Singapore’s Emerging Enterprise Awards, now in their fourth year, are the first to reach out specifically to local small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with rewards for excellence and innovation. Three companies will gain prizes to support their development in the form of S$150,000 interest free loans, S$90,000 in professional services and training programs, and additional support in their capability development from The Singapore government’s enterprise support agency SPRING Singapore. There’s also a second award category for “Best Innovation”, awarding two companies S$30,000 each in interest free loans.

Last year’s top three winners were Kai Square Pte Ltd,¬†MAJ Aviation Pte Ltd, and¬†Udders Pte Ltd, all still going strong.¬†Nominations for the Awards are free, and the deadline for applications is 31 March 2011. Applicants must prove they are Singapore-based (ie: at least 30% owned by Singapore citizens or permanent residents), have between one and 200 employees and have been in business between one and 10 years. Full eligibility criteria is here.

The Emerging Enterprise Awards are organized by The Business Times and OCBC Bank, and also receive support from RSM Chio Lim, SPRING Singapore, NUS Extension, Acorn Marketing & Research, and SingTel.