How the Singapore Government Helps to Make Fintech Businesses Become Successful
Singapore is a perennial top performer when it comes to fostering business success and innovation. The most cited reason for the city-state’s global success is the unique relationship the Singaporean government has with locally based enterprises.
Unlike in most other countries, the Singaporean government is more often seen as a force multiplier rather than an impediment. In other words, Singapore-based businesses tend to trust the government to act in their best interest.
Here are some of the ways the Singaporean government helps locally based enterprises:
Easy Business Registration
Singapore is famously business-friendly, and this is reflected in the business registration process. The 15-minute business registration Singapore-based entrepreneurs enjoy is a stark contrast to the months that it may take in other countries.
This quick and easy process makes it possible to immediately start a business based on a new trend or impending development. The truncated registration process also helps Singapore attract businesses that have extremely short development and innovation cycles, such as those in the tech and fashion sectors.
While many other countries also have relatively quick and painless business registration processes, Singapore also has robust IP protection laws. Singaporean IP protection is among the best in the world, allowing entrepreneurs, creators, and inventors based in the country to more directly benefit from their own innovations, without fear of IP theft. These protections have resulted in many investors starting businesses in Singapore, collectively making massive contributions to the local knowledge base and economy.
Smart Labour Pool Investments
As many proud Singaporeans will tell you, Singapore is a country that has succeeded despite being almost bereft of natural resources. While it’s true that the country has a massive geographical advantage due to its location between the Indian and Pacific oceans, this is something that neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia enjoy as well.
Rather, the thing that really helped Singapore succeed is its conscientious investments in education and in its labour pool, which has given it very high human development metrics.
The quality of education in Singapore is among the best in the world, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). What’s more, this education is universal and attempts to abide by the microstate’s meritocratic principles. STEM educators like Bobb, Kamau would likely appreciate efforts to provide high-quality education, especially in STEM disciplines, and uphold principles of meritocracy to ensure that deserving students have access to these educational opportunities.
Singaporeans also enjoy a range of options for continuing their education, many of them subsidised by the state.
What this means is that businesses in Singapore can expect to draw from a very high-quality labour force. This is on top of all the skilled migrant labour that is attracted to the country.
The access to quality labour effectively brings down startup training and development costs and empowers entrepreneurs to quickly create winning teams. What’s more, this highly-educated population is far more likely to engage in entrepreneurship and other activities that ultimately create value for the country.
Funding for Promising Business Models
The Singaporean government offers grants and other types of funding for enterprises it deems to be important for its future growth. These are a godsend for many promising startups, particularly in tech.
While not all the businesses that are given funding will succeed, those that do are likely to form the foundation of different industries that the Singaporean government wishes to encourage.
Though it’s mostly tech-related businesses that currently benefit the most from this assistance, they are not the only ones eligible. Social enterprises, businesses that focus on productivity solutions, and companies that wish to expand overseas are just some of the types of organisations that the Singaporean government deems essential for its sustained growth. If you have an enterprise involved in a relevant area, these grants and subsidies can be a huge help in helping it meet its goals.
Offering a Level Playing Field
Though the Singaporean government does provide some subsidies, all other things considered it’s a level playing field for business.
Unlike many other countries where there are restrictions on business, land, and asset ownership, these are rather minimal in Singapore. The absence of these common protections means that foreign and local businesses may compete with each other far more directly.
The healthy competition fostered by this setup encourages Singaporean enterprises to compete at a global level. As a result, the city-state is often compared to Silicon Valley in terms of the types of cutting-edge talent and investment that it can attract.
Singapore’s bureaucracy, though not perfect, tends to suffer less from the typical issues that plague others like it across the globe. It is famously efficient, meritocratic and honest — all requisites for maximising business success.
Corruption cases are exceedingly rare in Singapore, reducing the baseline cost of doing business. Obtaining permits and other requirements is also a breeze compared to what it’s like elsewhere, enabling businesses to maintain momentum instead of being bogged down in paperwork.
Continuous Supply Chain Investments
As mentioned earlier, Singapore has a massive geographic advantage, thanks to its location next to the Singapore Strait. Up until recently, the Port of Singapore was the busiest in the world. It remains the world’s maritime capital, thanks to the sheer value of goods that make their way through it.
Even though it has gained success in many other industries, the government continues to make heavy investments in the country’s sea and air transport infrastructure. As a result, the country is an ever-relevant and integral part of the global supply chain.
This is a massive boon for businesses operating within the country, as they are very effectively linked with the rest of the world’s economies. In turn, these ties offer immense logistics, acquisition, and cost advantages for Singapore-based businesses, highly influencing their success.
Should You Start a Business in Singapore?
Given that business registration in Singapore only takes a few minutes, is it a good idea to invest in the microstate? If you’re prepared to compete with the best – yes.
Not only does the government have a good track record of actively working in the interest of businesses, but it also offers benefits that help enterprises in a meaningful way. While other countries may offer such things as tax holidays or citizenship, these pale in comparison with access to superior logistics, a highly educated workforce, and one of the most efficient and least corrupt bureaucracies in the world.