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Emerging Enterprise Award 2015 To Honour Outstanding Emerging Businesses for Excellence in Innovation and Business Practices

- Up to 3 Winners will stand to benefit from the S$1.47 million prize package 

Singapore, 20 April 2015 – Emerging Enterprise Award 2015 (EE 2015), Singapore’s only entrepreneurial award that reaches out to businesses with annual sales turnover of less than S$15 million per annum, opens for nomination.

Jointly organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) financial daily, The Business Times, and OCBC Bank, the annual Emerging Enterprise Award was launched in 2008 to recognise promising emerging enterprises that are outstanding in their respective fields, and to provide these deserving businesses with the needed tools and resources to build on their capabilities for further growth. The Award is supported by MasterCard, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, INSEAD, SPRING Singapore, Singtel and the official auditor, RSM Chio Lim LLP. 

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are key pillars in Singapore’s economy. There are about 187,000 SMEs* in Singapore which makes up about 99% of the total enterprise population in Singapore and contribute to nearly half of the nation’s GDP. SMEs in Singapore also play a significant role in the creation of jobs for Singaporeans as they employ 70% of the nation’s workforce. With Singapore’s economic success closely tied to the continued vibrancy of the SME sector, it is important that our SMEs continue to raise the bar for business excellence. 

(* SMEs, as defined by SPRING, refer to enterprises with annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million or employing no more than 200 staff) 

In keeping with the Government’s focus to provide extensive support to help our SMEs raise their productivity through innovation and internationalisation, EE 2015 offers an enhanced prize package which seeks to empower our winners with the critical resources to achieve significant breakthroughs in their growth journey. This year, the prize package includes an S$200,000 interest-free business overdraft facility that the winners can tap on to scale up their business capabilities. It will replace the S$150,000 Mentorship Consulting prize. 

With this enhancement, the prizes for the three winners amount to S$1.47 million compared to S$1.32 million from the previous year. Up to three winners stand a chance to win the coveted Emerging Enterprise Winner title and S$490,000 each in prizes, comprising professional and consultancy services, executive educational programmes and support in capability development offered by the respective EE 2015 partners:
  • S$200,000 two-year interest-free business overdraft facility per winner
  • S$20,000 credit in the OCBC Business Debit Card and a MasterCard Priceless Travel Experience Package worth S$30,000, totalling S$50,000 per winner
  • Strategic Brand & Product Development Research Package from Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants worth $30,000 per winner 
  • Open Enrolment Programme package from INSEAD worth S$30,000 per winner
  • Capability Development Grant from SPRING Singapore
  • Consulting Package for Growing Businesses from RSM Chio Lim LLP worth S$30,000 per winner 

This year, EE 2015 will continue its tradition of honouring excellence in innovation and according recognition to promising startups through its Best Innovation Award and Most Promising Startup Categories. 

Singtel and OCBC Bank will present up to two winners with the Best Innovation Award. Each winner will receive up to S$30,000 worth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) business solutions package from Singtel and a two-year interest-free Business Overdraft facility worth S$50,000 from OCBC Bank. 

One young company below three years old and with turnover of not more than S$1 million per annum stands to walk away with the Most Promising Startup Title and trophy. Introduced last year, this award celebrates and honours the achievements of this group of promising but under-recognised businesses.
Emerging enterprises that meet the qualifying criteria have until 9 June 2015 to register for the award and submit their business plans. For more information on EE 2015, please visit

Quotes by EE 2015 Award Organisers and Partners

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: "The standards of the Emerging Enterprise Award finalists over the past seven years continue to exceed our expectations. We have been pleased with the response and how SMEs are recognising the value and prestige of participating in the Award.  BT’s expanded editorial coverage on SME issues reflects our strong belief in the sector's vital role as a key driver of Singapore’s economic growth.  As co-presenter and media partner, we will continue to champion the SMEs’ success stories and showcase their achievements."

With a long tradition of supporting the homegrown enterprises, OCBC Bank is one of the first banks to focus on serving the needs of the emerging businesses. The Bank is proud to return as the co-organiser of EE 2015 for the eighth year running.

Mr Eric Ong, Head of Emerging Business, OCBC Bank, said: “The Emerging Enterprise Award is more than just recognising the winners in the emerging business community. Beyond opening doors for our winners in terms of new business partners, overseas markets and potential equity sponsors through the visibility that they will enjoy from winning this award, our prize package is designed to provide them with the needed know-how to propel their businesses to greater heights so that they can further build their businesses into global names.

“Today, one-in-three past winners have successfully leveraged this powerful platform to reach the $10million turnover mark within a year of receiving this stamp of business excellence, while more than 40% of them have since gone on to establish a presence overseas. By raising the quantum of our prize package and providing the winners with an overdraft facility which they can tap on to grow their business, we hope to create more success stories that would encourage others to take the leap of faith and contribute to the building of a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial eco-system in Singapore.”

