From Employee to Entrepreneur: Restart Your Dream Career with These Ventures in Singapore Post a Layoff

10 minute read

Losing a job often comes as a bolt from the blue and can leave you devastated. It can not only jolt you financially but may also impact your mental well-being and self-confidence. While many people resort to doubling their efforts to find the next job after getting laid off, some start questioning their career integrity in the long run.

But can securing another job guarantee you long-term financial stability given the market volatility? That’s why it is always helpful to run a small venture or side hustle that not only allows you to pursue your passion but also promises you a constant flow of income irrespective of the economic climate.

Laid off? Don’t fret! It’s time you move beyond the job search and transition to entrepreneurship

Remember the famous saying by political philosopher Benjamin Franklin, ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’? His simple, wise words convey a deeper meaning that a crisis has the power to push us to reshape our life.

We understand getting laid off can be extremely disheartening for you and hard to deal with, but it also presents an opportunity for you to reinvent your life, to embark on a new journey as a solopreneur. You can translate your skills, experience and interests into a sustainable venture you can pursue alongside your job.

This will not only help you secure yourself financially but also empower you to scale your career the way you want. And who knows, what may initially supplement your job search as a side hustle transforms you into a full-time entrepreneur, empowering you economically and emotionally!

Place your bets on the niche you are most familiar with

While you may be attracted towards unchartered waters, it’s wiser to place your bets on a business idea where you can bring your expertise. It also makes sense to take into account your finances, do some market research and engage in networking with potential customers and industry experts to draw insights and recommendations, validate your idea, appraise the market conditions and check your business viability.

Owing to its business-friendly legal and economically conducive environment, Singapore continues to be one of the most preferred places to start a business. The Singaporean government actively supports and promotes entrepreneurship with pro-business grants and schemes like the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and the Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS). Besides, its favourable taxation policies, supportive venture capital funding, and mentorship programs continue to encourage the growth of small businesses.

The best part is, despite your business incorporation in Singapore, the world remains your market, and you are not restricted to Singaporean businesses only but can explore your business potential with international clients operating both within and outside its geography.

Starting a small business in Singapore isn’t hard. Being a trade centre, Singapore offers numerous funding schemes and grants to support small-scale businesses. Here are the top 10 most successful businesses to start your entrepreneurial journey with little to no investment if you have recently been laid off or have been unemployed for some time:

