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If you’re like any regular kopi-swigging Singaporean, then you’ll realise that a dollar just isn’t what it was back when we were in Primary 6. Real wages have not risen in line with price increases that have hurt the wallets of Singaporeans. While entrepreneurship is having its moment in the sun, for many of those who need the steady pay cheque that comes with having a day job, finding additional income is getting easier with the various sharing economy and crowdsourcing startups that are getting people to trade time, tools or the use of their spare bedroom for cold hard cash.

Here are the top 5 sharing economy startups that are both flexible and will earn you pretty decent money for your efforts:

1. Uber

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Uber has been associated with some nasty incidents of late, such as drivers who harass their passengers and backlash from regulators and taxi unions on their encroachment of the taxi drivers’ turf. But with UberX vehicles’ rental starting from $60 a day — compared to the average taxi rental of $130 and above — plus the need to apply for and pass the test to obtain a vocational license, driving has become an increasingly appealing side job for those seeking an extra source of income. Drivers report earning between $2.5 – 3K per month, if they work full time and after all the various deductions.

Flexibility: Not great — you must use Uber’s own cars, but all you need is a driving license.

Earning potential: High — minimum fare is $8, surge pricing can bring in many times that.

2. Airbnb

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Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider for travellers, and for a country like Singapore where the average hotel stay costs above $150, it is an attractive option for both travellers and hosts alike. While owners of Housing Development Board flats need not apply, there are many in the private sector who are taking to this like a fish to water — a home owner in Serangoon Gardens who rents out their daughter’s bedroom while she studies overseas has netted about 150+ visits over the past two years. Which at $100 a night translates to about $30,000!

Flexibility: Super — you can put your room up for rent as and when you feel like it.

Earning potential: Insane — if you’re in a good location, you can charge a good amount with some nice descriptions and cozy photos.

3. Market9

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Market9 is a grocery delivery platform with a twist: instead of hiring drivers and buying trucks to send produce to your door, they instead crowdsource delivery ninjas who are paid $8 per trip to buy and deliver supermarket fresh produce to the doorstep of customers within their guaranteed 3-hour timeframe. While their rates are about 10% more than supermarkets, the entire delivery fee goes directly to the ninjas — for something as simple as a carton of milk or a block of butter, you are paid the equivalent of nearly two hours’ worth of work at McDonald’s.

Flexibility: Super — only choose to do the jobs that you want to do.

Earning potential: High — each delivery earns you $8 and you have three hours to complete the job. This means you can stack up jobs to save time and effort.


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RYDE is a carpooling and ridesharing startup that allows drivers to connect with users via an algorithm that calculates distance and total contributions to be paid from passenger to driver. While it won’t make you any real money, it could definitely pay for all your car trips and let you meet cool new people on the way to work or a day out to Sentosa — surely better than seeing those surly faces of your colleagues day-in-day-out.

Flexibility: Good — you can always choose to just pick up the pretty girls or buff guys.

Earning potential: Low — you don’t set your own prices. But still can lah.

5. Upwork

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Upwork is the rebranded oDesk-eLance, a place where freelancers list their skills and employers turn to first for good quality work at affordable prices. Skills such as logo design and data entry could easily earn you decent money, and with all work being done remotely, you could easily do this from the comfort of your home or maybe at lunch while the rest of the bees are out fighting for seats at the food court.

Flexibility: High — you have to hustle a little to get jobs but you can pick and choose.

Earning potential: Decent — get paid either by the hour or per job. Rates for a simple logo go for about USD$30-50.

This post was submitted by Kyle, a legal apparatchik-in-training who spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning up other people’s messes. When not chained to his desk, he can be found sprawled on a mat in the Ritual gym or meeting startups and upstarts that he profiles on his blog — chimp2champ.com.

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(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)