Are you a student? You don’t have to rely on your parents or guardian’s handouts to make ends meet.
I understand how hard it is to put food on the table as a student especially if you have frugal parents.
You can suffer my friend!
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But not any longer.
Here are some interesting student business ideas you can start now and run as part-time while you study.
But before I reveal my list of profitable student business ideas, promise one thing: that you will continue with your studies even when the business is booming.
There is nothing worse than neglecting what took you to school for clout. Continue schooling. As long as it makes sense. Everything else will fall into place.
I bet you’ve seen all these photoshoots all over Instagram newsfeed.
Of course, you have.
If you own a decent camera, preferably digital (DSLR) then I’d say, you got everything you need to start your photography business.
I won’t even mention the photography skills because you can learn them in under 30 minutes, thanks to YouTube videos.
You can even move one step further by partnering with events venues or attached to existing promotions.
Strive for the ‘official photographer post’ so no one else can get your pie.
To make things more interesting and bring in more money, consider setting up your own photo booth.
#2. Sell stuff on eBay
I know of a friend who’d import electronics from China and sell them for profit on eBay.
Here is an idea for you, go to Alibaba.com and search for fast-moving electronics like wireless earphones (the type of earpods), import a few of them, and sell.
One costs between $1 and $2. After the costs incurred, you can sell them at $5 and still make money.
If you are in Kenya, there are eBay alternatives like Jumia, Kilimall, JiJi, among others.
#3. GPS tracking business
No, you don’t have to design and mass-produce your own hardware.
There is what we call dropshipping.
Here, you display a product’s image on your website and when you get an order, you forward it to the manufacturer, pay for it, and pocket the difference.
To gain an edge, focus on a narrow market at first, like pet and family tracking devices.
As you grow, move to fleet tracking, NGOs, and other governmental organizations.
#4. Nightlife promotions
While you can easily be a night events promoter, why confine yourself when you can spread your wings and be great?
If you have a sizeable social media fan base, have access to a group (a society), and a good sense of branding, you can pitch your own events.
All you have to do is pick the quietest night of the week, approach a big venue around you with a sound plan.
And with zero upfront fees, you have a shot at promoting an event.
#5. Campus laundry service
You know how students hate laundry.
Take advantage of their laziness and offer to wash, dry, and deliver their laundry for/at a modest price.
It doesn’t have to be only students.
You can expand your target market to busy professionals and parents who don’t have time to wash their kids’ clothes. Consider using leaflets to market your business.
And target apartments or settlements where there are not enough washing machines.
Yes, there are people making money through leaflet and flyer distribution.
As a university/college student, there is no better place to distribute flyers than on campus. Better part?
You don’t need any license to drop leaflets on doors.
But be warned, if you are planning to distribute them on private properties or busy areas, make sure you have the right paperwork.
Night clubs and student startups should be your first targets.
Pay attention because this is genius.
Approach all businesses around the campus and request them to give you a student-only discount. It doesn’t have to be huge, but must be exclusive to students only.
Once you have a sizeable deal and something of value, package them together into an app or discount card, and then sell it to fellow students.
Additionally, go ahead and sell advertising on the app or the discount card (putting logos).
That should cover the design and manufacturing work and be left with a good amount.
#8. Become a campaigner
Yes! Insane campus elections where students go nuts with lecture campaigning, speeches.
You can capitalize on this craze and be the go-to guy for supplies such as posters and stuff.
#9. Write Student news
I know, the news industry is the most competitive in the world.
There are hundreds of news media competing for our attention. But that doesn’t mean there is no room for innovation.
You can start a campus news website and do really well. To make money, consider offering advertisements and partnerships.
#10. Halls cleaning
If you are looking for the best student’s business idea, then here it is cleaning halls. It is not only self-sufficient but also a small business you can start in university.
All you have to do is print flyers and go around the halls of residence advertising your service. Plus, you don’t need any experience.
You can be instantly profitable and soon expand the empire by hiring fellow students who know how to clean, then take your cut.
#11. Start a student moving service
Students move around a lot.
As such, there is a need for a readily affordable and affordable moving service.
You don’t have to own a van, consider hiring it for the whole day.
If you are efficient, you can move 10+ students per day, pay for the van, and pocket the difference.
#12. Test products
Students love freebies and you can capitalize on that.
Also, companies appreciate feedback before they launch new products into the market.
The feedback helps them better products.
All you have to do is search for companies accepting free testers and apply.
If you are accepted, you will receive products. Better part? They allow you to keep them and some even go to extend of paying you to test.
#13. Get paid to fill out surveys
Several companies pay people to participate in their surveys.
They include Swagbucks, Toluna, OnePoll among others.
