Date: Wednesday January 1st 2020
The self-employment rate in Singapore as of 2018 was 14.6% .
There’s been more efforts in recent times to understand the steadily growing community of Independent Doers in Singapore, as more Singaporeans are choosing to take up independent work.
For instance, the Tripartite Workgroup on Self-Employed Persons was formed by the government in 2017 to look into challenges faced by the self-employed  through a series of public consultations . The Infocomm Media Development Authority also conducted a study on media freelancers in Singapore to identify areas that could be improved to help media freelancers advance their careers . To better support freelancers in the arts industry, the National Arts Council has created a dedicated platform providing resources related to financial planning, legal services, professional development, and more.
These government initiatives are certainly timely, and they represent a good start towards exploring new systems to help Independent Doers in various spheres of the economy. While we are moving in the right direction in recognising that more support is needed for Independent Doers, a deeper understanding and more targeted solutions would help to truly address their needs.
Independent Doers in Singapore like elsewhere in the world face many practical challenges in their journey. They are responsible for every aspect of their careers, and that means having to manage a business on top of doing what they love.
Some essential areas which they would have to look into include office spaces, business solutions (e.g. financial management, data, CRM), healthcare, legal issues (e.g. IP rights, contracts) and many more. They most often face significantly higher costs when purchasing solutions such as insurance, healthcare, mobile, or software plans.
Many would also find these issues complex and difficult to understand, or simply do not have the time to seek out information or advice. All in all, being an Independent Doer could feel very much like a solitary journey.
COMMON ISSUES FACED BY INDEPENDENT DOERS
Let's take a look at some common issues faced by Independent Doers by using Singapore as an example:
 Figure taken from The World Bank, 2018. Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database.
 Self-employed is defined by the Singapore government as “Those who operate their own business without hiring any employees, more formally known as “own account workers”."