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Launch of Emerging Enterprise Awards 2011

Three SMEs stand to receive $390,000 each in prizes comprising an interest-free loan, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development

Singapore, 18 January 2011 – Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) financial daily, The Business Times, and OCBC Bank today launched the annual Emerging Enterprise Awards (EE2011).

In its fourth year, EE2011 is Singapore’s only annual entrepreneurial award that reaches out to businesses with sales turnover of less than $10 million per annum. It is supported by SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension and Acorn Marketing and Research. SingTel is the presenting sponsor for the Best Innovation Award and RSM Chio Lim is the official auditor for EE2011.

According to market estimates, there are around 168,000 SMEs in Singapore and they make up 99 per cent of the enterprise population in Singapore. Of these, around 5 per cent* have an annual turnover of $10 million & above. The remaining 94% are mainly small or start-up businesses which would require additional resources and support from many quarters, including financing, business advice and technology. The comprehensive prize package, which focuses on capability building, aims to provide this group of SMEs with the critical resources to further build on their capabilities to scale new heights.

(* Estimates based on manufacturing and services sectors only)

Up to three deserving SMEs stand a chance to receive S$390,000 each in prizes comprising an interest-free loan, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development. Two companies will also be honoured with The SingTel Best Innovation Award for harnessing innovation to build an original and sustainable business model. Each winner will receive $30,000 worth of business infocomm technology solutions provided by SingTel.

Following a review by the judging panel and feedback from participants over the last 3 years, EE2011 has introduced 3 major changes to the application process and judging criteria.

The first change is that applicants will now be required to answer six questions that assess and evaluate the different facets of their business operations, as opposed to a 1,500-word business plan. Secondly, the application process can also be done online via the EE2011 website (, in addition to the hardcopy forms. Thirdly, the judging panel will conduct on-site visits to the top 25 applicant companies in April 2011 to interview the management and gain a better understanding of their business operations.

Based on these on-site visits, 15 companies will be short-listed to make a 30-minute presentation to the judging panel in June. The EE2011 Awards presentation ceremony will be held in end June to announce the winners, comprising of up to three winners and two Best Innovation Award winners.

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: “The quality of the participants for the last 3 years has improved. The award winners have set exceptional standards in entrepreneurial acumen and excellence, and upped the ante for the other SMEs to emulate. We recognise the contributions of SMEs to the Singapore economy. Our dedicated editorial coverage on SMEs will continue to focus on their needs and development, as well as champion their successes.”

With a long tradition of serving homegrown enterprises, OCBC Bank believes in engaging the SME owners from day one of their business and growing with them along the way. As one of the first banks to focus on serving the needs of the emerging businesses, the Bank fully appreciates the challenges they face in growing their businesses. It is delighted to return as the co-organiser of the Emerging Enterprise Awards for the fourth year running.

Said Mr Tan Chor Sen, Head of Emerging Business, Enterprise Banking, OCBC Bank: "The Emerging Enterprise Awards have attracted a growing number of submissions since its inauguration three years ago, reflecting its significance to the smaller businesses. Past winners of the Emerging Enterprise Awards have demonstrated that being small is beautiful. They may be small, but they are big on potential. They have no lack of ideas and are unafraid to push boundaries or adopt new business models. We believe there will be no shortage of deserving winners who will continue to display the aptitude of a world-class entity.

“In creating this award, we aim to provide the needed resources and know-how to help these deserving businesses achieve sustainable growth. At the same time, we hope that the recognition that comes with the award will contribute to their brand building efforts and help generate value for their businesses in the long run."

As a show of its confidence in the potential of the winners, OCBC Bank also has the option to invest in the award recipients’ businesses and help them grow to their fullest potential.

Said Mr George Lee, Head of Group Investment Banking in OCBC Bank: "Since 2008, the Emerging Enterprise awards programme has become a leading platform that gives recognition and inspiration to SMEs that have taken unique approaches to overcome challenges, and build on their achievements. I believe that there is still a number of worthy companies waiting to be recognised and rewarded. I look forward to once again, meet with and honour the business talent that will come to the forefront through this year’s awards programme."

