company setup, accounting, taxation and other related corporate services. Rikvin also provides Singapore work visa and immigration services for foreign professionals who wish to relocate to Singapore.
20 Cecil Street, #14-01, Equity Plaza, Singapore 049705
(65) 6320 1888