SGTech sets up STAR Fund to support tech SMEs as they drive digital transformation in Singapore
SINGAPORE – 14 September, 2020: Technology association SGTech has introduced a SME ‘Stronger Together, Aiding Recovery’ (STAR) fund aimed at helping tech SMEs in Singapore support the digital transformation of other SMEs. Supported by Facebook and Enterprise Singapore, the STAR Fund will assist SGTech members in training and reskilling their workforce, in order to harness new digital capabilities and/or deepen current skills; or to grow their business.
The STAR Fund will start with S$660,000. This comprises the amount pledged to SGTech by its member Facebook, and Enterprise Singapore’s (ESG) SG Together Enhancing Enterprise Resilience (STEER) programme , which supports funds set up by industry players with the aim of helping businesses emerge stronger amid COVID-19 challenges. Under the STAR Fund, SGTech will help strengthen the capabilities of SGTech members and support the digital transformation of other SMEs in Singapore. Eligible SGTech members can apply for the fund and about 2,000 SMEs are expected to benefit from this programme.
The name ‘Stronger Together, Aiding Recovery’, ‘Stronger Together’ reflects the support among members to build strength and resiliency within the SGTech community; ‘Aiding Recovery’ illustrates the intended result of the initiative, to help the broader business community leverage technology to transform and thrive in the post-COVID economy.
“While the onset of COVID-19 has proven to be highly disruptive to businesses, it has brought to the fore opportunities for companies to leverage on technology to insulate against some of the consequences of such a shock,” said Mr Wong Wai Meng, SGTech Chairman. “Singapore companies should continue to invest in technology to be better-positioned to take on new opportunities in the post-COVID-19 world.”
“SMEs are the backbone of the Singapore economy. We hope our collaboration with SGTech on the STAR Fund will help SMEs build resilience through digital transformation and upskilling,” said Mr Gavin Chua, Head of Infrastructure Engagement in Asia for Facebook.
Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, said “We are happy to support the set-up of SGTech STAR Fund through ESG’s STEER programme, as it provides an additional resource for ICT businesses in this challenging business climate. This is a good example of how industry players, such as trade associations and chambers, can quickly step up to partner the government to continue to drive industry initiatives amidst COVID-19 that will uplift fellow businesses who are affected and prepare them for the economic recovery ahead.”
Mr Wong said that with a membership close to 1,000 companies, SGTech is in a strong position to support member companies who need help, while augmenting existing government efforts to get more businesses to digitalise.
“SGTech sees itself as a strategic partner to the Government, in helping businesses tide over the challenges arising from COVID-19 and to drive transformation efforts in preparation for the eventual economic recovery. Through the STAR Fund, we want to support our members to better help other businesses transform,” added Mr Wong.
SGTech will undertake ownership in the organising, administering, assessing, disbursing and reporting of activities associated with the disbursement of the STAR Fund. In assessing applications, SGTech will appoint a panel of assessors consisting of Councillors and Chapter Executive Committee Members who are representatives of member companies, who will determine the eligibility of applications.
Companies interested to apply may find more details of the STAR Fund at www.sgtech.org.sg/starfund.
1 Under the STEER programme, ESG will match $1 for every $2 raised by SGTech.
SGTech is the premier association for the tech industry in Singapore. Within a rapidly evolving technology landscape, SGTech strives to create an ecosystem that anticipates trends and develops sustainable initiatives to strengthen the community and help the industry grow.
SGTech’s close to 1,000 members range from innovative start-ups, vibrant small and medium-sized enterprises to top multinational corporations that leverage technology as a core driver of their business.
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