Other than the organisers, The Emerging Enterprise Awards is made possible with support from like-minded partners, including SPRING Singapore, RSM Chio Lim, NUS Extension, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants and SingTel. Here are what our partners have to say:

Ms Chew Mok Lee, Group Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation of SPRING Singapore, said: “The Emerging Enterprise Award is a useful platform for young and growing companies to take stock of their performance and measure themselves against others in their entrepreneurship journey. SPRING supports the EEA as the Awards is a key milestone in our thrust to develop globally competitive companies. We have seen how past winners have built on this platform to achieve success in their business. We hope they will continue to strengthen their capabilities and that more enterprises will participate this year and use this opportunity to further their potential.”

Mr James Tay, Director of NUS Extension, said: “NUS Extension will guide the Emerging Enterprise 2011 winners with best practices and insights on creativity and innovation necessary for any forward-thinking SMEs to stay relevant. In current business markets, personalising through Innovation becomes more important than ever, in order to stand out in an ever-crowded market.”

Mr Lim Lee Meng, Senior Partner, RSM Chio Lim LLP, said: “The Emerging Enterprise Award has been evolving through the years to better cater to the needs of emerging enterprises. This year, RSM Chio Lim has also modified our “Planning for Growth’ consulting package. Winners may choose from 3 modules – ‘Effective Management’, ‘Fund Raising Plan’ or ‘IPO Plan’ – depending on their stage of growth and needs. Such frameworks will provide some horsepower to direct the development and growth of the winners.”

Mr Danny Lai, Country Business Manager, Singapore of Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: “Having started out as a small local player, we understand the challenges and aspirations of being an emerging business. As such, we support and recognise the great potential which small businesses hold. The foundational research program we are providing as part of this Award seeks to help businesses recognise the value and potential of building their brands, products and services from an ongoing and active understanding of their current and prospective customers."

Mr Dumas Chin, Vice President, Business Sales of SingTel, said: “With the current economic state of recovery and a strong growth forecast, 2011 looks set to be a year of increased activity for SMEs. And if equipped with the right info-communications technology, they would be able to take their business to even greater heights."

This year, SingTel is pleased to present 2 Best Innovation Awards to recognise SMEs in their quest for innovation, be it in the form of streamlining processes or adopting ICT solutions to increase productivity and reduce costs. We recognise the importance of innovation in operating in today’s competitive landscape, and hope these awards will bring out the best in the SME community.”


819KB Emerging Enterprise 2011 – An introduction
please click here
64KB Emerging Enterprise 2011 fact sheet
please click here
31KB Emerging Enterprise 2011 judging panel
please click here
1,500KB Emerging Enterprise 2011 application form
please click here
90KB Corporate profiles of SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension, RSM Chio Lim, Acorn Marketing and Research and SingTel
please click here
32KB Past winners of Emerging Enterprise 2008, 2009 and 2010
please click here

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About The Business Times

The Business Times (BT), published by Singapore Press Holdings, is South-east Asia's leading business daily. It is Singapore’s only financial daily and provides a complete guide on the local, regional and international business scene.

BT brings to its readers each day a comprehensive and concise package of corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary. BT also carries features and the latest lifestyle trends in food, entertainment, shopping, arts, health, travel and design.

In June 1995, BT became the first English-language newspaper in Asia to go on the World Wide Web. Since January 2000, BT Online started to be available from 4am Singapore time (GMT +0800) and to offer news updates throughout the day.
Redesigned in September 2004 to engage a new generation of readers, a refreshing blue masthead, bigger fonts and friendlier layout were introduced. The content has been expanded to reflect a complete read, packing in loads of new features, such as specialty pages, a daily take on the health of the Singapore economy and dedicated regional pages.

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About OCBC Bank

OCBC Bank, established in 1912, is the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets. It is among the world's highest rated banks, with a long term credit rating of Aa1 from Moody's. OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of specialist financial services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.

OCBC Banks key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has a network of 530 branches and representative offices in 15 countries and territories, including 411 branches and offices in Indonesia operated by its subsidiary, Bank OCBC NISP.

OCBC Bank's insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the largest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia by assets, and its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia.

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