Learn & earn with the top 25 small business ideas for college students

small business ideas for college students

Do you want to know the business ideas for college students? What are the entrepreneurship ideas for college students? Are there businesses to start in college?

Well, I will go through the business ideas for college students. These business ideas can be taken as a full or part-time business opportunities.

I understand that as a student, you may have little time to spare. But it’s in this spare time that you may make your small business ideas to work.

One reason that student should take advantage of these college business ideas is, it helps you develop business skills and make money from it.

Top 25 small business ideas for college students

Because you’re students, I’ve decided to present to you the business ideas you can do with little or no money.

But are businesses that you can grow with it once you’re into it.

Here are the top 25 business ideas for the student who can start from there hostels. You’ll need one to two hours daily

  1. Blogging

Blogging is not a new thing. We’ve seen how people have used their blogs to create a great business from sharing content in their chosen field.

You too can follow in their footsteps.

To begin blogging, you’ll have to create one.

To create one, you’ll have to get a platform. There is free or paid platform. When using the free platform, you can use sites like blogger.com, wordpress.com.

The problem with using the free blogging platform, is you do not have the control over your blog, which means the owners of the blog platform might delete your blog anytime and people will not take you serious as your domain name will carry the extension of the blogging platform.

For instance, if you’re using blogger to create your blog, the domain name will carry name.blogger.com.

When you’re going to buy a domain name and sign up for hosting, it’ll look professional and you’ll have much more control about your blogging business.

But you have to note, blogging is all about sharing your passion with people who are willing to listen to you in a content form.

Your content can be shared in three different formats. All format works perfectly well, you’ll have to choose the one that works perfectly well for you.

The format can be video, audio popularly called podcast or via the article.

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  1. Graphic design

Graphic designers are always in demand. This is one of the college business ideas that’s lucrative, once you can create unique designs.

Many people need this service. People create magazines, posters, flyers, and billboards to advertise their business and so on.

You’ll need to have the technical know-how of photoshop or CorelDraw and creativity to create great designs.

Great designs are simple and have a great color combination.

There are several formats to output your designs. Some of the formats are pdf, jpeg, png, word document or PS file.

But it’s in animation, 3d design models that you can make the most out of the graphic design business.

With animation, you can create adverts, short video intros, video representation and so on.

Whichever graphic design business you intend to start, you can be sure to make money out of it.

  1. Photography

If you have some creative photography chops, you might want to start the photography business as a student.

Photography is all about memories. Students can hardly do without it. In most cases, the average student takes at least two pictures a semester.

The photography business enables you to snap pictures, print and deliver to the customer.

Although this business is facing a threat from smartphones, tablet PCs and selfies, as smartphones are used to take snapshots that will often not require the services of a photographer.

Even with that, when you stand out in your business, you’ll never run out of business.

When you’re creative, you still will attract customers.

This business begins with getting a professional camera and learning how to use any of the photos editing software like Photoshop.

  1. Tutorial classes

While I was a student, tutorial classes where what help me succeed. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have succeeded.

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Create a tutorial class and charge student. Many tend to favor this form of classes as it’s well explained and a chance to ask questions freely.

You can create questions and answer booklet and sell to your students. The question might be the past questions of the subjects and provide answering it.

Using technology, you can even take your tutorial classes online and teach people about your business. You can use services like google hangout to schedule your post.

Using online, you can schedule time for the tutorials and allow the student to attend wherever they’re.

  1. Mini business center

To begin this business, you’ll need a mini printer and photocopier. Books, project, seminar, research materials, ebooks, handout and other material are either printed or photocopied.

You don’t need a shop. You can use your hostel to start and the good news is you don’t pay for rent or any utility bills.

  1. Sales of school materials

School materials are required on a daily basis by students. These materials can be a pen, writing pads, plain sheets, foolscap and so on.


You can provide the essential materials at the hostel doorstep.

  1. Sales of lab coats

Create the lab coats and begin to sell to the new students. Not all lab coat are the same. If you’re in the medical and science faculty, the lab coat will be different to that of an engineering faculty.

In the lab coat business, you don’t need to be a designer or tailor to do it. Just know the materials and the standard sizes for that will fit certain group of people.

For instance, we have small, medium, XL, XXL, XXXL sizes. You can determine the sizes base on the student sizes.

  1. Online registration

Not many people have the time or want to do their online registration.

