theAsianIR has gone around the island assisting Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with their grant applications since October 2018. We have amassed tons of data and experience and a know-how of how to "get that grant." Here are 5 factors that greatly affects grant approval.
1. Convey the right story
Many a times we see grant applications fail because of a lack of communication to get the story right. Here are the instances where the justification for the grant can get misinterpreted
2. Listening is Key
Just like obtaining a loan from the bank, or raising equity from a private investor, feedbacks by ESG, obtain during the course of awaiting for grant approval, are of great value. Even if the grant is not approved, ESG will give feedback to explain why the grant isn't approved, or what needs to be changed. Most of the time ESG's reasons for not approving are not onerous, i.e choice of consultant, provision of more presentable financial statements, putting the application under another scheme.
And all the SME needs to do after is to make the necessary adjustments and resubmit.
3. Think SMART results
ESG likes measurable metrics. So we always tell our SME clients to think SMART (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based). Go the mile to get as much metrics as possible from the project, i.e how many hours saved, how many employees employed, how many people >50 retained, increase in sales revenue, reduction in cost per lead, increase in sales conversions, reduced expenses when going to market. All these metrics convey to ESG that the project can achieve some real top and bottom line business impacts.
4. S also stands for Significant
Think Big. We are here to fund projects that can generate significant business impacts for the SME. If you have a project that you are confident to get big results from, then use this opportunity to kick-it-off. We all like big success stories, so now is the change to make it happen.
5. A concerted and dedicated effort
Just like a concert, where the concert director has to run around to make things happen, theAsianIR can fulfil that role for the SME. But the fat lady will only sing when there is a dedicated project manager appointed by the SME to support the project. SME must appoint an advocate, a project manager, to see the project through from grant application to completion. We need two hands to clap.
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