Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) from 2016 to date, what have been the most in-demand services at SME Centres; (b) what is the median duration that SME Centres spend engaging each SME client; (c) what are the key metrics that SME Centres use to measure their success in transforming the SME clients they advised; and (d) to what extent have these metrics been tracked.
Mr Gan Kim Yong: The duration of SME Centres’ engagement with their clients varies, depending on the nature and complexity of the assistance rendered. Most companies engage SME Centres for business advisory services, including on capability and business development, Government assistance, as well as Safe Management Measures during the pandemic. On average, SME Centres conduct about 20,000 business advisory sessions annually.
SME Centres also work with relevant industry players to organise capability-building workshops on key areas such as productivity improvement, digitalisation, innovation and internationalisation. SME Centres conduct an average of 190 workshops, reaching out to more than 6,000 SMEs, annually.
The indicators used to measure success depends on the types of assistance rendered. Simple consultations are tracked on an output basis, such as the number of SMEs that participated in capability workshops, whereas some cases involving more in-depth consultation and facilitation are tracked based on the project-specific outcomes. For example, Asyura Paste, previously a home-based business, approached SME Centre@SMCCI (Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in 2018 for advice on internationalisation and productivity improvement. Given the focus areas of the project, outcome indicators such as sales volumes, sales channels and international presence are tracked. With guidance from the Business Advisors, Asyura Paste had significantly improved both its sales volume and channels. It had also built up a presence in China.
I encourage SMEs to leverage the comprehensive suite of assistance schemes available, including SME Centres, to kickstart their growth and transformation.
Ministry of Trade and Industry
3 October 2022