Career

5 Small Businesses Singaporeans Keep Setting Up

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Joanne Poh

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Singaporeans might not be the most entrepreneurial bunch in the world. But when they do strike out on their own, more and more are being drawn towards certain types of small businesses.

 1. Cafés

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It seems like just yesterday when a colleague quit the corporate world to set up a hipster café, and now it’s happening again. No, it’s not your imagination. Cafes with a focus on artisanal coffee and vintage-inspired décor are taking over Singapore.

2. Cake shops or bakeries

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It’s happened to many a young Singaporean woman. While blithely baking cupcakes on a sunny Sunday, the thought occurs to her that hey, she could make a business out of this! From selling muffins on Facebook to opening a brick-and-mortar cake shop, the island is full of aspiring Betty Crockers.

3. Blogshops

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Your phone beeps and you receive a notification that you’ve been tagged in a photo on Facebook. Alas, it’s just another graphic promoting an acquaintance’s blogshop. Just as every tech geek dreams of developing the next big mobile app or social network, every Singaporean tertiary student dreams of opening a successful blogshop after their first trip to Thailand.

4. Bars

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Tired of always being at the mercy of someone else’s playlist, bankers all over Singapore have quit their jobs to set up bars, lured by the promise of being able to drink every day on the job and refuse people entry at the door.

5. Pushcarts

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So you want to sell “Star*ucks Coffee” or “Evian | naivE” t-shirts but are afraid to blow all your cash renting an actual shop space? Rent a pushcart instead at the fraction of the price.

What other small businesses have you seen popping up everywhere? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credits: dubh, Frédéric BISSON, Ronald Tan, Sir Lawrence Bolivia, Walter Lim

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.

  • Ng Pin Jie

    Hi Joanne, what is your opinion on small businesses in Singapore? And what is one material possession that everybody wants?