The Rise of New Businesses in the Pandemic

by | Jun 30, 2021 | promote your services

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the losses were felt on a global scale. There was no job security, and multiple industries such as the hospitality, travel and tourism, aviation and construction industry were left stranded.

As of 2021, the global unemployment rate has reached 5.50%. This number does not include those who have been left on unpaid leave, had their salaries compromised, and those who work seasonally.

The economic crisis was on a macro scale, and most had no option but to adapt. The rise in uncertainty only grew, and people who had been put on unpaid leave, taking benefits, or faced a salary cut had to come up with ways to supplement their income.

This necessity gave rise to a whole new wave of budding entrepreneurs as people started thinking beyond the norm and found new and creative ways to become self-sufficient and self-employed.

Reasons Behind the Rise of New Businesses in the Pandemic

The sense of spirit was revived soon after the COVID-19 pandemic repercussions hit the world, and people started to refocus their energy. There were a lot of industries that realised the benefits of working from home, creating a safe space for their employees, and mental health was brought to the limelight.

While all of these changes were taking place in the work culture, those that were unemployed had to fend for themselves. What does one do when they have no source of income in the foreseeable future?

People adopted many different outlooks and there was a drastic change in the way they looked at traditional and non-traditional ways of employment. Now that the traditional method was not working out for the workforce, more and more individuals decided that it was time to explore and learn more about the non-traditional means of income.

The government also appreciated the self-employed individuals more and increased the benefits for individuals and businesses to pave their way to success. In May 2021, the Singaporean government announced a total of S$800 million worth of enhanced measures in order to support businesses in these times. This includes wage subsidies for those who are employed yet severely impacted, rent support, support to the transport sector, and more. The government is also offering support to lower-income and self-employed individuals in order to boost them back into the economy once the pandemic ends.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit and Growth of Small Businesses

Over the last year, most unemployed residents of Singapore have put their best foot forward and used their skills and expertise to craft a career for themselves. Small businesses have started to build and grow since 2020, and this trend is only going to continue to rise. Many have used this period to explore their creativity and create businesses that meet extremely specific needs.

The true spirit of entrepreneurship shines in times of crisis, which is exactly what happened with many individuals in Singapore. Instead of letting it bring them down, people saw this as an opportunity for innovation and created their own work, products and services to meet the demands of the public at large.

So, what are these new businesses largely focused on in the COVID-19 pandemic age? What are the products and services they provide?

Range of New Businesses in Singapore Across Industries

Boutique Gardening Services

Nearly all of the citizens from every country were confined in their homes for months on end. This made them appreciate the outdoors even more. People also started to realise how nice it feels to be in a home instead of a house. So, they started to work towards creating a home for themselves.

This created a super-specific niche under Home Beautification and Interiors. People started building home gardens, growing their own herbs and vegetables, and reconnecting with nature in whatever way they could.

Boutique gardening and delivery services emerged as a trend in late 2020 where you could send someone or order a customised delivery plan where you would get a delivery of freshly picked flowers, herbs or whatever it is to your liking, delivered to your home. People appreciate the small amount of effort it takes to make their homes a lot more colourful and cheerful, making this industry trend one that will stay.

Home Improvement Services

The DIY culture became very strong in 2020 as people began investing a lot of time and energy into making repairs, fixing all the broken fixtures, and upgrading their homes. More and more people focused on improving the condition of their homes and this brought home improvement services into the spotlight. Carpenters quite literally came out of the woodworks and offered their services. Repainting the house, remodeling the kitchen and bathroom, creating a work-from-home office space… the demand was growing, and with it grew the home improvement industry.

The Freelance Network of Creatives

As more and more people got laid off, the freelance culture around the globe really began to take off. Instead of it being an additional source of income, people who belong to the creative industries started to take it seriously, and it soon became their only source of income. Freelance networks grew as people offered their services on a project basis.

Organisations who could not afford to hire full-time employees also saw the benefit of working with someone who was not on their payroll, and opted for the freelance route. As more companies and individuals continue to adjust to this shift in working dynamic, they have begun to realise the benefits of the same.

