How we made applying for grants easier

A Business Grants Portal Retrospective (Part 1)

Business Grants Portal was built to make it easier for businesses to find and apply for government grants. With almost 30 government grants available to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, businesses looking for a grant can take as long as 3–6 months to figure out which one meets their needs.

That’s why we’ve simplified grant application in these 3 ways.

1. One place for business grants

Business Grants Portal aims to bring government grants for businesses onto a single portal. We have 6 of the most popular grants on our site now and are working hard to add more. This greatly reduces the number of sites you need to trawl through to find the right grant.

2. Just 3 questions lead to the right grant

Let’s face it, reading up on all the grants available to businesses isn’t a lot of fun. That’s why with our grant selector, you just answer 3 simple questions about your business and we’ll lead you to the right grant application form straightaway.

Get to your grant in 3 easy steps

3. Applications are routed automatically

Not sure which government agency gives out grants to your business? No problem. Leave the hard work to us.

We’ve streamlined similar grants that are administered by different government agencies. Simply apply through the portal and we’ll route the application to the right agency. Easy.

Our journey so far

Challenges, triumphs, lessons learnt

As we finish Phase 1 of development and prepare for Phase 2, here are some thoughts from the team on what we’ve achieved so far.

“Working on a large-scale project like Business Grants Portal, I’ve gained a better appreciation for Agile development and our team has built up their tech capabilities. More importantly, so many SMEs have benefitted from our portal. Our work makes it easier for them to innovate and helps to bolster the economy.” — Lim Zui Young, Developer

“It was challenging to transition new members into the team as some of the more established team members moved on to other projects for Ministry Of Manpower (MOM) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) but the new guys have stepped up and are performing well. It’s also great to see the number of grant applications going up every month!” — Lim Hoon Ling, Business Analyst

Unit and feature tests can be seen as the friction that slows down product development

“Initially, I thought removing unit and feature tests would allow the team to develop faster. But I soon learnt that without friction, quality is compromised and your product shreds into pieces as it lands. People who don’t understand Agile might think friction slows down delivery but it is there to ensure your product lands safely.” — Goh Yew Lee, Developer

“SMEs contribute nearly 50% of our GDP while employing 70% of our workforce. The importance of helping them grow and flourish, both domestically and overseas, cannot be overstated. It’s our privilege to be given this opportunity to support their growth. Looking forward to creating more possibilities with tech! The best has yet to come! :)” — Steven Koh, Agile Coach

“In order to deliver what users really need, it’s important to have a plan but it’s even more important to be adaptable to change. Agile allows us to develop the product iteratively, so we can adapt to changes from agencies and feedback from users. It’s the only way we can deliver a product that enables SMEs and agencies to improve their productivity.” — Poh Kah Kong, Scrum Master.

What’s next?

We’re proud of the businesses we’ve helped so far. We’re also excited about the new features and improvements planned for Phase 2, from exploring chat bots to better fraud detection measures.

If you have any ideas on how we can improve our current grant administration, leave a comment or drop us a line.

Want to find out how our Agile co-sourcing approach helped us deliver Phase 1 of Business Grants Portal with a smaller budget and in a shorter time than the original Waterfall outsourcing estimate? Check out Part 2 of our Business Grants Portal Retrospective.

Special thanks to Alvin Tan and Joel Tai for the awesome timeline and header image.