How to Expand Overseas: The MRA Grant

To tap onto the countless possibilities of what international markets can offer in terms of cost, revenue, technology, human resources and the like, the Singapore government launched the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant.

MRA grant was launched in 2015 to provide funding to companies who wish to internationalise and grow. The grant is a cushion for aspiring SMEs to take the challenge and the risks involved in expanding abroad.

To facilitate this, International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), a government agency, has been set up to help Singapore-incorporated companies establish a global presence.

This grant helps Singapore companies’ internationalisation efforts by funding various business development and marketing activities (qualifying activities).

 

Who is eligible for the MRA grant?

A company should meet the following criteria to receive the MRA grant:

  • The business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore.
  • New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in the country in the previous three years.
  • At least 30% of local shareholding
  • Company’s Group Annual Sales Turnover should be not more than S$100 million, OR Company’s Group Employment Size should be not more than 200 employees.
  • The applicant company should not have incurred any expenses relating to the overseas expansion project it plans to apply for a grant.
  • Each application is limited to one activity in a single overseas market.
  • A business that is ready and can successfully undertake overseas expansion.

Source: MRA

 

What are the eligible activities under the MRA grant?

Currently, up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new Market, can be claimed. Eligible activities include:

 

How to apply for the MRA grant?

IE Singapore outlines the following steps for applying for the MRA grant:

1.Pre-application:

  • Request and engage for qualifying activities from third-party professional.
  • IE Singapore will not consider any retrospective applications. Companies must submit their applications no earlier than six months of project start date. Hence the company must not make any initial payment or deposit; Sign any legally binding agreement; or commence any project before applying for the MRA grant.

2. Application procedure:

  • Apply for the grant through Business Grants Portal.
  • Receive Letter of Offer from IE Singapore
  • Submit the Claim for disbursement to IE Singapore via Business Grant Portal. All claims will be disbursed strictly on a reimbursement basis.

You can find additional details of the application process and the MRA grant on IE Singapore’s website

 

Conclusion

The government of Singapore acts as a catalyst for aspiring SMEs of Singapore. It provides sufficient funding via MRA grant to aspiring SMEs who are ready to take the challenge and the risk of venturing into an overseas market.

Once the SME/local business identify a potential market for business, it is best to seek professional help which can help them guide the step-by-step application process for the MRA grant.

Apply for MRA grant now

Frequently Asked Questions

The following list is non-exhaustive:

  • A company which is not eligible.
  • A company holding a shell business registration or having its primary business operations outside Singapore.
  • A non-profit organisation
  • A company seeking support for fundraising or increasing domestic sales.

The business plan where cost quotations for eligible activities are calculated is the most significant difficulty as they break every part down for detailed analysis.

However, application process is easy and online through the Business Grants Portal.

Due to many grant applications submitted in the first quarter of 2022, you may encounter a longer processing time than usual.

As of July 2022, ESG is experiencing high volume and will take 3-4 months to respond, sometimes up to 6 months. During this time, ESG will revert with additional questions, and your MRA consultant will liaise with the officer.

 

All claims can only be made once the cost quotation arrives and must be done within three months from the project end date.

 

 

Companies previously aided by the MRA will continue getting support, if the overseas sales have not surpassed SGD100,000.

 

 

Yes, you can send directors overseas and claim under the MRA grant. Directors must be under the company’s payroll during the project period to claim their salaries of up to S$50,000.

 

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