Start Your Own Startup Business with $20k in Singapore

September 28, 2020

In 2018, Singapore was given the tag as a “Start-up paradise” by This did not come without merit. With the government’s continuous support in fostering innovation and a business-friendly environment, many startups were launched and incubated in Singapore itself.

However, one of the biggest problems faced by every entrepreneur is not having enough money.

But what if we told you that you could start up your own business idea for under $20,000 just by focusing on everyday problems faced by average Singaporeans?

To get you started, here is a list of four startup ideas in Singapore which requires no more than $20k to start up!

1. Connecting Home-Based Caterers to Consumers

Singaporeans love their food. There’s a reason why services like Grab and FoodPanda are flourishing in the market. Despite the competition, we’ve identified one segment that is not actively targeted by these startups!

In our startup business ideas article, we mentioned that you could build your own startup by offering home-cooked food for consumers. In this article, we are recommending you to create a platform to connect these businesses to consumers!

With more budget available, you could hire a website developer to create a platform for you to list these home-based caterers on your website. By allowing transactions to occur on your website, you can take a commission off them to pay for your expenses and to grow further.

Starting off, you will need to rent a vehicle to conduct these deliveries by yourself. As you grow, you can start outsourcing deliveries to allow yourself to scale!

Reference: FoodPanda

2. Virtual Event Management Service

Ever wanted to try out event management but gave up on the idea due to the vast amount of logistics needed? This is your time to shine.

From online academic webinars to birthday parties, hosting virtual events have never been easier.

With the ongoing pandemic, many events are cancelled and moved online. The good thing is that many businesses do not know how to set up online events for themselves, or would instead outsource it to a company that already has the expertise.

With a simple subscription to premium versions of online video conferencing applications such as, along with some skills in event planning and organising, you are good to go!

You can provide this service from pre-event to post-event. What you will possibly need to cover is:

  1. Planning and organising of the event
  2. Participant invites
  3. Actual-day event management
  4. Possible disruptions handling
  5. Post-event reflection and feedback

With the bulk of the costs needed from a physical event removed, you can maximise your $20,000 due to lesser logistics required. Think of it this way, your expenses will mostly be what the visitors see in the host’s camera, and you can charge for them too!

Reference: JNR Entertainment

3. Specialty Coffee

Coffee, a drink that millions of people consume to stay awake and remain productive, presents you with a huge market to sell to. Despite the large competition in the coffee industry, selling specialised coffee from selected sources provides you with a unique selling point.

If you’re thinking of opening a cafe with $20,000, we are sorry to break it to you that rent and equipment will definitely break the bank!

However, you can start by selling coffee products such as coffee beans and made-for-you drip bags online to keep your overheads low. To make yourself stand out further, we recommend finding another unique selling point in this crowded industry.

Perhaps you could try making your own coffee blends, or even consider infusing your coffee with tea to give it a different yet delicious flavour!

As you are limited to only $20,000, try sticking to a few coffee products while experimenting to find your startup’s unique proposition. Once you see growth, you can start expanding your selection!

Reference: Perk Coffee

4. Repair & Refurbishment Services

Prices have been rising steadily, causing the emergence of the secondhand market in Singapore. Facebook has its Facebook Marketplace, and many are aware of Carousell, the largest secondhand marketplace in Singapore.

If you’re good with your hands, you can consider starting a business offering repair and refurbishment services!

By partnering up with these marketplaces and businesses that sell secondhand goods, you will actively get referrals from them. Essentially, all you will need to run this startup idea is

  1. The skill to repair
  2. The skill to refurbish
  3. A repair and refurbishment kit
  4. Rented vehicle for deliveries

This can definitely be done under $20,000 as the bulk of your costs would be the vehicle rental, revenue-sharing with your partners, and the necessities to conduct the service!

As with many startup ideas, find your speciality before expanding your service offerings. Depending on your skills, you can decide on certain types of furniture or electronics first. This keeps you lean and stretches your capital as far as possible.

Reference: Carousell


Although $20,000 may not be a huge amount for you to start a traditional business with, the internet has tremendously reduced the cost of starting up a business in Singapore.

With $20,000 in the bank, all you have to do is to look for opportunities in the market, and get creative! However, don’t get too complacent with the initial capital you have.

What you want to do is to carefully plan your financials to ensure that your business is healthy. Coming from a startup ourselves, you should keep unnecessary expenses to the minimum and focus on what is bringing in money.

Only then can your startup business ideas be successful in Singapore!

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