What are the best small business ideas for college students
to start with no money? Are you an enterprising student
and want to start a business in school? Do you want to
graduate from school without ever having to look for a job
or depend on the government? Then below are the best
business ideas for college students.
Education is an expensive project. Students have to pay for
or buy a number of things ranging from text books, hand
outs, excursions, field trips, research projects, practical
and even accommodation. While some students have
sponsors who readily provide them with funds for such
items, majority of students are either self-sponsored or have
to rely on their parents who can only do little for them.
With the increasing costs of tuition and other fees in schools
and colleges, it’s now becoming more than important for
college bound students or those already in college to start a
business. Before now, college students can easily get part-
But due to the bad global economy, there are now fewer
jobs, stiffer competition, automation with technology, and
constant changes within corporations. So, the key is to
accept the new economic reality and prepare to survive even
in the face of harsh conditions.
Work from jobs for college students
However, you can still live comfortably and achieve great
career accomplishments if you make the right strategic
moves. Launching a business while in college will set you up
for success and responsibility. There are many unique startup
business ideas for students that can turn out to be
profitable ventures later on. It may begin with the young
and enterprising person’s passion for something.
Whether it’s computer games, gourmet sandwiches or
special home-baked goodies, cute accessories, gadgets or
sports equipment (the list goes on), there’s bound to be
something that can appeal young people looking to make big
bucks. So without wasting your time, below are profitable
business ideas that you can start as a college student:
★★★Top 50+ Low Cost Small Business ideas
for College Students★★★
1. Transportation service
If your parent has an old car that has been abandoned for
a long time, you can fix it and start a micro transport
service. Chances are your fellow students need
transportation to and from campus. And most of the time,
the transport arrangements by school authorities are not
So, your college colleagues would be willing to pay you to
transport them. They will prefer your services to that of the
college because yours will save their time and provide more
comfort and flexibility.
2. Tutoring service
As a college student, chances are you are particularly good
in one or two subjects. You’ll make a lot of money by
offering to teach others who are having problems with those
subjects — most especially if they are very important
subjects that students must pass before promotion or
3. Career counseling
If you have good communication skills, you can meet the
recruiters and employers in the on-campus career center to
learn what they are looking for in job applicants. Then you
can become a career coach and counselor simply by leaking
these secrets to other students.
If you are a good
about starting a personal sports training service aimed at
teaching fellow students who are interested in becoming
skilled sportsmen like you. You can use either an on-campus
facility or a local fitness facility off campus.
5. Party promotion
Most college students love partying. So, you can make
decent income if you know how promote parties and get the
best deejays and party people to events. You can also
organize shows involving celebrity singers and entertainers.
6. On-boarding services for international students
If your college admits students from other countries that
have never lived in your country for long, you can start an
on-boarding service for international students. Such
students find the campus environment overwhelming, and
they may have a hard time blending with the new system.
If you are compassionate, and you enjoy meeting new
people, you can set up a hospitality or familiarization
program for international students. You can either
collaborate with the office of students’ affairs in your
school or run your business independently.
7. Graphics arts design services
If you have a knack for creative design and you are very
good at it, you can start a graphics design business. You
can offer your services for both students and college
professors who want to beautify their research and reports
as well as their presentations. You can also make additional
income by designing banners for events and occasions in
your college and by designing creating greeting cards for
birthdays and holidays.
8. Freelance writing services
If you are very good with words, then you can start a
freelance writing service. This would involve handling writing
assignments for clients — not fellow students, because this
is unethical and against the rules in virtually all schools and
colleges. You can hook up with clients over the internet by
registering an account with freelance outsourcing sites.
You can start a blog for marketing your writing services and
promote your business in online forums and via social media.
Writing assignments that you’ll be handling for clients
include articles, blog posts, ebooks, sales copies, press
releases, business proposals, and so on.
9. Dog walking services
If you love dogs and other pets, you can start a dog
walking service. If some of your colleagues come to school
with their pets ( though this is not allowed in most
schools ), you can advertise your services to them. Before
starting, consult a professional vet to get tips on how to
care for dogs and other animals.
