SME Centres to enhance services through group solutions, advice on digital tech

SINGAPORE - SME Centres, advisory centres where small and medium-sized enterprises can get free one-on-one business advice, will enhance their services to better help local firms prepare for the future.

These centres will focus on helping SMEs achieve their business objectives in the next five years through group-based upgrading projects and digital technology adoption.

For example, the centres will aggregate common challenges among companies in the same trade or location, and identify viable solutions for mass deployment, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Ms Sim Ann at the SME Centre Conference 2017 on Wednesday (April 5).

For instance, she said, with support from the North West Community Development Council, the SME Centre@NorthWest has helped to roll out space optimisation solutions for over 50 heartland retailers at the Bangkit estate in Bukit Panjang.

The SME Centres intend to implement 10 such group-based upgrading projects each year, she added.

Business advisors at the SME Centres will also offer free one-to-one consultation sessions to help SMEs select off-the-shelf technology solutions pre-qualified by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) that meet their business needs.

SMEs with more advanced requirements in areas like cybersecurity and data analytics can receive specialised assistance at the SME Digital Tech Hub, which will open its doors in the third quarter of this year.

Advisors at the SME Digital Tech Hub will help them identify appropriate solutions and guide them on changing their business processes to take full advantage of the technologies, said Ms Sim.