Take the questions and go through them while on the bus, while taking coffee, or whenever you are free.
Companies use surveys for market research, which vital during product development. As such, they pay really good money, though maybe not per question, but overall.
#14. Proof-read essays
The last thing you want as a student is to submit inadequate essays riddled with grammar mistakes among other embarrassing mistakes.
I remember back in our days, there was this prank where we used to swipe words like ‘a’ with a swearword on someone’s homework, just hours before they submit their assignment!
Help avoid such mistakes by proofreading their homework, at a fee of course.
#15. Buy and sell limited-edition street fashion
Wearing the latest designer brands is the #1 goal of most students in uni.
These humans adore fashion like nothing else you’ve ever seen.
And if there is something students will throw money into, is limited-edition fashion.
But there is one problem Such stuff sells out seconds after launch, leaving more buyers disappointed.
This is where you come in. If you can be a little bit savvy, you can buy such fashion and flip it at a profit.
#16. Get paid to test websites and apps
Just like testing and reviewing products, you can also test websites and applications.
Such is known as usability testing.
Here, you use an app or a tool to give feedback on how an app or website was easy (or not) to use and whether everything works as it’s supposed.
All you need is a laptop and a working microphone. Next, sign up with usability testing websites like UserTesting, TryMyUI, and WebUsability among others.
#17. Enter competitions
Before you dismiss this idea, hear me out.
I understand this may sound a little potluck. But the secret is on the numbers. Enter enough competitions and the odds will be in your favor.
There are thousands of online competitions and are free to enter. Dedicate a few hours and enter as many as you can and you are likely to win sizeable rewards.
#18. Sell your class notes
Why not make money from your classwork?
Yes. Sites like Stuvia have made it easy to sell notes and other study materials.
Once you’ve created an account on the site, you can upload as many documents as you want and set prices.
The secret is to allow people to preview the notes. Additionally, typed notes are better, easy to upload, and download.
#19. Buy and resell tickets
You can buy a bunch of tickets to concerts and events before they sell-out and flip it for a profit can be a real money-maker.
There are university Facebook groups dedicated to selling such stuff.
Or, you can join ticket flipping sites like Viagogo or Bilotto. FOMO (fear of missing out) is the best motivator.
Use it to your advantage by getting lots of tickets to, say, a music festival. Then sell it a day before the event, the moment when FOMO is high.
#20. Open a coffee or snack kiosk
Take advantage of sports events on campus or popular joints around the school and open a stall.
Make sure you get permission from relevant authorities or the property owner. If you can get the school on-board is even better.
As for the snacks, buy them on wholesale or bake them yourself. This way, you save a lot of expenses and in turn make huge profit margins.
#21. Student Business Ideas – Self-publish a book
Always had an idea for a story?
Well today more than ever, with the rise of eBooks, there’s nothing to stop you from writing and publishing your own book.
In fact, you don’t even need to be passionate about penning a novel, you can still make some money from writing.
All you have to do is set an unusual goal where you either blog or sit down to write a book about the story.
#22. Student Business Ideas – Set up a Skype language training
Do you speak more than one language?
If yes, whether you realize it or not, you can make serious money from something that comes naturally to you.
There is more than one way of making money from your language speaking skills. But one of the best is taking in students and coaching them.
And you can do that on Skype. Since this is online, you reach thousands of people around the world without having to leave your room.
#23. Student Business Ideas – Become a professional finder
Always view yourself as a bit of a Sherlock Holmes?
You can combine these skills, the internet, and local directories to help people track down the impossible.
These can be things they have lost, rare items, or distant relatives.
#24. Student Business Ideas – organize speed dating events
Tinder may be fancy, but nothing beats that feeling of meeting a person in the real world.
Students are looking for the ‘real’ thing instead of leaving your fate up to the virtual matchmaking algorithms.
You can make that possible by organizing speed date nights and charging a small entry fee.
#25. Student Business Ideas – Transcribe and sell lecture notes
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not encouraging anyone to miss lectures.
But let’s face it, when have you seen a 100% class attendance? Never in a million years.
Even though sometimes the lecture notes lack a clear context, you can offer to transcribe words into mp3 files. Then sell the files to those who missed the classes.
Better yet, you can sell them to those who attended too, who can turn down best notes ever.
Also, if you have some graphic design skills, why not offer to produce handout notes to lecturers?
#26. Become a model for stock images
No, you don’t need to be the typical model to be featured on stock images.
The idea of such photographs is to produce a realistic world. If you are the camera-shy type, all is not lost. You can help the photographers to identify models.
Or, grab the camera and do the shooting by yourself. And then sell the photos to stock websites.