Top Start-up Ideas in Singapore

top start-up ideas in Singapore

Singapore has placed itself as a start-up haven; it not only provides the platform to its citizens, but it has also opened its doors to expatriates to start a business. We have prepared for you the top start-up ideas in Singapore that will ensure that you make profits as soon as possible to nudge you in the right direction.

According to the figures from the Department of Statistics Singapore, as much as 70% of the nominal value added in Singapore, was generated by the companies in the services industry, with the companies in the goods-producing industries contributed around 25% in 2017. Besides this, there was as much as SGD 515 billion in exports compared to SGD 452.1 billion in imports. Start-ups and SMEs were the biggest contributors to this growth in the lion state’s GDP.

If you are looking to make your mark in the Singaporean economy, you will find this list of the top start-up ideas in Singapore the best thing you have read all year. However, doing business is not as easy as most people make it seem, but with schemes and grants such as Startup SG Network among others, you will be on your way to escaping the boring life of office work.

20 Top Start-Up Ideas in Singapore for 2019 and Beyond

These are the top 19 Singapore start-up ideas to consider for 2019 and beyond. It is necessary that you take as much time in research to ensure that you understand what it takes to launch your business in your preferred niche.


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There are an endless number of work for designers in Singapore. All companies require some form or design done. For websites, online advertisements, billboards, standees at shopping markets, business collaterals, exhibition stands, leaflets and flyers, brochures, articles, infographics, and any outbound material.

The key is to amass a good portfolio, focus on certain design specialties which builds expertise and trust, and then use digital marketing as well as word-of-mouth.


The demand for agricultural products continues to outweigh the supply since there are very few agricultural entrepreneurs in Singapore. Although there is limited arable land, you can find a multitude of agricultural technologies that makes the use of the limited land to grow crops. You could use technologies such as hydroponics to grow crops, given the fact that they do not take up much space and resources. 

As long as you are ready to meet the costs of acquiring the technology, you are bound to make huge profits supplying restaurants, supermarkets, as well as individuals with agricultural products.

Fast Food Joints

Fast food joints do not require as much investment, and coupled with the fact that Singaporeans love fast foods, you are best placed to start your business in the food industry. You could decide to go for the popular fast foods such as pizza, barbecue among other snacks, and you will have a guaranteed return on investment. It also does not require any academic qualifications. With that said, you could opt to buy a franchise, and the franchiser will help you in all aspect of running the business.  

Freelance Writing

The Department of Statistics Singapore, says that there were 48,701 start-up companies in 2015, and the number has considerably gone higher. Many of these businesses depend on their blogs and websites to reach out to a broader audience, and this has increased the demand for good freelance writers.

top start-up ideas in Singapore

However, this will only work if you have a good way with words and have proper grammar. Once you get a client and constantly deliver valuable and high-quality content, you will start making good money in no time. There are other forms of writing that you could do such as book writing, copywriting, copyediting, proofreading, SEO web content creation, ghost writing, and so much more.

Financial Services

With the increased businesses started by both locals and foreigners, there is high demand for business financial services such as auditing, accounting, and bookkeeping. If you are conversant in this line of work, you could earn a pretty penny from offering them to businesses and individuals. However, you need to know your way around various accounting software such as QuickBooks to make your work easier.


Are you a qualified teacher or are knowledgeable in a particular subject? You could start a tutoring business. There are many options available, the easiest being tutoring on an online platform by streaming your lessons to students all over Singapore, or you could open a tutoring centre or better yet, do home tutoring. At least 3 out of 5 parents are considering to give their children extra tuition in Singapore.

This is one of the areas where there is a lot of potential for growth seeing that many parents and guardians want to give the best education to their children. With that said, the tutoring business is very competitive and you will need to do aggressive marketing to stay on top.

Event Planning

Singaporeans are a happy lot, and they will throw events and parties to celebrate the good times. Apart from weddings, which are the most common events, there is a multitude of other events right from corporate events such as dinner and dance parties, product launches, to concerts, listening and viewing parties, birthday parties, and so much more.

However, as a start-up, you could start small and work your way up. Preferably, a birthday party would be a good fit then aim to get bigger and be part of more challenging gigs such as eSports events, concerts, festivals, and many more. To grow your events planning business, however, you will need to attend as many networking events and expos to market your business.


Singapore is one of the countries with a high smartphone penetration rate, but this should not dampen your spirits if you want to start a photography business. With a good camera, preferably a DSLR, a professional photo and video editing software, and training in photography, then you are set to go into business.

This is one of the best start-up ideas that you could work from home since you can conduct your business from anywhere. Several online sources show that a professional photographer can earn between $100 and $500 per hour. You could also sell your photos on iStock Photo, Shutterstock, Getty Images, and on many other platforms.

