Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have been hailed as the driving force behind the island nation’s economy. The government there has pointed out that SMEs make up 99 percent of all enterprises in the country and employ as many as 65 percent of Singapore’s workforce.
However, despite the fact that about 219,000 of them contribute as much as US$142.3 billion in gross value added to the economy, SME’s still face tough challenges.
Aside from tough competition from larger corporations and rising costs due to wages growing faster than inflation in Singapore, limited access to financing is also an obstacle for many SMEs in the country.
A study late last year concluded that about four out of five Singaporean SMEs do not qualify for business financing. The CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey found that over the past four years, Singapore’s SMEs have had difficulty obtaining financing.
In 2017, only 18 percent of SMEs reported finding it “easy” to obtain financing. This figure is the lowest since 2014 when 30.9 percent found it easy to obtain financing. In 2015, 34.1 percent found it easy while that number dropped in 2016 to just 24.5 percent.
However, with advancements in technology, it seems that SME’s do have an avenue to address finance-related issues by improving efficiency through the use of modern-day tools. Oracle Asia Pacific senior vice president François Lançon suggests that SMEs take advantage of cloud tools in particular. – THE ASEAN POST