16 Highly Profitable Business Ideas For High School Dropouts

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Think about this. Is there any successful high school dropout you know personally?

Yes, think Richard Branson.

He is a billionaire yet he dropped out of high school at the age of 15.

Instead of whining and feeling sorry for himself, Branson founded his first business, a school magazine.

Today, he oversees over 500 companies under his billion-dollar company, Virgin Group.

Why am I telling you this?

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Dropping out of high school is not the end of the world.

Well, not having that college certificate may deny you certain jobs, but you can still make something out of the situation.

In today’s article, I will reveal #17 highly profitable businesses for highschool dropouts.

If executed well, some of these ideas have the potential to earn you thousands of shillings per month.

  • Sales rep

Sales is the #1 profession with infinite possibilities for high school dropouts.

You have no maximum amount of income you can earn, literally.

As a sales rep, you can earn as much as you want per month. Better part?

You don’t need certificates to get started.

Selling is a skill that requires knowing how to persuade people and make them see the value of the product or service.

It is a profession that many millionaires and entrepreneurs swear by.

Truth is, no business can survive without sales.

Look at even hospitals, they have to sell you the treatment options, available plans, and other stuff.

As such, sales reps will always have jobs.

Now, as a high school dropout, this is the best business you can start.

Requires no upfront capital and no employees (at first).

To get started, join local businesses and help them make more sales in exchange for commissions.

Learn from your mistakes and understand what makes people tick (selling psychology).

  • Construction management business

Construction business is a job that requires skills rather than papers.

It is that business that relies mostly on the experience and reputation you have accumulated over time.

Your job as a construction manager is to plan, coordinate, and manage the budget for the project and supervising workers from start to finish.

As a high school dropout, you will need to find an apprenticeship to learn the ropes of the business.

This may mean starting as a construction worker and rise through the ranks to a leadership position.

From there, you can increase your chances of leading well by taking leadership and management courses.

Don’t worry, they are short, at least 6 months to finish.

After gaining enough experience, you can start your own construction business.

Handle projects well and you should be earning millions in a matter of a few years.

  • Food business.

To cook and serve food, you don’t need any certificate, unless of course, from local authorities.

See, people love eating yummy food, and the last time I checked, they don’t ask the chef to show their credentials before eating.

As such, it is an easy business to start as a high school dropout.

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All you need is good cooking skills and a place to start the business.

For the skills, there are short culinary courses and takes you barely a few months, and you are done.

If lectures disgust you, forget it.

Go ahead and start with what you are good at and sell that first.

As time goes and you have attracted loyal customers, start introducing a new menu and learn from their reviews.

From there, the sky is the limit, and soon, you will be booking events, weddings, and ceremonies.

In this business, you need to learn from your customers’ feedback and do a better job of keeping time.

  • Electrician

I know what you think, ‘don’t you need a college degree to handle wires, Kenn?’

That’s where you are wrong.

There are a ton of vocational institutions offering this course and you are done within a very short time.

And some people already have a basic understanding of how to handle electronics and such, so the certificate is just for authenticity purposes.

From here, you have two choices; start working as an electrician or open a supply business.

If you are wise, you will do both.

First, practice the electrician job to get a good customer base.

Besides, a word of mouth is the most powerful selling tool.

After gaining some traction in this field, open an electrical supply business.

Yes, the goal here is to buy supplies from your own shop.

Doing so, you will earn twice; the customer gets reliable skilled labor and also affordable supplies.

Just make sure your prices are realistic, I know it’d be easy to inflate the prices just because you can.

You may win in the short term, but what happens when the client finds out the cost later on?

It all boils down to work ethics.

  • Coding

This goes for high school dropouts who love computers.

You don’t need a certificate to learn how to code.

It is a lucrative skill proven to make millionaires and billionaires.

Don’t believe me?

Look at Zuckerburg, while he dropped out of college, it is the coding skills that put him where he is today.


Good choice.

Coding is a skill you can learn on your own.

In fact, there are a ton of online tutorials that can take you from a complete coding beginner to an expert in just a few hours.

All you need is an open mind, a plan, and deliberate practice.

To get started, decide on what you want the end goal to be.

I mean, there are a ton of fields that need coding, so pick one.

For example:

Creating mobile android games.

From there, pick a computer language that can help you get there.

In this case, C++ could work.

Now, start learning and putting everything to practice. Soon, you will be a pro churning out app after app.

With the product, you have an option to use it or sell, either way, you win.

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  • Social media marketing

I include this one because social media is a new thing and no school is teaching it, yet.

This means that all the so-called gurus are all self-taught, a thing you can do no matter where you are in life.

And just like coding, there are tutorials online teaching the basics and how most of these platforms work, so you should check them out.

With the skills, all you have to do is demonstrate to a business that you understand what you are talking about.

Show them how you plan to achieve their business goals through social media.