Virtual Assistant

With many businesses looking to cut down on hiring costs, they are turning to freelancers to help them manage and undertake their administrative tasks. As a virtual assistant, you will be dealing with activities such as invoicing, opening and replying to emails, following up on clients, paying bills, and so much more.

top start-up ideas in Singapore

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To ensure the success of your virtual assistant start-up business, you will need a responsive website, high-speed internet connection, a laptop or PC and a working phone number around the clock. You could do it from home before you earn enough money to open an office.

Social Media Consulting

While most people use social media to connect with friends and family, many find it a challenge using it for business. Since many SMEs, established enterprises, as well as public figures, are looking to leverage on social media to appeal to their audiences in Singapore and beyond, you could try your hand in social media consulting.

However, it takes more than making posts on Facebook, Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter, you will need to understand how the metrics work. There are many online courses that you could use to learn the skills required to be a social media mogul.  It will help matters if you have Google certifications in social media management.

Cleaning Service

Cleaning does not require any academic qualifications, and it is one of the best start-up ideas that you could have. There is a wide variety of customers to look into right from homeowners to retail and offices. The best thing about this type of business is that you do not need a lot of capital to start and in marketing.

If you do a good job, then you are sure to get more customers through word of mouth. The cleaning materials needed are affordable, and in no time, you could increase your employee base since there are many foreigners from the Asia-Pacific region coming into Singapore looking for gainful employment.


The internet is a big marketplace, and you do not have to be a big-box retailer to start an e-commerce business. It is expected the Singaporean e-commerce business will reach and surpass the $10 billion mark by 2020. There are many opportunities in the e-commerce sector such as selling your products directly to customers to doing drop shipping. All you need is a responsive website that can be accessed via PC and mobile and inventory.  

Drop shipping, for example, you do not need to have a warehouse to store all your inventory, all you need is to create a platform where you will display merchandise from suppliers or manufacturers and when a customer makes a purchase you contact the supplier to ship the item to the customer.

Career Coaching

The world over, millennials are now entering the job market in droves; however, many of them are confused if not clueless about their career choices. A career coaching business will allow you to help people of all ages in the pursuit of finding a job or business that will make them live a more fulfilled life. Career coaches also help people find their passions, write their resumes, and in prepping for interviews.

Tours and Travel

Singapore is a beautiful country with a variety of unique places to visit that attracts both domestic and international tourists. According to statistics and market insights from the Singapore Tourism Board there was an 8% year-on-year increase in the international arrivals to reach 4.6 million visitors for the second quarter of 2018.  

This presents an opportunity to take part in the thriving tourism sector. Besides this, the tourism board has a special grant for start-ups looking to advance the Singapore tourism sector, both in the local and global market.

Child Care Centres

The rat race is becoming more competitive in Singapore, and this means that many adults are working harder and longer to meet their needs. For parents, they are finding it easy to leave their children at child care centres. You can learn all that the government requires for you to run and operate a child care centre in Singapore from the ECDA website.

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Eldercare Services

There is a law in Singapore that makes it mandatory for children to take care of their aging parents. In this light, you can set up a hospice care facility or provide home-based elder care. Your duties would include preparing meals, ensuring that they take their medicines properly and on time, taking them out for walks and exercise, among other duties. However, senior citizens can be grumpy and dealing with them is not easy.

Eco-Friendly Products Retailing

In recent times, Singaporeans have become an environmentally conscious lot, and they are making changes in their homes and workplace to be eco-friendly. This presents an excellent business opportunity of distributing eco-friendly products such as energy efficient appliances for example energy saving light bulbs, fridges, HVAC units, and so much more. All you need is a responsive website, and you are set to go.

Online Retail Consulting

If you have amassed knowledge and skills associated with online retail, then you could cater to the multitude of people looking to start an online retail business. eBay and Etsy are some of the most popular online retail platforms, and you could provide consulting services on how to set up their stores as well as advising existing online retailers on the best practices to maximize their profits.

Upcycling Services

Did you know that you can turn trash into art or even repurpose the items into useful items? If you are an artist or you have an eye for the arts, you could round up a wide variety of items and turn them into pieces of art or useful items. Websites such as Etsy are the best platforms are the best to sell your crafts.

For example, you could turn old tyres into furniture or garden ornaments such as flower vases. Participating in expos and workshops will create awareness for your crafts and products, as well as reduce the number of non-biodegradable trash polluting the environment.

Translation Services

Singapore is a multilingual society, and when businesses and individuals want to close international deals, they will need a translator. There are also service providers that need to understand their customers and the services of a professional translator come in handy. If you are fluent in several foreign languages, then a translation business could be a good fit for you. All you need is a good marketing plan, and to reach out to a few people.

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These are the top start-up ideas in Singapore that will remain profitable in 2019 and beyond. Take the time to craft a detailed business plan which you will need to pull in investors if you need large sums of capital and business contacts. Since you may be cash-strapped to do a full-scale marketing and advertising campaign, you can start with the people you already know to help you spread the word about your new start-up to their connections as well as via social media. We can also help you create the right digital marketing strategy for your business. Get in touch with us today for a free and no-obligation consultation session.

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.

December 17, 2018

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