Whats and Hows of Singapore Entrepreneur Pass


 Whats and Hows of Singapore Entrepreneur Pass

The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass is a government scheme introduced in September 2015, aimed to entice potential entrepreneurs and small businesses by giving them access to a range of subsidies, including tax breaks, grants, and training. It provides a pathway for new businesses to grow and scale faster than ever before.

The Singapore Entrepreneur Pass has been heralded as one of the most significant policies in recent years not only because it effectively rewards individuals who take their own risks but also because it is pro-market. Under the scheme, the government provides a comprehensive suite of incentives designed to incentivise entrepreneurship. As such, the pass automatically benefits one who makes key decisions regarding how to use the pass and how to operate their business.

How does it work?
Starting off as a work pass, entrepreneurs are granted an Entrepreneur Pass (EP). Obtaining an EP is however not easy; one must first demonstrate eligibility for both Employment Pass and Enterprise Pass before applying for an EP. The EP is granted for three years under a rolling allocation system based on annual applications made by eligible entrepreneurs. This means that entrepreneurs who have not been granted an EP in the past will have difficulty in obtaining one until they make it to the top of their application list. To make things even harder, one cannot apply for an EP again if he or she fails to use his EP within a year.

The application process is not as simple simply as filling up a form and submitting it to Immigration authorities. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the Singapore Government introduced a web portal at http://epass.mti.gov.sg/epasswizard where one can find all information pertaining to the pass, including eligibility requirements, application forms and guidelines, FAQs and contact details of officers to call in case of queries or problems.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process
To qualify for an EP, an individual must:
1. Be a Singapore Citizen
2. Have attained the age of 22 years and above by 31 December of the year preceding the date of application
3. Be a holder of either Employment Pass (EP) or Enterprise Pass (EP/P) A person who is currently overseas or has resided there for a period not exceeding two years prior to completing 22 years is also eligible if their application for Employment Pass (EP) has been approved by the Singapore Government before 31 December of that year.
5. Have a viable business plan proposed and/or an existing business that can be continued in Singapore
6. Have at least $50K of fresh capital for the business, excluding the capital derived from loans and support from family members (This is to ensure that those who qualify for the pass are not just passive beneficiaries but real players) 
7. Be in full-time employment under an EP or CP holder, OR, be self-employed in Singapore. A person who qualifies under the Scheme shall not be sponsored by a relative or a subsidiary of his employer
8. Commit to starting up his enterprise within 1 year after being issued with an EP and/or committing to continue his existing enterprise in Singapore 
9. Demonstrate financial capacity to undertake the required capital outlay and pay for services under the EP or CP
10. Maintain at least $500 of his own funds raised on his EP/CP during the period of application regardless of whether he goes on to obtain approval (if an approved start-up) The applicant may apply for renewal if he is satisfied that: 
1. He has made a valid commitment to remain in Singapore within 1 year after being granted an EP/CP; 
2. The capital on his EP/CP still exceeds $100,000 as at 31 December, 2017; 
3. There are no substantial reasons warranting an extension.

At the time of writing, there have been no reported cases of EP being cancelled.

The Entrepreneur Pass is a valuable addition to our immigration policy, as it rewards and encourages potential entrepreneurs to start a business in Singapore instead of simply working for others. By doing so, the pass helps to create jobs and boost Singapore's productivity. We can also benefit by exporting our services to other countries. Singapore is uniquely placed to be a knowledge and innovation hub, with deep relationships and presence across Asia, Europe and North America. This provides companies based in Singapore with many opportunities for leveraging global networks for business development and growth. 

In conclusion, the EP helps to attract and retain entrepreneurial talent thus enhancing Singapore's position as an economic centre. People with an entrepreneurial mindset tend to be highly creative, enterprising and open-minded. They are the life blood of any business ecosystem hence bring in international competitiveness to our economy.

Citations: http://epass.mti.gov.sg/epasswizard/Homepage/What-you-need-to-know

Gross National Happiness and Gobalisation : A Case Study of Bhutan's GNH Index
Niwat Kongkanand1, M&Y Journal Vol . 7 No . 2 ( August 2015 )

Dr Nei Kaung, Research Fellow, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University

1. The Singapore government has implemented a slew of pro-market policies since independence in 1965 that have seen an increase in the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) to almost US$55000 in 2014—the second highest in the world. This rapid economic growth has been attributed to an open economy where there is ample competition and entrepreneurial activities such as investment and risk taking have a significant role.2 In addition, investments from foreign companies and capital inflow from expatriates provide opportunities for this high economic growth. These are indications that the government plays a vital role in supporting entrepreneurship.3

2. At the same time, the government also has a duty to ensure that the philosophy and goals of GNH, which is to produce sustainable and equitable socio-economic outcomes for all people regardless of their individual circumstances, continues to guide policymaking in a society. One such example is the National Unity and Harmony Day (NUHD) which was introduced by President Wee Bik in 2014. The objective of NUHD is to promote unity across all races, religions, languages and cultures while respecting cultural diversity. The main focus of NUHD is encouraging Singaporeans to engage in activities like friendship building and volunteering as these have a social significance that contributes to national prosperity.4

3. While GNH is considered a complementary principle in Singapore’s national development,5 the country does not adhere to the view that liberal ideas of individualism and self-interest as expressed by Adam Smith and other classical economists are ideal for all societies. That Singapore is committed to promoting these principles can be seen from its role in hosting the World Cities Summit where it seeks to convince other cities to adopt its development model. 6

4. The GNH index was first introduced in 1972 by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the fourth King of Bhutan, as a holistic framework for embracing peaceful co-existence based on happiness rather than economic wealth alone.


The GNH index furthers the government’s objective to support entrepreneurship in Singapore by encouraging people to engage in socio-economic activities that contribute to well-being and national prosperity. The government should continue to recognise the importance of a balanced view of GNH as it seeks to balance national unity and cohesion with individual freedom and equality. The National Unity and Harmony Day provides an important opportunity for the people of Singapore to reflect on their goals, beliefs and values while fostering a society that is inclusive, prosperous, peaceful and harmonious.

Citation: http://www.mikeduncanjournal.

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