Here is the thing:

No one can say no to more money, not even from high school dropouts.

Also, all the clients care about is your previous work and not your certificates.

Now, this is where you can take this to the next level; instead of doing the work yourself, you have the option of outsourcing it.

This revolutionizes everything because you don’t need an office or employees.

  • Babysitting business

Taking care of babies is a booming business, especially in this economy where parents cannot afford full-time nannies.

It is a business you can run from your house.

Make sure the environment is child-friendly by eliminating anything that can endanger their safety.

To get your first clients, look into your close circle; family, friends, and neighbors.

They already know and trust you, it should be easy to sell to them.

For the business, consider getting kids’ toys to keep them busy for the day.

As the business grows, you can move to a dedicated location.

  • Uber driver

Taxi-hailing apps like Uber, Lyft, Wasili, and Bolt are cementing their dominance in the transport business and drivers are making a killing.

It is a business that only requires a driving license.

The last time I checked, you only needed to show up and take the driving course to get the license.

As for the car, you can hire one from a friend, and then split the earnings at the end of the day.

Why driving a taxi?

Unlike other public transport business, you have a chance to make more money from one client.

Also, marketing is already taken care of by the taxi company.

All you have to do is show up to work and turn on the app as you wait for clients to come calling.

Is it worth it?

On a good day, a taxi driver pockets at least KES 5K.

I don’t know about you, but that is a lot for a high school dropout on a single day.

  • Acting

While you may need some acting lessons to thrive in the film industry, it is something that’s already in you and doesn’t require a certificate to bring it out.

Actors and actresses are earning thousands of shillings for a few hours’ work.

An example of an actor – high school dropout is the one and only Alfonce Makoha dot Makacha of Vihoja Mahakamani.

We all know him and he has acted without a high school certificate for as long as we can remember.

To get started, start auditioning for smaller roles.

As your reputation grows, take on bigger and leading roles.

Who knows, soon Hollywood might come calling.

And trust, when that happens, they won’t ask for your high school certificate.

  • Comedy

Comedians are killing it today more than ever.

We have seen people coming out of nowhere and making it in this industry and all we care about is how much they make us laugh.

If you have that witty part in you, you can start as soon as you are ready.

And no, you don’t need an audition either.

With a good phone and funny jokes, you can be trending in a matter of hours, thanks to social media.

All you have to do is record a short video doing your thing.

Post it on social media.

If it is funny, people will share it, if they don’t, try another one until it is a hit.

Once you have your name out there, consider starting a YouTube channel where you upload your videos consistently.


You can earn on YouTube by enabling the monetization option.

Alternatively, partnering with brands to advertise their products is another lucrative option.

  • Automotive service mechanic.

It is a job you learn onsite.

But if you need some deeper understanding, you can consider some vocational training.

Start a mechanic and you rake experience, transition to a business.

To succeed, you can specialize in a specific type of car.

For example, instead of repairing all motor vehicles, you can focus on Isuzu, Mazda, tractors, etc.

By doing so, you easily build authority and trust within the niche.

Soon, clients will come calling.

For even better business, you can offer service and parts for the specific car.

Just make sure they are genuine not to tarnish your brand.

  • Cosmetologist

People want to look good.

In fact, on average, ladies spend KES 5K on cosmetics alone every month.

And that is a conservative number, some spend at least KES 30K on hair alone.

If you have skills in hairdressing, you can make a lot of money with this business.

Forget location, if your work is beyond awesome, customers will book air tickets to get it.

So, your goal should be to deliver the best service.

  • Welder

Fabricating metals is a booming business, with crazy margins, making it one of the highly profitable businesses for highschool dropouts.

To get the skills, you can start by attending vocational training.

From there, you can learn on the job.

It shouldn’t be hard getting clients, worry about doing a great job.

A secret to success in this business is booking clients before they even start construction projects.

  • Carpenter

Just like welding business, how much you earn depends on your skills.

Handling wood is a skill you get better at onsite.

Also, consider taking custom orders, this way you can charge premium rates.

  • Delivery business

With online shopping skyrocketing, there is a growing need for delivery persons.

No, you don’t need a certificate to deliver a package.

All you need is a good knowledge of your town map and a bicycle to get started.

Sign up for delivery companies like Jumia Food.

As you grow, start advancing to multiple locations, and soon you’ll be giving Wells Fargo sleepless nights.

  • Chauffeur

With your driving skills, you can start a chauffeur business, where you drive dignitaries around.

Start by getting employed and when time is right, create your own company with a fleet of luxury cars people can hire.

Wrapping up

Again, dropping out of high school is nothing but a challenge to think better in life.

In fact, without books and assignments to worry about, you should focus on making money.

Don’t get me wrong here, stay in school, if you can.

After all, knowledge is power. But when life happens, use this list to make the best out of it.

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