18 Business ideas to consider as a student.

If you are a student and you are reading this article, the truth is that you can start a side business and still keep good grades. We are going to look at some lucrative business ideas that can earn you income even as a student.

I know we are asking ourselves some of the following questions:

Where do I get time?smal biz

You only need a few hours every day to effectively execute the ideas that we are presenting here. Most of them you can work on during the weekends. These are times you normally spend on trivial stuff. Why not invest that time and create a beautiful and profitable future for yourself?

Where do I get the money?smal biz1

You don’t need a lot of money to start any of these business ideas; for some of them, you don’t need money at all.

Why should I start a side Business?

  • You prepare yourself for life after school. The labor market is usually not pretty; nothing is guaranteed. The only way to make sure you don’t go through the painful process of job search is to start your own business and school is the perfect place to prepare yourself for that.
  • You set up contacts, client base and networks that you can draw from when you need them.
  • You gain vital experience: this is usually the time you harness your skills and gather experience that takes you further after school.
  • With each success you increase in confidence and with each failure you increase in learning.

While most of the business ideas discussed in this article need little or no capital to start, they require a certain level of mastery in some skills such as speed-typing, writing, graphics design etc.

The slogan for your success is simple: “Being consistent in what you do!”

If you do not possess the necessary skills to start, I urge you to invest the time and money to acquire one.

You can consider any of the following business ideas to start.

1. Typing and Editing Business

Most students have need to type their assignments, projects and thesis. If you have a personal computer, you can start up a typing business.

How this works is you collect the handwritten assignments and type in the evening, after school. If you lack speed-typing skills, install a typing tutorial software like Mavis Beacon and start practicing.

After typing, you take it to a computer center to print out at a cheaper price and you can then charge your client a higher sum to make a margin.

2. Call Box (Mobile Money) Business

You can create a call box for calls and retail of airtime to subscriber’s telecom networks. To this callbox you can as well do deposit and withdrawals to Mobile money accounts and earn a commission. This does not even require you having a fixed location.

3. Organize Tutorial Classes

You can organize tutorial classes for students in lower classes in your department. There are courses that are usually tough and difficult to understand, and students taking that course will not mind paying someone to teach them the course.

When I was in the University, I used to organizing tutorial classes for students in lower grades, in my field of studies.   To organize a tutorial, you need to find a place inside the school, and then inform the course representative to tell the class of an upcoming tutorial session.

4. Sell Compiled Past Questions

Nothing sells fast in school like past question papers, especially as exam date approaches. You can get past questions from your department and other departments, solve the questions with the help of your text books, then convert it to short handout and sell to students during exams.

5. Pastries and Cake Making

Students need cakes for birthday celebrations and other occasions. If you have the skills, you can tap into this opportunity and make your money in your spare time. Once they know you are good, you will never run out of money. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool especially in school and out of it.

I know of someone who was making Doughnuts and placing at the school canteen and she made a lot of money out of this side activity.

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6. Photography

Photography, amateur or professional, is always good business for a willing mind to engage on the side. For a start, you can target events and social gatherings.

If you are interested, it would provide you a springboard to move to more a professional and rewarding career in photography.



  1. Graphics Designsmal biz2.jpg

Graphics design is another money spinner for those who have the skills. There seems to be a shortage of competent graphics designers so the few of them are always very much in demand. Again, you can create a portfolio for yourself on odesk, fiverr, etc. Don’t hesitate to offer free services for people to test your work and give you feedback.

8. Used Clothes Business

This is usually known as the Okirika clothes business. It involves buying used clothes and reselling to students. $20 can get you started on a small scale okirika clothe business. You should focus on Jeans, shirts, shoes and tops.

It is important to meet people who are already in the business for guidance before you make your purchase. This is to avoid burning your fingers in bad business.

9. Hair Plaiting/Styling Business

You can learn to plait hairs and fix weave-on, and offer the services for a fee in school and around your hostel. And your charges can be based on the rate in your location.

10. Manicure and Pedicure Services

A lot of female students fix their nails especially during weekends. You can offer a home nail fixing service business. You can purchase the basic equipment needed for fixing nails which are not so expensive and fix a charge for the services you rendered.

11. Barbing Salon Business

This is one of the most lucrative small business ideas in school. If you intend doing it on your own, you may need a substantial budget.

If you have the skill, you can look for barbing salons close to you and introduce yourself. Once any of them accepts you, you can attach yourself there and make your money in your spare time. Naturally, you pay a stipend to your host for accommodating you.

12. Bloggingsmal biz3.jpg

You must have heard that people make 5 figure income online through blogging. Well, let me officially tell you that this is 100% true. It costs nothing to start a free blogspot or wordpress blog and if you understand how blogging works, you will be making your money in no time. I will be introducing a whole new course on blogging in later articles so keep an eye out for it.

13. Freelance Writing

If you have good writing skills, you are missing out on a lot of money. Apart from writing for bloggers who may not have the time to write, you can make a fortune from freelance sites like ODesk or Fiverr.

As a starter, you can offer free writing services as a way of introducing yourself and getting positive feedback. You can also offer your writing skills to our blog gwolfltd

14. Outdoor Catering Services

You can start this business yourself with nothing or join a team that offers the service to increase your confidence in cooking for events and occasions.

Catering is very lucrative, but you need passion to sustain your drive. It’s not about the money, it’s about the passion.  Catering funds itself. You want me to cook for you, you give me money and I cook. You don’t need millions to start.

15. Professional Cleaning Services

Before people move into a new house, they usually require the services of a cleaner to tidy the place up. This is money waiting to be made.

To start, you will need a way of letting people know you are in the business. Facebook has made it very easy to spread the word about any service you offer. So you create an enticing Facebook page for your cleaning services, promote it for a little fee and you are in business.

You can do this in your spare time and you need no money to start because when people call you for a job, they pay you a deposit fee which you use to buy the materials you need.

16. Real Estate Agent

This never goes out of fashion and is always in demand. You help people find a house to live in and you get paid. You probably know a lot of people who do this.

Reliability and access to genuine information should be your watchword if you are to succeed in this business. You will need a business card and trust me, word of mouth will do the rest.

17. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third-party and has it shipped directly to the customer.

Dropshipping is a booming business model now and will continue to see success in the near future. Thanks to the internet, you can conduct every phase of this business right from your room, with surprising ease.

The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third-party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders

To start this business, you need a personal computer and internet access. You will need to know your way around websites like aliexpress, amazon, and you will need to know how to create a Facebook page and set up an online shop on your Facebook page.

You will also need to know how to create an online shop on websites like shopify and how to drive traffic to your shop

18. Sports/Physical Trainer

A lot of people struggle with weight loss and physical fitness. If you are a good athlete, think about starting a personal sports training service for helping fellow students. You can use either an on-campus facility or a local fitness facility off campus. You can also develop training manuals and videos and sell them at sports centers and gyms.

There are other business ideas out there but these should get you started. Remember the most wonderful idea that remains in your head is basically useless.

The time to start is now!

Read our articles on 12 Passive Income Opportunities and 5 Business Opportunities for African Entrepreneurs, to explore other business opportunities you may want to consider.


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