Over 78,000 firms on board SMEs Go Digital programme

The national SMEs Go Digital programme, which encourages firms here to digitalise, has attracted over 78,000 small and medium-sized enterprises since its 2017 launch, with more than half, or 40,000, coming on board last year alone.

The latter figure includes 30,000 SMEs that took up solutions such as online collaboration and virtual meeting tools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Singapore had about 280,000 SMEs as at the end of last year, according to government data.

SMEs accounted for 70 per cent of employment and represented 99 per cent of all enterprises last year.

The digitalisation update was given by Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo yesterday at the online closing ceremony of the SME Conference and Infocomm Commerce Conference, an event organised by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mrs Teo said the pandemic has given companies here the impetus and opportunity to embrace digitalisation. "As more and more activities shift online, businesses have had to pivot from bricks-and-mortar shops to digital platforms, to adapt to the new normal."

The Government is committed to helping companies at every stage of their digital journeys, said the minister, adding that this was why it launched the Start Digital initiative in 2019.

The initiative provides newly incorporated SMEs and those that have yet to digitalise with foundational and easy-to-deploy solutions at low cost.

Mrs Teo said that about four in 10 SMEs that received funding support through the scheme are new start-ups.

Kenny Chee

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2021, with the headline Over 78,000 firms on board SMEs Go Digital programme. Subscribe