  1. Data Science: Do you live and breathe data and love transforming complex data patterns into actionable insights? Then you can explore your solopreneurial potential as a data scientist. You can leverage your skill to help companies make data-driven decisions backed by business intelligence. All you need to do is create your consulting portfolio, highlight the impact you have made for your clients and start networking to grow your business from the comfort of your home.
  2. Dropshipping: With Singapore’s e-commerce market expected to reach $10 billion by 2026, dropshipping business is fast gaining interest among new entrepreneurs as a low-cost, profitable business. Since the business does not require inventory management on the part of the drop-shipper and only involves selling goods to customers directly from suppliers, the business offers a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs to earn easy money. All you need to do is identify your product niche, set up an e-commerce website using platforms like Magento and Shopify to catalogue products, and have a strong marketing strategy to attract orders and grow your business.
  3. Web and Mobile App Development: Singapore’s thriving digital economy offers ample opportunities for tech side hustles. If you have proficiency in web development and mobile app development, then you may want to offer freelance and consulting services to businesses looking to build their web and mobile platforms to engage customers and grow business. You can utilize your skills in web and iOS and Android platforms to develop personalized customer engagement and payment gateway solutions for clients for decent earnings.
  4. Sell Online Courses: The private consumption expenditure on education in Singapore was around $8.3 billion (Singapore dollars) in 2022 and is expected to rise substantially with the boom in online education. Since education can now be easily accessed at the fingertips, you can monetize your expertise in your niche and create and sell course material online (customized too!). You can market your courses on your website or other platforms to reach your target audience. With regular engagement with your audience on social media, you can improve your offerings and expand your online reach, taking your business global. You can work as per your flexibility and secure yourself a decent income by devoting just a few hours each day.
  5. Talent Acquisition: The scope for talent acquisition consulting is fast expanding, given the rapid changes in the corporate sector globally. While some companies are feeling the pinch of economic uncertainties, leading to a vast pool of laid-off employees, some are striving to attract top talent to accelerate their growth. Companies are actively seeking consultancy on talent acquisition to ensure they hire the right talent for their organization. You can leverage this opportunity as a consultant with a specialized talent network (of working and out-of-work professionals) to help such companies navigate recruitment, employer branding, and employee retention better.
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI): If you are an AI engineer and know your way around machine learning and natural language processing, you can offer your design and deployment consulting services to a wide spectrum of industries, like gaming, fashion and automation, to help them create personalized customer solutions. Besides, the growing use cases of generative AI in business applications are opening up doors for freelance developers. All you need to do is create a strong online portfolio and network with industry fellows to expand your client base.
  7. Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR): EIR can be an exciting field for you to venture into if you come with strong industry experience and consulting skills. You can leverage your strategy and networking skills to help startups navigate fundraising and other corporate challenges and refine their business models. Besides, the opportunity allows you to work with startup accelerators and venture capital firms as their consultant to help them identify potential business opportunities for investment and growth. It’s a win-win entrepreneurial opportunity for you as well, as you can tap into your consulting portfolio to expand your exposure and earn well.
  8. Digital Marketing: With a plethora of businesses going online, a lot of demand for digital marketing services is being generated by small entrepreneurs running bakeries, restaurants, and salons to reach and attract their customers. You can leverage your digital marketing skills to offer them services like social media marketing, content marketing, graphic designing and pay-per-click advertising to help them with customer engagement. You may set up your website to showcase your portfolio, case studies and customer testimonials to attract more clients.
  9. Make and Sell: You can start your business online to sell handmade products like soaps, candles and jewellery using e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy and Shopee. It’s a great entrepreneurial opportunity for you to turn your hobby into a profitable venture. You may also create your own website to feature your product catalogue with an option for customization (gifts, hampers, etc.). By branding and marketing your products the right way, you can reach a larger audience and build a strong brand community.
  10. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is fast gaining ground as a side hustle and is one of the easiest ways to earn a passive income through a low-cost, low-barrier-entry business. With companies increasingly emphasizing affiliate marketing to sell their products, the field offers a great business opportunity to bloggers and content creators on social media to earn a commission from every sale they help make through their recommendations. It doesn’t require you to create and sell your own product, but rather monetize your website and social media network and channels to promote the products of other companies, influence the purchasing decision of consumers, and earn a decent commission on every sale you make.

Getting started can be overwhelming but not when there’s guidance

While entrepreneurship can be personally rewarding and financially liberating, starting it can be overwhelming for you owing to the hassles involved in getting your company registered and business account set up. Therefore, it is always best to seek professional support, especially when you have limited knowledge about the regulatory and legal framework and would like to steer clear of tedious procedural hassles.

Sleek can help prepare you for your next big thing

If you are contemplating setting up your own business in Singapore after being laid off but finding it difficult to make the first move, we, at Sleek, can help you register your company and manage your accounts end-to-end. As your entrepreneurial coach, we will take complete care of your company registration, accounting and compliance needs. This will save you time to supercharge your ambition and do what you are best at, without worrying about the back-office hassles.


Given the rising cost of living and uncertain economic conditions, having a side hustle can be a good way to boost your income prospects even if you are employed. Sleek, in this regard, helps simplify your entrepreneurial journey by helping you pursue your passion as a solopreneur. It helps you register your business and set up your business account without any hassles, so you begin earning without any delay.

While starting any business or side hustle is majorly motivated by the financial returns and personal satisfaction you derive from it, it is always wise to appraise the time commitment it may demand. While a full-time business may demand more than 35 hours a week, a side hustle gives you the flexibility to work at your convenience.

Yes, just like a native, a foreigner too can easily register a company in Singapore and own 100% shareholding. However, since a foreigner might not be well acquainted with Singapore's regulatory structure, it is best to seek professional services for business incorporation. We, at Sleek, help foreigners register their businesses in Singapore by taking complete care of their company secretarial needs.

Sleek acts as your entrepreneurial coach and offers end-to-end company secretarial support to help you register and operate your business in Singapore. It helps register your business without any hassles, so you can accelerate your dream career as a part-time or full-time entrepreneur. All you have to do is choose a name for your business, submit a short online form and Sleek takes it from there. Sleek takes care of your company's secretarial needs to help you get started as a solopreneur in no time.  

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