- Top three Award winners stand to receive $390,000 each in prizes comprising a $150,000 interest-free loan from OCBC, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development
- Innovation Award winner will each receive $30,000 worth of business infocomm technology solutions
- Awards well-poised to nurture and boost the development of emerging SMEs
Singapore, 10 January 2012 – Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) financial daily, The Business Times, and OCBC Bank today launched the annual Emerging Enterprise 2012 Award (EE2012). This marks the fifth year of Singapore’s only annual entrepreneurial award that reaches out to businesses with annual sales turnover of up to $10 million.
EE2012 is supported by SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension and Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants. SingTel is the presenting sponsor for the Best Innovation Award and RSM Chio Lim is the official auditor for EE2012.
There are about 154,000 SMEs1 in Singapore and SMEs make up 99% of the total enterprise population in Singapore. Of these, an estimated close to 5%2 has an annual sales turnover of more than S$10 million. The remaining 95% consists of mainly small or start-up businesses that would require additional resources and wholehearted support from many quarters, including financing, business advice and technology, in order to develop to their full potential.
The comprehensive prize package offered at EE2012, which focuses on capability building, aims to provide this group of SMEs with the critical resources to further build on their capabilities to grow their businesses and scale new heights. Up to three deserving SMEs stand a chance to receive S$390,000 each in prizes comprising a $150,000 interest-free loan from OCBC, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development.
1 SMEs, as defined by SPRING, refer to enterprises with annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million or employing no more than 200 staff.
2 Estimated by SPRING
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.
As per last year, prospective applicants for EE2012 will be judged on the following criteria:
i) Vision and mission
ii) Business model and growth strategies
iii) Milestones and achievements
iv) Management capabilities
They will be required to answer six questions that will allow the judging panel to assess and evaluate the different facets of their business operations. The application process can be done online via the EE2012 website (www.asiaone.com/EE2012), in addition to the hardcopy forms. Deadline for all submissions is Friday 9 March 2012.
The judging panel will then conduct on-site visits to the top 25 applicant companies where they will meet and speak to the management and gain a better understanding of their business operations.
Following the on-site visits, 15 companies will be short-listed to make a 30-minute presentation to the judging panel. The EE2012 presentation ceremony will be held in June to honour the winners, comprising up to three top winners and the two Best Innovation Award winners.
Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: “SMEs continue to play a major role in the growth and development of the Singapore economy. In the last four years, we have witnessed the emergence of a new breed of entrepreneurs in industries from engineering, manufacturing, retail services to environmental technologies. The Business Times will continue to play our part in profiling their successes and achievements through our news coverage and analysis. We look forward to seeing new and exciting companies stepping forward for EE2012.”
OCBC Bank is the first in the industry to offer a comprehensive suite of simple, fast and convenient financial products and services to emerging businesses. Further strengthening its support to these local enterprises, OCBC has returned as the co-organiser of the Emerging Enterprise Awards for the fifth year running.
Mr Tan Chor Sen, OCBC’s Head of Emerging Business, Enterprise Banking said: “Supporting the Awards is in line with our ethos of building lasting relationships with customers, understanding their needs and supporting them in their business growth and aspirations. Having worked with and supported many emerging businesses, we understand the day-to-day struggles that these entrepreneurs face. That is why it is of particular importance to celebrate their achievements of having beaten the odds and gone on to become very successful.”
Added Mr Tan: “The Awards have, over the years, done a tremendous job of recognising outstanding businesses which despite their smaller size, have continuously raise the bar when it comes to innovation and creativity. I'm confident we will continue to draw some impressive nominations this year that will again bring out the best in business. The benefits of entering the Awards go beyond acquiring funding and business know-how; it is an excellent way to raise your business profile and I urge local entrepreneurs to come forward with your nominations.”
Mr George Lee, Head of Group Investment Banking in OCBC Bank said: “We are pleased to once again partner Business Times in building a stronger emerging business segment among the local SMEs through the Emerging Enterprise 2012 awards program. Besides the prize package that offers the winners additional resources to build their capabilities, the program gives participants the opportunity to face off against the top players in the emerging business community and strengthen themselves in the process. Hence I encourage those businesses who meet the program criteria to embark on this meaningful and worthwhile journey by stepping forth with their applications.”
EE2012 has been well-supported by like-minded partners such as 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: “To remain competitive, it is important for companies to continually develop their capabilities and move up the value chain by creating new products and markets. The current uncertain economic outlook further underscores the importance for companies to stay resilient and brave the changing dynamics of the business environment. Through the EEA 2012, SPRING will continue to work closely with our partners to support promising young companies in their business endeavours and prepare them to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.”
Mr James Tay, Director of NUS Extension, said: “In the current economic climate, in order for SMEs to stay competitive and successful, they must be committed to the continuous development of their people to keep pace with changes and challenges of the industry. NUS Extension understands that CET (Continuing Education and Training) is an integral part of a successful company and hence we are pleased to continue our support of the Emerging Enterprise 2012 by providing educational grant to the winners of this event.”
Mr Kaka Singh, Chairman and Senior Partner, RSM Chio Lim LLP, said: “It is anticipated to be another turbulent year ahead. However, trying times will bring out true champions. The challenge is even greater for emerging enterprises. It's not just about trying harder in today's climate. It will indeed be interesting to see how emerging enterprises will rise up to the challenge, and stand out with viable propositions that show they will be the ones standing tall after the storm."
Mr Danny Lai, Country Business Manager, Singapore of Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: “Given the challenges that are likely to be faced in the year ahead, we are happy to be part of EE2012 in providing our continual support to emerging enterprises. The research program we are providing is designed to help businesses find their edge in building their brand, 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: “2012 will be a challenging year ahead. It may be the right time for SMEs to leverage Information and Communications Technology such as cloud computing to reduce costs, conserve cash and exploit digital channels to drive business growth. We are pleased to present the SingTel Innovation Award. This award seeks to motivate SMEs to explore the innovative use of ICT to improve their bottom line, reach out to more customers and reduce their operating costs.”
For more information on EE2012, visit the website www.asiaone.com/EE2012.
||Appendix 1 - Introduction of Emerging Enterprise 2012 Award
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||Appendix 2 - Emerging Enterprise 2012 Award factsheet
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||Appendix 3 - Emerging Enterprise 2012 Award judging panel
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||Appendix 4 - Emerging Enterprise 2012 Award application form
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||Appendix 5 - Past winners of Emerging Enterprise 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Awards
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||Appendix 6 - Corporate profiles of Emerging Enterprise 2012 partners - SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension, RSM Chio Lim, Acorn Marketing and Research and SingTel
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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 +8 hrs) and to offer news updates throughout the day, from Mondays to Sundays.
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.
About OCBC Bank
OCBC Bank is the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912. It is now the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the world’s most highly-rated banks, with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s. It is also ranked by Bloomberg Markets as the world's strongest bank.
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 Bank’s key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has a network of over 500 branches and representative offices in 15 countries and territories, including more than 400 branches and offices in Indonesia that are 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. Its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia. Private banking services are provided by subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which has been ranked among the top three private banks in Singapore.