Educational Technology

On one hand, schools and institutions held their classes online after realising that postponement of the academic term was not a viable long-term solution. Online classes or home-based learning quickly became the norm, and schools are slowly reopening the physical compounds as the pandemic slowly recovered.

On the other hand, the number of drop-outs increased because of financial reasons, and also because students didn’t want to wait another year to start their lives. They chose to opt for shorter online courses that they could do from the comfort of their home, and those that did not cost them a fortune.

Similarly, more and more people are becoming encouraged to expand their horizons and broaden their skill set in order to secure their existing jobs, or create other means of income, or add to their already existing skill set. Those who were sitting at home all day with not much to do, and had eventually given up on watching endless hours of television, were looking for something to do that would utilise their brain.

What do these scenarios have in common?

Alternative methods of learning were emerging. Ed Tech or educational technology continues to be a growing and noticeable trend in 2021 as well. As people change their outlook towards the way in which they learn, entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative ways in which they can encourage this learning. The ed tech industry was already on a rise before the pandemic, but COVID-19 accelerated its growth exponentially.

Online Fitness Industry

Since gyms were closed and the morale was at an all-time low in 2020, people looked towards exercise. Fitness challenge trends became a norm on social media platforms, and people saw the mental and physical health benefits of focusing on exercise. Gym trainers, yoga instructors, personal dieticians and nutritionists, all took on to this trend and created an online fitness industry in place.

Coaches and instructors uploaded move-along-with-me videos on YouTube, offered group exercise sessions on Zoom, and even one-on-one personal training to truly bring the outdoor exercise experience home. This created a source of income for fitness professionals as well, who were facing a shortage of income because of the closing of nearly all aspects of their industry.

While Olympian-level professionals could not train to compete, they could at least keep up their strength and fitness level in this time. People gradually shifted towards yoga because it gave them a sense of peace and calm, and an outlet for their anxiety. Whether or not this trend will last in the post-pandemic world is still hard to say, but the online fitness industry did observe a noticeable boom over the last year.

Changes in the Food Industry

Restaurants were closed. The food and beverage industry was facing a major crisis. People who still could afford to order in, did so sparingly because it was looked at as an unnecessary expense.

There was an online trend where people got really into baking banana bread and sourdough, and something seemed to stick. As restaurants pushed marketing strategies to promote delivery sales, there was a new trend emerging. Home chefs started to take their talent and use it as a means to earn a living for themselves. They collaborated with one other, started offering daily packaged services, and helped those who couldn’t cook to save their lives.

This created a more affordable and healthier option for most who preferred ordering in, and boosted the food industry as well. Many have gone on to open cloud kitchens due to the rise in demand, and who knows… maybe we’ll see more of these home chefs and bakers own a restaurant when things open up!

eCommerce for SMEs

A big part of the rise in entrepreneurship and new businesses can be credited to eCommerce. There are new handy products and tools being launched every day, and it has grown to include a vast variety of services. Small-scale businesses have used this opportunity of not having access to physical stores to digitalise their operations and sell their products online. This expands their reach to a nationwide scale, or even global if there is demand. Selling of goods has never been easier.

The eCommerce trend started with brands like Amazon and IKEA, but content management systems like Shopify and Wix have provided businesses of all sizes to create an online marketplace for themselves.

There are new jewellery artists, artefacts being sold one, digital artwork, handcrafted home accessories, products for daily use such as customised planners, clothes, bags, knick knacks… the list is endless. If you want to buy something local and unique, there are chances you will be able to find it online now.

So, what does this mean for service-based eCommerce?

Sabisuu is a platform that aims to shine the eCommerce spotlight from sale of just goods and products to the sale of services. Sabisuu has created an online marketplace for the exchange of services, where buyers and sellers can interact to have their needs met. These are all trusted and verified customers as well as creators and vendors, who present on the platform. Small-scale, service-based and new companies can benefit from joining the application greatly as well because they get more visibility without having to spend excessively on marketing or advertising efforts.

For information on Sabisuu, head over to to find out more.


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