The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant in Singapore, administered by IE Singapore, offers vital support to Singaporean businesses looking to expand internationally.
To qualify, companies must have their headquarters in Singapore and an annual turnover below S$100 million. The MRA Grant Singapore covers up to 70 percent of third-party costs incurred during overseas market activities, with a cap of S$20,000 per fiscal year.
Eligible activities include market assessments, business matching, and overseas marketing. The application process involves requesting cost quotations, applying through the Business Grants Portal, receiving a letter of offer, and submitting a claim.
The MRA Grant embodies Singapore’s commitment to nurturing local enterprises and fostering international success.
The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant in Singapore
In the vibrant heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore stands tall as a hub of innovation and commerce. The city-state’s government has long championed the cause of local businesses, and with the advent of the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant in 2015, they took another bold step to bolster Singaporean enterprises on the global stage.
The International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), a government agency, is at the helm of this initiative, offering invaluable support to Singapore-incorporated companies with dreams of expanding their horizons internationally.
In this article, we delve into the MRA Grant, uncovering its eligibility requirements, the benefits it bestows, and the diverse range of activities it supports.
Embarking on the MRA Journey
So, what exactly is the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant?
In essence, the MRA grant is a lifeline for local companies in Singapore seeking to grow their global footprint. This grant program, under the auspices of IE Singapore, extends a helping hand in the form of government funding to businesses that incur expenses related to specific activities when venturing into foreign markets.
Qualifying for the MRA Grant Singapore
As with any grant program, there are eligibility criteria that companies must meet to avail themselves of the MRA Grant’s benefits. Here’s what you need to qualify:
- Singapore Headquarters: Your company must have its global headquarters based in Singapore. This demonstrates your commitment to the local economy and positions you as an ambassador of Singaporean excellence on the global stage.
- Annual Turnover: Your company’s annual turnover should not exceed S$100 million, according to the latest audit report. This criterion ensures that smaller to medium-sized enterprises can access the support they need to make their global dreams a reality.
The Power of the MRA Grant
So, why should your company be eager to embrace the MRA Grant? The benefits are indeed compelling.
When you are eligible for the MRA Grant, you gain access to funding that covers a substantial portion of the third-party costs incurred during qualifying activities for your overseas ventures. In fact, the grant provides up to 70 percent of these costs, with a cap set at S$20,000 per company per fiscal year.
It is important to keep a few key points in mind regarding the MRA Grant:
- Biannual Applications: Companies can submit applications for the MRA Grant twice every fiscal year, which runs from April 1st to March 31st.
- Qualifying Activities: The MRA Grant supports a wide range of activities that are crucial for expanding into foreign markets. These include:
- Overseas Market Set-Up: This encompasses market assessment, market research, market feasibility studies, legal and tax advisory services, and more. It also covers activities related to market entry, such as name searches, Intellectual Property (IP) searches, and obtaining import-export licenses.
- Overseas Business Partners: If you are looking to establish partnerships, the MRA Grant can assist with business matching activities, including identifying potential business partners, joint venture collaborators, agents, and distributors.
- Overseas Market Promotion: To boost your presence in international markets, the MRA Grant offers support for overseas marketing and PR activities, online marketing initiatives like SEO optimization and online campaigns, and even participation in overseas trade fairs, covering expenses such as space rental and booth design.
Crunching the Numbers: An MRA Grant Example
To illustrate the financial impact of the MRA Grant, let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Say your company incurs $12,000 in expenses for overseas market set-up.
According to the MRA Grant, you would be eligible for funding support of $8,400 (70% of $12,000). This means your company would only need to cover $3,600 of the expenses from its own pocket, with the grant picking up the rest.
MRA Grant Application Process
Getting started with the MRA Grant is a structured process, and IE Singapore outlines the following steps:
- Request for Cost Quotation: Begin by reaching out to the third-party professionals or experts whom you intend to engage for your qualifying activities. Request a quotation from them to kickstart the process.
- Apply Through Business Grants Portal: The official route to apply for the MRA Grant is through the Business Grants Portal. Alternatively, you can seek the assistance of a corporate service provider, who can streamline the application process for you.
- Letter of Offer: Once your application is in, patiently await the letter of offer from IE Singapore. This letter signifies the official support you’ll receive for your overseas expansion endeavors.
- Submit the Claim: With the letter of offer in hand, you can now proceed with your qualifying activities. You have a window of 6 months to complete the project and submit your claim for disbursement to IE Singapore.
It is important to note that IE Singapore does not entertain retrospective applications. This means that your company must refrain from making any initial payments or deposits, signing legally binding agreements, or initiating any projects related to the grant before the application is officially approved.
Opening Doors to Global Expansion
Venturing into foreign markets is a formidable challenge for any business. The initial stages of setting up and funding the expenses can be daunting, both in terms of risk and cost.
This is where the Singaporean government steps in to offer support to local companies through the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant. If you are a Singapore-based company with dreams of expanding your reach overseas, the MRA Grant, administered by IE Singapore, could be your ideal ally.
Once you’ve identified a potential market for your business, consider enlisting the services of a corporate service provider who can guide you through the step-by-step application process for the MRA Grant and help you explore other tax incentives that may apply to your company.
Charting a Global Path
In a rapidly changing global landscape, the MRA Grant emerges as a beacon of opportunity for Singaporean businesses. By meeting the eligibility criteria, you can unlock a world of support, from market assessments to business partnerships and promotional activities, all while enjoying substantial financial backing.
With the MRA Grant at your side, your company can navigate the complexities of international expansion with confidence.
Singapore’s Commitment to Growth
Singapore’s dedication to fostering economic growth and nurturing its local businesses is evident in initiatives like the MRA Grant. As the global marketplace continues to evolve, Singapore remains a dynamic player, supporting its enterprises as they strive for success beyond its borders.
The MRA Grant embodies this spirit of growth, inviting companies to explore new frontiers, expand their influence, and create a brighter future for themselves and the nation.
In conclusion, the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant is not just a financial incentive; it is a gateway for Singaporean companies to explore global opportunities with confidence.
By meeting the eligibility criteria and engaging in qualifying activities, businesses can harness the power of government support to expand internationally. Engage with experts to know if you qualify and other steps to be taken to secure your MRA Grant.
The MRA Grant’s financial backing, coupled with its comprehensive guidelines, offers a strategic advantage to those with the ambition to thrive on the global stage. Singapore’s commitment to its local enterprises shines through in initiatives like these, reinforcing the nation’s role as a nurturing environment for innovation, growth, and international success.
With the MRA Grant, the world becomes a playground for Singaporean businesses, poised for remarkable journeys and achievements.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, an SEO Specialist helping online businesses grow through content creation and proven SEO strategies. Proficient in WordPress CMS, Technical Site Audits, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Research, and Technical Writing (Portfolio).
Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, an online business resource for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.