July 28, 2015 | Sharon Cheong
Doing business in Singapore can offer so much more than in other countries. Singapore has long been known as a global financial center and many large and small companies have made it big here. The country's pro-business policies coupled with its strategic location make it a real contender for successful entrepreneurship. Many people all over the world dream of coming to Singapore to set up and run a profitable startup business. The first obstacle to overcome is the financing. Though some businesses do require more money to begin operations, any type of company will need some cash.
Friends & Family
Numerous successful business owners have started out by getting personal loans from friends and family members. One well known entrepreneur who started this way is Sir Richard Branson. His company, the Virgin Group, is made up of about 400 businesses. He started out at age 16 with a magazine that was largely funded by his father. Though this financing scheme won't work for everyone, it can be beneficial in many ways. Once Branson's father was vested in the magazine, he worked as somewhat of a mentor for his son.
Raising funds from investors can be challenging, especially if you are new to the business. If you have some type of valuable collateral to put up, this can be much more lucrative. To convince private investors, it will be necessary to have a great idea, plenty of experience and a good business plan. It may take some work, but don't give up after the first couple of negative responses. Instead, continue to tweak your presentation unless it's spot on.
The government of Singapore has a good record of developing schemes to increase entrepreneurial activity. Each of them has a bit of a different slant. One is aimed more at technology startups. It's called the ACE program and it is administered by SPRING Singapore. This program will match up to $50,000 of funding that you've been able to raise on your own. If you have an exciting new concept in the field of technology, you might be able to get a substantial amount of money through this program.
The NRF (National Research Foundation) is another unique program that will loan up to S$500,000 of matching funds from other investors for creative tech ideas. The program has numerous requirements so be sure to get all paperwork and documents prepared correctly before applying. If you don't have good skills in this area, hire a local consultant to help you put together a package that will impress the NRF agency personnel.
Tips for Success
Many banks in Singapore will loan money to business owners if their concept is solid enough. Of course, this depends on the type of business it is, the size, the credit worthiness of the principles and other factors. Often, small business owners try a couple of places and then get discouraged, but if you continue to search for financing, you can find it. Stay focused and work hard.
Professional Office Space
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