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DBS launches programme to help SMEs and mid-sized corps expand and capture regional business opportunities

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 3 min read
DBS launches programme to help SMEs and mid-sized corps expand and capture regional business opportunities
Titled the Bridging Business Horizons programme, SMEs and mid-sized businesses from Singapore and across the region will be able to tap on DBS’s regional footprint and industry knowledge along with its partners. Photo: DBS
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DBS has launched a programme to equip small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized corporations effectively expand into new markets and capture business opportunities around the region.

Titled the Bridging Business Horizons programme, SMEs and mid-sized businesses from Singapore and across the region will be able to tap on DBS’s regional footprint and industry knowledge along with its partners including the Singapore Business Federation (SBF). The programme will also receive support from government agencies such as Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG).

Through the programme, companies will get to learn about various pathways to going international, gain insights into a target market and connect with in-market experts and partners. These companies will also be able to tap into financing solutions from DBS.

According to DBS, the programme aims to engage some 1,000 companies in Singapore and abroad through a series of networking sessions, insights sharing and workshops.

“Since DBS’ inception, the bank has played a significant role in financing Singapore’s fledgling industries and growing new ones. The Bridging Business Horizons programme leverages the collective wisdom and resources of the bank plus our partners, to create a holistic programme that helps SMEs to enter new regional markets and accelerate business growth with insights and connections,” says Han Kwee Juan, group executive, Singapore country head, DBS. “We are pleased to be collaborating with the Singapore Business Federation, Enterprise Singapore and other agencies to help put a new generation of Singapore businesses on the regional map.”

“DBS has had the privilege of partnering thousands of companies in their respective growth journeys over the years. While each path to internationalisation is unique, we have identified key enablers to help businesses develop a robust overseas growth strategy. The Bridging Business Horizons programme takes these learnings and applies them in a structured, modular approach – with support from our partners – to help more companies effectively scale their operations,” adds Koh Kar Siong, group head of corporate and SME banking, institutional banking, DBS.

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Kok Ping Soon, CEO of SBF, welcomed the move, saying the bank’s initiative “complements” the SBF’s existing efforts to help businesses scale internationally.

“As a programme partner, our goal is to help more companies leverage Singapore’s network of Free Trade Agreements to reduce tariffs and improve market access through our advisory services. We look forward to a strong collaboration with DBS in our collective aim to empower more Singaporean companies to expand their businesses overseas,” he says.

“Given Singapore’s limited domestic market, internationalisation must be a cornerstone of our companies’ growth strategy. It is only when companies venture overseas that they can access a wider pool of customers and other market opportunities, to achieve scale and grow their businesses,” says Cindy Khoo, managing director of EnterpriseSG.

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“Going overseas also helps companies keep abreast of innovative ideas and technologies. We are heartened that DBS is leading the efforts with industry to support SMEs with their expansion plans in the region and encourage our companies to come onboard this new programme for their internationalisation needs,” she adds.

Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love, Bonito, said that the company is “grateful” for the partnership with DBS since it began as a blog shop.

“As our primary banking partner, DBS has been instrumental in our growth from an online store to a global brand with physical retail outlets across key markets. With utmost trust that our banking needs are well handled, we have been able to focus on celebrating and uplifting Asian women globally through our offerings,” says Lim.

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