Ms Deborah Heng, General Manager, Singapore, MasterCard, said: “The challenge for SMEs today lies in identifying areas to drive efficiency to contain rising operating costs. MasterCard’s Commercial Payment Solutions aim to help businesses innovate their payment processes to increase purchasing flexibility yet retaining control for business owners, enabling these businesses to grow with confidence."

Mr Danny Lai, Country Business Manager, Singapore, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: "Acorn is pleased and proud to be a partner of the Emerging Enterprise Award.  Seeing how the EE awards have helped past winners take off affirms how this program can help SMEs move to the next level through the right kind of support . We are happy that the awards have expanded to recognize successful and highly potential start-ups as well. Being an SME ourselves we understand some of the key challenges that SMEs face in the pursuit of growth and excellence.  We are honoured that we able to continue our support to SMEs by providing custom-built solutions that can help in their strategic development in uncovering market opportunities."

Ms Mary Kwan, Regional Director Asia Pacific, Executive Education, INSEAD, said: “Singapore’s government this year reaffirmed its commitment to education with budget initiatives such as the SkillsFuture Credit, SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme and enhanced subsidies for mid-career Singaporeans. These increased learning opportunities ultimately come back to benefit the leadership and talent pool of Singapore’s SMEs – the true drivers of any economy. This thriving education context is further endorsement of INSEAD Executive Education’s decision to strengthen our commitment to Singapore with a new Leadership Development Centre and, as an education partner to the Emerging Enterprise 2015 Award, we are proud to be investing in Singapore’s SMEs by sponsoring an open enrolment programme prize for the three winning companies. We hope to share with them our expertise and insight into the fundamental principles and challenges of growing a new business, and in doing so intend to help transform Singapore’s promising local SMEs into globally-competitive, 21st century organisations.” 

Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive (Capabilities & Partnership), SPRING Singapore, said: "To stay relevant and seek continuous growth in today’s rapidly evolving business environment can be a tall order. SMEs need to be nimble, innovate and be effective enterprises in order to stay ahead. Whether through product or process innovation, developing new capabilities or attracting new talent, SPRING Singapore as the champion of local enterprise development is committed in helping SMEs take their business to the next level.  Through the Emerging Enterprise Award, we hope not just to celebrate the achievements of these forward thinking enterprises, but also identify and nurture future role models for SMEs in Singapore to emulate.”

Mr Titus Yong, Vice President, Business Sales, Singtel Group Enterprise, said: “Infocomm technology has become an indispensable factor which helps SMEs thrive in today’s competitive business environment. Singtel is committed to helping homegrown SMEs to use and benefit from our suite of infocomm technology, mobility and security solutions. Our solutions empower SMEs to operate more productively, efficiently and securely so that they can innovate, grow and expand into the region.”

Mr Kaka Singh, Chairman, RSM Chio Lim LLP, said: "The escalating costs of doing business, manpower constraints and growing competition that local SMEs face compel them to constantly rethink their business strategies and models in order to remain profitable and compete effectively. Accustomed to change, more SMEs have developed a positive attitude towards having to regularly refine business processes and explore new technologies that allow them to reach out to new markets. RSM Chio Lim, now in our eighth year as the official auditor, is honoured to be part of this path to bolster entrepreneurship and to help SMEs champion the Singapore brand internationally.”

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd 
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

Yeo Siew Chi (Mr) 
Corporate Communications & CSR Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
DID: 6319 1586

Carrie Soh (Ms) 
Vice President
Group Corporate Communications

DID: 6530 4713

About The Business Times 

The Business Times, a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, is South-east Asia's leading financial daily. BT brings to its readers daily corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary on print and digital platforms. It provides readers with in-depth coverage of Singapore and Asian business and economic developments, as well as global trends that impact Singapore business. BT's lifestyle journalists bring busy executives the latest in recreation, entertainment, the arts, design, food and shopping. 

For more information, please visit

Twitter: @BTbreakingnews

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. Recognised for its financial strength and stability, OCBC Bank is consistently ranked among the world’s strongest and safest banks by leading market research firms and publications.

OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management 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 over 630 branches and representative offices in 18 countries and territories. These include the more than 330 branches and offices in Indonesia operated by subsidiary Bank OCBC NISP, and 95 branches and offices in Hong Kong, China and Macau under OCBC Wing Hang.

OCBC Bank’s private banking services are provided by subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which has received increasing industry recognition as Asia’s Global Private Bank, and was voted “Outstanding Private Bank in Southeast Asia in 2014” by Private Banker International.  

OCBC Bank's insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the oldest and most established life insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia. Its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest private sector asset management companies in Southeast Asia. 

For more information, please visit