The Singapore government has set aside an additional S$100 million (US$74 million) for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament today during his annual budget speech. The fund, dubbed SME Co-Investment Fund III, will be co-invested into startups alongside venture capital firms and private-sector investors.

Here are more SME- and technology-related announcements:

  • Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that helps local enterprises, will launch a new program called Scale-up SG. It is designed to help startups scale by linking them up with private- and public-sector partners.
  • The government will pilot an Innovation Agents program, which will help companies tap experts who can advise on innovating and commercializing technology.
  • The government will extend its SME Working Capital Loan scheme for two more years to March 2021. The program offers S$300,000 (US$222,000) in unsecured loans to SMEs. The government will bear 70 percent of loan default risks, up from 50 percent.
  • New Centers of Innovation (COI) for aquaculture and energy sectors. Each COI is set up in partnership with polytechnics and research institutes. They provide support for companies looking to deploy specific technologies, supplying anything from laboratory facilities to consultancy and training courses.
  • New Professional Conversion Programs for professionals looking to make a career move into blockchain, embedded software, and pre-fabrication.