$285 million set aside to help start-ups access credit: DPM Heng

The $285 million has been allocated to catalyse and match private investments.
The $285 million has been allocated to catalyse and match private investments.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Promising start-ups will receive help to sustain innovation and entrepreneurship activities and gain access to credit, with new financing support set aside in the fourth round of Budget measures.

A total of $285 million has been allocated to catalyse and match private investments, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Tuesday (May 26).

This will help bridge the financing gap they face amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which could result in the loss of good jobs and good companies if left unaddressed, said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.

"It is important to preserve what has been built up in our innovation ecosystem so painstakingly over the years," he said.

Earlier this year, some $300 million had been set aside to help deep-tech start-ups under the Startup SG Equity scheme, in which the Government co-invests with qualified third-party investors in eligible start-ups. Artificial intelligence and alternative proteins are some examples of deep technologies.

Mr Heng also highlighted that loan schemes introduced in earlier rounds of the Budget, such as the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, have catalysed around $4.5 billion of loans so far and benefited some 5,000 businesses.

This amounts to more than three times the loans catalysed in the whole of 2019, he noted.

On top of these loan schemes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, along with banks, finance companies and insurers, have also introduced relief measures which help individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises to service their loans and pay for insurance coverage, Mr Heng said.