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More than $1.4 million worth of prizes at stake for three winning SMEs at the Emerging Enterprise 2013 Award

·    Up to three Award winners stand to receive $440,000 each in prizes comprising a

$150,000 interest-free loan from OCBC Bank, $50,000 worth of prizes from MasterCard, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development

·    Up to two Best Innovation Award winners will each receive $45,000 worth of business infocomm technology solutions, 50% more than last year

·    New partner MasterCard to offer $50,000 worth of prizes



Singapore, 12 March 2013 Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) financial daily, The

Business Times, and OCBC Bank today launched the annual Emerging Enterprise 2013

Award (EE2013). More than 200 SME owners attended the launch and award briefing held at the SPH News Centre Auditorium this morning to learn more about EE2013.


Into its sixth year, EE2013 is Singapore’s only annual entrepreneurial award opened to businesses with annual sales turnover of up to $15 million. This year marks two milestones in the Award’s history.


MasterCard is the Award’s latest partner, offering $50,000 worth of prizes - $20,000 credit in OCBC Business Debit Card and a MasterCard Priceless package which includes a range of Priceless experiences worth $30,000. In addition, partner SingTel – the presenting sponsor of the Best Innovation Award” since 2010 - has upped its Information and Communication Technology prize to $45,000 from $30,000, for up to two winners, to honour SMEs that harness innovation to build an original and sustainable business model.


Besides MasterCard and SingTel, EE2013 is supported by SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension and Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants. RSM Chio Lim is the official auditor for EE2013.


The improved prize package offered for EE2013 is aimed at equipping the winning SMEs with the tools and resources for capability building. It will also provide them with the critical resources to further build on their capabilities to grow their businesses.


Up to three deserving SMEs stand a chance to receive $440,000 each in prizes comprising a $150,000 interest-free loan from OCBC Bank, professional services, training programmes and support in capability development.


There are about 160,000 SMEs1 in Singapore. They make up about 99% of the total enterprise population in Singapore. Out of the total number of SMEs in the manufacturing and services sectors, approximately 4%2  have a yearly turnover of more than S$15 million in 2011. The remaining 96% 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.



Following a review by the judging panel and feedback from participants over the last five years, EE2013 will see five major changes to the qualifying criteria.


1)  Increase in annual sales turnover from $10 million to $15 million.

2)  Removal of criterion that participating SMEs employ no more than 200 employees

3)  Removal of criterion that participating SMEs be operating their business for at least 1 year.

4)  Removal of criterion that participating SMEs have fixed assets of not more than


5)  Removal of criterion that participating SMEs have no more than 20% in corporate shareholding. The net tangible asset of the corporate shareholder shall not be more than S$50 million.


Prospective applicants for EE2013 will be judged on the following criteria:


i)    Vision and mission

ii)  Business model

iii) Management capabilities

iv) Milestones and achievements

v)  Use of Award prizes


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. All award submissions are to be done via the official application forms and sent in by  Wednesday 8 May 2013.


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

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 EE2013 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 play a key role as driver of growth for the Singapore economy. Over the last few years, we have observed the emergence of a new breed of SMEs which are involved in new business fields and technologies. This development has warranted a need for us as organisers to update the qualifying criteria so that more emerging enterprises can take part. As the country’s leading financial daily, we continue to champion the achievements of our SME community and look forward to seeing new and exciting business ideas at EE2013.”


Mr Eric Ong, Head of Emerging Business, Global Commercial Banking, OCBC Bank, said: “The Emerging Enterprise Award was launched six years ago to give due recognition to young enterprises who are outstanding in their respective fields. Applications for the Award have increased more than 10-fold since we first began. Today, the Awards have become the stamp of business excellence that sets winners apart from the rest of the pack, and also provide these promising emerging enterprises with needed resources and know-how to fuel their growth. It is also a platform that allows the winners and finalists alike to share their achievements with their peers, and leverage on the media publicity that would help them open more doors to potential customers and new partners.”


