This year, Singapore’s Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been thrusted into the spotlight. In January, Irvin Seah, DBS Senior Economist, showed his support for SMEs. At a business outlook forum, he commented that they will be the future drivers to Singapore’s growth, if they expand overseas.
Following shortly after, Skillsfuture Singapore announced that SMEs will receive more financial support starting 1st July. The new Productivity Solutions Grant increases the number of subsidies offered to SMEs. Now, they can enjoy up to 90% of government funding for training.
With the rising importance of SMEs to Singapore’s economy, there’s bound to be opportunities. Here are four reasons why you should keep them on your radar:
1. You get to enjoy a closer working relationships with your bosses
In larger companies with a long command chain, it is difficult to interact with senior management, much less receive fast feedback. SMEs however, are much smaller in size and have flat hierarchies. You will be able to work with top management, and even get the chance to report to the CEO on a regular basis. With a leaner organisation structure, there is no bureaucracy. You get to receive prompt feedback on your work, giving you the chance to constantly improve your skills and learn.
2. Your work will have a bigger impact
A recent study by the Ministry of Manpower highlighted a trend among Singaporean millennial workers. The paper “Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision” revealed that the new generation of workers’ value regular change, new challenges and advancement in their careers.
These findings reflect increasing sentiments felt by younger workers worldwide, whose priorities of meaningful work differ from previous generations. In an Asiaone interview with Singaporean millennials, one of the interviewees shared that a company culture’s is important in a job. They explained that if a job is too rigid, uncaring or does not empower them, then it was a definite no.
However, working in SMEs is different compared to working in a large MNC. As staff size is smaller, every employee (regardless of their position) has a role to play. So fret not, your contributions will have a significant impact to the company’s growth.
3. They have a strong, family-like community
If you are someone that values a close-knit work environment, then the SME life may be for you. As SMEs typically have a flat hierarchy, it fosters dynamism within the workplace as you get to interact closely with people of different positions. SMEs also have a smaller workforce compared to larger MNCs, ranging from 2 to 250 employees.
This dynamism and closeness creates a strong, tightly-knitted community that encourages a good working environment that many 80% of millennials value in the Ministry of Manpower study.
4. SMEs are a good place to push your limits
For those who want to challenge themselves, SMEs provide ample opportunities for you to test your skills. With a manpower lean structure, SMEs often recruit multi-talented employees who can adapt quickly.
Working in a SME will give you the chance to widen your skills set and tackle on challenge first-hand. For those new to the industry, having a hands-on experience in handling difficult tasks gives you a chance to understand the business better.
Chook Yuh Yng, Country Manager of Jobstreet Singapore and Malaysia agrees, “SMEs play a vital role in providing fundamentals training in diversifying candidates’ skill set,” he said.