With many tuition fees are paid via online. You can start a business of online registration to provide the easy way people will get registered.

For instance, a person created a business of online registration in which he can make payment on your behalf and you pay him 10% of the total sum.

Student prefers that than to go through the stress of waiting for days to make payment.

  1. Research

When I was in school I did research for people. You can also do that for students as many people don’t like taking their time to do that.

Research can be done on presentation topics, project topics and so on. You can begin your search using google scholar.

  1. Small provision store

There are daily things people cannot do without. The student will need soap, fast foods, water, seasoning and so on. Provide the essential things people use daily with the comfort of your hostels will attract more customers than you think.

  1. Freelance writing

There are many online blogs and campus magazine which you can write for them. Contact them and give them samples of your work and once satisfied, you can negotiate the terms.

You can write on trending topics, school politics, editorials, motivation etc. Writing with facts plays really a vital role.

  1. Event planning

Event planning is a daily thing on campus. There is hardly a day pass by without one program or another. All these programs require an event planner to carry on the planning.

Get into the business by telling people about your event planning business.

  1. Commercial cleaning

The commercial cleaning services can be done during weekends. You can do laundry services or hostel services.

A friend who started the business of dry cleaning, grow his business in two years because he created a promo which gave a student to make one payment and that payment will be valid for three months.

As a result, students rush in and subscribes in two days he was able to raise the money which he invested in purchasing more machines that improve their efficiency.

Just be creative and build your own. You may not have the machines at the start, but you can use your hand before buying the machine with time.

  1. Career counseling

Many students don’t even know what they want or the career they can pursue. When you provide such service, you’re not only building a business but helping people to really follow the career that fits them.

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You’ll need to be informed, understand the passion of your client before you can jump into the business of career counseling.

  1. Party promotion

To start this business you must have a suitable platform to carry on the promotion. One vital way of doing it is to create a facebook page, build an audience and charge people for the promotion.

This promotion can also be achieved when you have a blog with huge traffic.

  1. Hair styling business

One great business for women and a business which you can start without needing any space. The criteria are you must have the basic skills and the expertise in hair styling.

When you’re good at your job, you can attract customers within and outside the school.

  1. Fitness training

Create a fitness training session where you train and help people keep fit always.

  1. Master of ceremony (MC)

In an occasion, people are looking for an MC who can stir up the people and make the occasion more lively. When you have the voice, the content and the charisma to do that, you’re good to start.

  1. Food services

You can start the business to provide services which you can cook food for occasions, party and get together.

  1. Sewing

You’ll need a sewing machine to do the business. Many buy dresses that don’t fit them or have added some weight and need to loosen the cloth a bit.

When you provide such service within the school environment, you’ll be surprised at the number of customers you’ll get

  1. Dance and music classes

Create a class where you teach people about dance, choreography, and music. Many like music and want to be part of it in one way or the other. Many will join you because of passion, not necessary pursuing it as a career.

  1. Ebook sales

Create how to Ebooks and sell to the online marketplace. You can also sell it to the student at a discount price to make extra cash. To be successful, you can create the book in series to keep the residual income flowing in.

  1. Mobile app creation

Create these mobile app creation services. The last time I checked, many want to create their own app.

This is one industry that’ll continue to grow, as the use of smartphones increases. You can create from simple to complex mobile app for students.

  1. Web design

Web design is a solid business. Students union, lecturers, and individuals want to create their own website because it’s the easiest way to tell the world what you do.

Your business can be to create the website, but also help in maintaining the website in exchange for cash.

You may not have the knowledge for coding to create one. There are many content development tools that you can use to create the website.

Some of the content management systems are Joomla, drupal, WordPress etc.

  1. Barbing salon

Start a barber shop. You’ll need a clipper and the expertise. With a barbing salon, you’ll need to have the expertise of the business and get the necessary tools to start the business and making the profit.

Final thoughts

These small business ideas for college students work like magic because they’re the products and services that will always be in demand.

But you have to note that, whichever one you decide to do, you need to take it as a business. Which means, success and profitability come with times.

Your turn

The small business ideas listed above, are what student are doing to earn as they learn.

The ball is in your court, to choose which of the small business idea you’ll venture into

What will you add to the top 25 small business ideas for the student?

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Bako Yila

Bako Yila is an entrepreneur and loves working with aspiring entrepreneurs the right way. His blog offers business idea and resources to build a successful business.

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