Despite its reputation as an expensive place where to live, Singapore is a great option for indie makers who can work from their laptop. You can set up a business as a sole proprietor for $30 only, or $300 for a company, and there is free wifi almost everywhere. I personally work from public libraries, shopping malls, cafes and restaurants. I don’t really like co-working space, which are expensive.
I am a self-taught designer and developer, and I have bootstrapped my startup which is registered in Singapore. This place is a constant source of inspiration. I often go to the wet market to see old people selling fish, meat and vegetables. There is a lot to learn from them. I walk quietly and slowly to see how they are communicating with their customers, and I look at how they display their products.
I love to walk in groceries stores when they are putting decorations up for some advertising campaign to sell products like food and drinks. In Singapore, we have Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas and lots of other festive periods. With all this diversity, I get to see a lot of different creative designs for the corresponding marketing campaigns in the supermarkets.
Singapore is building a smart nation. Many big companies are here in Asia with their headquarters in Singapore, which is like a hub. This is a small but rich economy thanks to the local policies. The government supports entrepreneurship and is even providing relevant courses like Skills Future and NTUC.
There are a few different types of places for entrepreneurs to hangout in Singapore. Local entrepreneurs tend to hang out with their families most of the time, going to the beach, malls, parks or just staying at home, but for expats who come here to travel and work in Singapore, they are rooftop bars, pubs and lots of places in the city areas which are easy to access from the business areas.
Transportation is cheap. You can travel via public bus, MRT trains, bike-sharing and Gojek taxi. Everywhere is accessible. If you would like a short break you can travel to Johor, Malaysia which is 30 minutes on the bus or train or you can go to Batam, Indonesia by ferry on sea which takes about two hours. I often travel to Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Malaysia for nomading, events and adventure, and I keep on working from my laptop.
If you want to live in Singapore, you can rent out a room in one of the Housing and Development Board flats. You can also stay in backpackers hotel as it will save you a lot of money. Or you could work here in Singapore and work on your side projects in your free time. If you are planning on visiting or moving to Singapore, please let me know!