Singapore Business Federation Young Business Leaders Network launches S$5 million HOPE Fund

The Singapore Business Federation Young Business Leaders Network (SBF-YBLN) announced on 20 February 2020 the launch of the SBF-YBLN “Helping Our Promising Enterprises” (HOPE) Fund to support local businesses during this challenging period.

In partnership with Goldbell Evolution Network (GEN), a private debt investment platform, a seed fund of S$5 million has been established from a group of next-generation Singapore-based family offices.

This fund will be used to provide short-term working capital loans for up to 12 months for local SMEs who have been impacted by COVID-19. The six founding companies who have set up the fund are Apricot Capital, Goldbell Group, Ho Lee Group, Paradise Group, Sing Lun Group and Soilbuild Group.

The SBF-YBLN HOPE Fund will be ready for applications on 26 February 2020 and hopes to benefit more than 100 SMEs. A factsheet and FAQ for the fund has been made available here.

The objective of the SBF-YBLN HOPE Fund is to provide an additional source of accessible and affordable funding for SMEs. A key feature of the HOPE fund is the deferment of the loan principal and interest to start only from the third month onward.

This is expected to support SMEs especially during the upcoming critical months as SMEs focus on recovery and operations. The SBF-YBLN HOPE Fund will also focus on approving the loans expeditiously and disbursing the working capital loan within 24 hours of the loan approval.

Chong Ee-Rong, Chair of the SBF-YBLN, said that safeguarding Singapore’s eco-system and community is a priority. Thanking the six founding companies for their support, she hoped that other companies will also participate.

Alex Chua, CEO of Goldbell Financial Services, said, “Partnering the SBF-YBLN for this initiative was a natural decision given their extensive network. As a homegrown enterprise, we are keen to play our part in these trying times and we are glad that we can contribute both financially and through our expertise and the GEN platform.”

“We understand the urgency of the situation and have constructed a credit scoring model for this program, allowing loans to be approved quickly and to be disbursed within 24 hours from loan approval, subject to the required documentation received,” he continued.

Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman of SBF, reminded businesses that “Beyond helping SMEs tide over their short-term financial challenges, SBF has various training and digitalization initiatives to help companies strengthen their capabilities and prepare them for the future.

“We urge our companies to use the downtime to re-look their business models, diversify their supply chains, deepen capabilities and invest in employee upskilling so they can turn this crisis into opportunity,” he concluded.