The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore launched Start Digital, an initiative of the SMEs Go Digital programme. Start Digital will enable new SMEs to get a head start with two foundational digital solutions – with costs waived for minimum six months – to accelerate growth and scalability.
Two other nationwide initiatives to accelerate our businesses’ digital transformation journey were also announced by Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran at an industry networking session this morning. These initiatives are:
- Nationwide E-Invoicing Network: IMDA launched the nationwide e-invoicing network, which will enable companies, including SMEs, to adopt e-invoicing to increase productivity and enjoy faster payment collection cycles.
- Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM): IMDA and the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) launched the Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM) to help organisations, including SMEs, build consumer confidence in their data protection policies and practices, thus enhancing business competitiveness.
Start Digital: A digital headstart for SMEs
New SMEs can select any two free foundational digital solutions from five categories of core business functions – i) Accounting, ii) Human Resource Management System & Payroll, iii) Digital Marketing, iv) Digital Transactions and v) Cybersecurity. These SMEs will need to commit to a minimum period of 18 months, with costs waived for the first six months and priced affordably for the remaining period.
They can approach the following participating partners to take up the Start Digital pack – DBS, Maybank, OCBC, Singtel, StarHub and UOB.
Mr Peter Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore, said,
“The Start Digital initiative arms SMEs with digital tools right at “birth” – at the point when they are just starting to shape their organisational DNA, develop operational processes, undertake staff training and make other business decisions.
Starting digital will help them start right and position well for growth, resilience and productivity. As many young SMEs take this first digital step, the impact on our enterprise landscape and economy can be great.”
Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive of IMDA, said,
“A digital-first mindset is essential for businesses that want to stay relevant and competitive in the Digital Economy. I am heartened to see the industry coming together to offer innovative digital solutions to help our businesses on their digital transformation journey.”
SMEs can continue to obtain support from other SMEs Go Digital initiatives as they grow and require more advanced digital solutions. They can also refer to the Industry Digital Plans (IDP) to assess their digital readiness and take up suitable pre-approved solutions.
Nationwide E-invoicing Network: Enhance business ecosystem productivity and efficiency
To further raise productivity and efficiency of our business ecosystem, including SMEs, a nationwide network has been officially launched to enable companies to send and receive e-invoices based on the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) standard. This allows companies to better track their invoices, reduce operating costs and improve payment collection cycles. The network is part of the Nationwide E-invoicing Framework that was announced by IMDA in May 2018.
To encourage more companies to adopt e-invoicing, grant support will be provided to build the network, educate and bring on board companies. This will enable Singapore to achieve greater economies of scale from the network.
Featured image credit: Imda.gov.sg