How MRA Grant Can Help Your SME Expand into New Markets


For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), expanding into new markets is both thrilling and daunting. The variety of barriers, from financial to regulatory, can seem impossible.

Enter the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant—a lifeline that’s designed to shore up SMEs as they venture into uncharted business territories.

Introduction to the MRA Grant and its Significance for SMEs

The MRA grant is a government financial assistance scheme to help Singaporean SMEs internationalise. With up to 70% support in various areas of business development overseas, it significantly reduces the cost and risk of venturing into new markets. But what does MRA cover? The grant supports activities like overseas market set-up, identification of business partners, and overseas market promotion.

Innovative Strategies for Market Expansion Using the MRA Grant

MRA isn’t just a cash injection. It’s a strategic business toolkit. Here are some innovative moves you can make with MRA’s support:

●      Digital Marketing in New Territories

Use the grant to strengthen your digital footprint in your target markets. This can include market-specific website adaptations, search engine optimisation (SEO) services, and the use of digital advertising platforms where local traction is needed.

●      Product and Service Localization

Customising your offerings for new markets can be costly. With MRA, you can localize your products or services—think language translations, adhering to local quality standards, and adjusting your offerings to suit local tastes.

●      Strategic Alliance or Partnership

The MRA can support your efforts to forge partnerships with local businesses, providing invaluable insight and giving your company a foothold in the new market.

●      Trade Shows and Missions

Participating in international trade shows is a direct way to gain exposure. The MRA can cover a significant portion of the costs, from booth rental and set-up to promotions at the event.

Tips for SME Owners on Applying for the MRA Grant

Now that the MRA grant has piqued your interest, it’s essential to understand how to secure it. Here are some vital steps:

●      Understand the Eligibility

Before you do anything, ensure that your SME is eligible for the MRA grant. The class of SME, annual sales turnover, and a host of other criteria must be met for consideration.

●      Craft a Compelling Application

A persuasive grant application makes all the difference. Be clear on your expansion plans, the targeted market, and how the MRA fund would measurably spur growth.

●      Work with Internal or External Consultants

Experienced consultants can help you with the application and maximise the utility of the grant once awarded. They bring a valuable outside perspective and knowledge of the MRA process.

●      Expect a Rigorous Follow-Up

Once your grant application is in, expect a detailed inquiry process. Be prepared to back up every claim with solid business logic and evidence of your due diligence.

Maximising the Impact of the MRA Grant for Long-term Success

●      Focus on Strategic Planning

SMEs must adopt a strategic approach when planning to use the MRA Grant. Understanding the intricacies of the target market and aligning them with your business capabilities and long-term vision can amplify the impact of the grant. Regular reviews and adjustments to your strategy based on market feedback and performance data will also be critical for sustained success.

●      Use Analytics for Market Penetration

Data analytics play a crucial role in understanding market dynamics and consumer behaviour. Utilise the grant to invest in analytic tools that provide actionable insights, helping to refine your market entry and expansion strategies over time. This will enable your SME to be more agile and responsive to market trends and opportunities.

Encourage Continuous Learning and Adaptation

The international business landscape is constantly evolving, so fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation within your organization is crucial.

Use the grant to access training and development programs for your team, ensuring they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in diverse markets. This not only enhances your team’s capabilities but also contributes to the overall resilience and competitiveness of your business.

For SMEs, the MRA grant isn’t just about the immediate benefits—it’s about strategic positioning. Using the MRA to expand today, you’re setting up your business for a more competitive and globalised future. This assistance encourages SMEs to think larger and act bolder, ultimately contributing to Singapore’s position as a regional and global business hub.


The MRA grant is a pivotal resource that can make international market entry a reality for SMEs. From funding digital initiatives to facilitating partnerships, it’s clear that with MRA support, the global marketplace becomes more accessible.

For SMEs looking to take the next step in global expansion, be bold, be diligent, and most importantly, be proactive in exploring how the MRA grant can work for you. After all, the potential rewards of reaching new markets are as vast as the world itself.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here