10. Hair styling service
You can start rendering your services as a hair stylist or
professional barber. Everyone loves to look good, and good
hair care is one of those factors that improve one’s overall
appearance. So, you will make a lot of cash off of your
colleagues by starting this business.
More Small Business Ideas for College Students to
Start Without Money
Working class mums always need babysitters to take care of
their children while they work or attend to their businesses.
You can cash in on this opportunity by becoming a baby
sitter and earning extra income to support yourself through
12. Event planning
There are series of campus events from student parties to
award nights, matriculations and convocations. You can
offer your services and help in planning such events and get
paid for it.
Although starting up might be challenging as you will need
to be able to convince sponsors that you can handle the job
perfectly. You can offer to do the first few jobs for free
and start charging when you have proven yourself to be an
excellent event planner.
13. Residential and Commercial Cleaning
As a student, you can also make money from cleaning other
people’s homes or offices. Most people are often too busy
to clean their homes or offices themselves so they simply
outsource these services to other people. You can take out
few hours daily from studying and get cleaning jobs to help
you earn extra income.
14. Fitness Trainer
Our society has made keeping fit a necessity and many
people are looking for ways to keep fit daily. Not many
people have the time to visit a gymnasium and would gladly
pay for a personal fitness instructor to come into their
homes and train them instead. If you are someone who is
passionate about sports, you can become a fitness trainer
and earn decent income from it.
15. Pet Grooming : Everyone loves a clean and nice smelling
pet but most people either do not know how to groom their
pets or simply do not like doing these themselves. You can
become a pet groomer and make extra income from it. You
will be required to bathe the pets, trim their hair and
sometimes take them out for fresh air and exercise.
16. Photography and Videography
Students love to capture beautiful moments in photos and
there are chances of making good money if you are a very
good photographer. You can also record live campus events
on video tapes and sell them for a fee.
17. Master of Ceremonies (MC): You can also become an
MC and anchor campus and off-campus events and parties.
18. Food Delivery: As a student, you can make money as a
part-time chef or by making pre-packaged meals and selling
them to fellow students.
19. Sewing -: You can make good money from helping
students mend their clothes .
20. Dance and Music Classes : If you are really good at
dancing or play any musical instrument well, you can become
a music or dance instructor.
21. Gardening : Do you love gardening, trimming lawns and
beautifying homes? A lot of people wouldn’t mind paying
you to help them keep their homes and gardens beautiful.
Online Business ideas for College Students to
22. Start Selling E-books
As a student, there will be topics you are passionate about
and you can make money by writing e-books about them
and selling them on the internet. Writing books would not
cost you money but a little bit of your time and energy and
this can easily be done alongside studying. When writing
your e-book, you must make sure you research hot
keywords in that niche and use them so that people can
locate your e-book easily through search engines.
23. Start Building Mobile Applications
Mobile Apps are hot right now and many businesses and
individuals are hiring people to build mobile applications for
them. Do you have programming skills? Then you can also
make money as a student by building mobile apps and
23. Start Blogging
You can create a blog on blogger.com or WordPress and
start writing about topics you are passionate about. All you
need to start this is your computer and internet connection.
If you write well and you gain much blog traffic, you can
make money from Google AdSense or other third party
24. Consider Affiliate Marketing
What an affiliate marketer does is to help promote products
and services of other companies and earn commission from
sales made. You will need a good knowledge of web
marketing, sales copywriting and pay per click marketing to
become an affiliate marketer.
25. Freelance Writing : You can provide ghost writing
services to people who need it and get paid for it.
26. Offer Virtual Assistance Services
A lot of busy professionals would not mind getting extra
help in reading their e-mails, responding to enquiries and
organizing meetings and tasks for them without having to
hire a secretary or personal assistant. Many people prefer to
hire a virtual assistant who would work from home. You can
become a virtual assistant and offer such services as long as
you have a computer and an excellent internet connection.
27. Start a Resume Writing Service : If you are very good
with words and information presentation, you can help
people write their resume in ways that would attract
employers and get paid for it.
28. Offer Bookkeeping Services: If you are really good
with accounting , you can become a bookkeeper and offer
bookkeeping services to business and individuals online.
29. Engage in Website Design and Flipping: As a student,
you can go into website designing and get paid for it . You
can also buy websites that are undeveloped, develop them
and then sell them for a fee.