He added: “For this year, we have opened the Award to businesses with annual sales turnover of up to $15 million instead of capping it at $10 million, to allow more businesses the opportunity to be part of our Award journey. We also have a new partner in MasterCard, and increased the value of the prize packages. It has proven that youth and size do not matter in the eyes of success. Young enterprises are capable of extraordinary things and with the right conditions and right help, are able to achieve

even greater things.”


Mr Gan Kok Kim, Head of Global Investment Banking, OCBC Bank, said: “OCBC has always been championing enterprises, especially local SMEs. We are pleased to sponsor the Emerging Enterprise Awards once again, to spur passion and growth among the business community, especially the emerging enterprises. We recognise thtremendous effort that entrepreneurs commit to grow their businesses.  So we want to recognise them for their spirit, vision and contributions to the overall economy through this awards program. Business owners who are considering a submission should not hesitate.  Many previous applicants have shared with me that it is an excellent business planning process and through the submission process, they are able to crystallise their thoughts about their business models, operating environment and identify avenues for sustainable revenue generation. As a bank, we want to be able to partner them and help them build their dreams.”


Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive (Entrepreneurship & Innovation), SPRING Singapore, said: The Emerging Enterprise Awards play an important role to showcase companies with the wherewithal to grow and compete.  Growing and scaling a company is a gruelling journey and these role models provide inspiration and hope to others on the same road.  Faced with resources constraints, increased competition and economic volatility, it is imperative that companies adopt an innovation & productivity driven strategy for expansion. To this end, SPRING Singapore would support efforts in capability upgrading and development by our companies to enhance their competitiveness.”


Mr James Tay, Director of NUS Extension, said: “SMEs are experiencing intense

global competition and pressure from national initiatives to increase productivity.  Inevitably, companies realize the importance of being unique in their business. The Emerging Enterprise 2013 award provides SMEs the platform to showcase their creative business model, as well as to harness on new opportunities for growth. As the continuing education arm of the National University of Singapore, NUS Extension supports EE13 in imparting relevant knowledge and skills to our SME community so as to help them better meet the ever-changing trends of the current economy and business climate.”


Mr Kaka Singh, Chairman and Senior Partner, RSM Chio Lim LLP, said: "RSM Chio Lim is honoured to be able to contribute once again to the growth of emerging enterprises. We are glad to be able to help winners to either enhance their management capabilities, or to plan for fund raising or IPO."


 Mr Danny Lai, Country Business Manager, Singapore, Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants, said: "Acorn is  pleased and proud to continue as a partner for the EE awards this year. Meeting up with past winners and seeing how their  companies have really taken off since winning has served as a confirmation for how this program consistently identifies SMEs  which are poised to move to the next level and is able to give them the right kind of support to help them get there."


Ms Julienne Loh, General Manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “SMEs account for the majority of local enterprises in Singapore and is an important segment that is growing rapidly.  Our Commercial Payment Solutions such as the OCBC Business Debit Card provides the SMEs with increased purchasing flexibility, convenience and safety as they grow their businesses locally and overseas. We fully support the EE2013 Awards and see it as a great platform for SMEs to increase their visibility and showcase their innovations.”


Mr Titus Yong, Vice President, Business Sales, SingTel Group Enterprise, said: With today’s rising costs of operations and manpower challenges, SMEs have to adopt technology to optimise their resources. By using cost-effective options such as cloud solutions, businesses can enhance productivity, sustain profitability and stay agile in a competitive and fast-changing landscape. We are pleased to present the Best Innovation Award, which comes with an increased prize value, for the fourth time to honour SMEs which have effectively harnessed innovation to build a sustainable business model.”



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Media contacts:


Mr Yeo Siew Chi

Corporate Communications Singapore Press Holdings Limited DID – 6319 1586

HP 9749 5105



Ms Ann Chiu

Group Corporate Communications


DID - 6530 6146

HP 9692 6240



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.


For more information, visit



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  ranked  by  Bloomberg Markets as the world's strongest

  bank in 2011 and 2012.


OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of 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 a network of over 470 branches and representative offices in 15 countries and territories, including about 350 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 continued to gain industry recognition in 2011 including being voted “Outstanding Private Bank in Asia Pacific” by Private Banker International.


  For more information, please visit