30. Do Search Engine Optimization Jobs
Companies and business owners are always looking for ways
to place their businesses at the top of search engines such
as Google and Bing. You can make money by helping
companies improve web page ranking.
31. Provide Language Translation and Transcription
As a student, you can offer language translation services.
If you are very good in a second language, you can help
people translate documents from that language to English or
vice versa. There are also lots of opportunities for
transcription services on the internet. Transcription entails
converting recorded speech to written text.
32. Start Organizing Webinars: You can organize seminars
online known as webinars and share your ideas on a certain
topic that people would be interested in while you charge
33. Become an Online Nutritionist : A lot of people are
looking for ways to eat healthy so as to prevent diseases in
future and a lot of people are also looking for diet plans for
weight loss online. You can make money by selling weight
loss meal plans or nutritional guides to people online.
34. Become a Ticketing Agent: As a student, you can
make money from selling air travel tickets to people who
need it on the internet.
35. Become an Online Tutor
If you are smart and very good academically and wouldn’t
mind imparting knowledge in others, you can make money by
becoming an online tutor. There are websites that offer such
services and you can sign up to become one of their tutors
or you can create your own website and start helping
students get better at their academics.
36. Become a Graphic designer
If you are very good with graphics, you can make money by
becoming a graphic designer . There are websites where you
can offer your services and get paid for it. Such websites
include Freelancer, Odesk etc.
37. Start a Property Finding Service
You can offer property finding services to fellow students
searching for accommodation or even to non-students. You
will need to go around and search for vacant houses and list
them on your website so that people who need such
accommodation can contact you. However, you will need to
create awareness for your website by printing flyers and
telling as many people as you can.
38. Establish Online Directories: You can also create online
directories and charge companies for listing their businesses.
39. Engage in Online Surveys: There are lots of
opportunities to make money from filling out online survey.
Simply register on a legitimate paid survey site and get paid
when you answer survey questions.
40. Online Reputation Management (ORM) : A company’s
reputation translates to sales most of the time, which is why
companies pay people to manage their product and brand
41. Buying and selling stuff online has become one of the
big money-earners in the digital age. The challenge comes in
offering something unique or which stands out from other
product offerings in the marketplace.
42. Cute and unique gift items presented in a website can
sell like hotcakes especially during seasons like Christmas
and Valentine. Reasonably priced cupcakes with creative
designs can likewise capture the attention of pastry lovers or
food gift buyers browsing the web.
43. Computer enthusiasts who use the Internet for
research, emailing, and playing online games may find huge
appeal in taking part in a business like testing new games
and providing feedback on the games.
44. Making personalized invitations for occasions like
baptisms, bachelorette parties, birthdays and special events
may also turn out to be a money earner for students.
45. Students can also usually find making websites , writing
and posting blogs about places they have been to or
products they have tried a good way to earn money. It does
not take a genius to try out and succeed in these unique
business ideas for students.
46. Other creative ways for college students to make money
and enjoy themselves in the process; depending on their
hobbies and interests are arranging/mixing songs (which
require initial investment on equipment); offering
photography services with background design and CDs;
and making beaded jewelry.
47. Indeed, students have many ideas on cool stuff they
can sell that other kids would love to purchase. For some
students who know where to source goods like slippers/
sandals with a design twist, cute kiddie costumes or teen
48. Students can also choose among the reputable affiliate
marketing programs online that sell products; then they can
allot time to learn details about products the affiliate
companies sell, like jewelry, supplements, apparel, gadgets,
49. Another business idea for students is using a leading e-
commerce site to sell goods . What young enterprising
individuals need to do is simply take good photos of the
products they intend to sell and post these online, along
with a concise product description so that potential buyers
can bid on them. Careful judgment must be used though,
when dealing with online customers as there are individuals
who are not really serious about buying but keep bidding.
In conclusion, I want you to know that some unique small
business ideas for students may be inspired by existing
products in the marketplace. Take for instance milk teas,
which now come in various delicious flavors and are snapped
up by beverage loving customers.
Most small business ideas that start out small end up
churning out huge profits, and the best thing about such
businesses is that youngsters can manage them from the
comforts of their homes or neighborhood.