10 Profitable Small Business Ideas For College Students

10 Profitable Small Business Ideas For College Students
10 Profitable Small Business Ideas For College Students

While entrepreneurs start small businesses in their local communities, college students are not left out. Dealing with a low allowance from their parents or guardians mostly never takes care of their needs. Some student’s allowances are higher than others, but no matter how high or low each student’s pocket capacity is, knowing how right to spend what you have is crucial to your financial sanity in a semester.

For students who have a little extra and would like to spin-off some income from it, starting the right small business idea in a college or university is important. If you’re thinking too deep on what business to start or not to start in a university, this article will guide you through some profitable small business bets.

See Also: How This African Entrepreneur Turned $250 Into A $6 Million Dollar Business


Here 10 Profitable Small Business Ideas You Can Start In A School / University


1). Laundry Business:

The average university in Nigeria for instance, has at least 4000 students. Out of these number of students, there’re usually at least 1,700 male students. Of this number of male students, 80% of them are usually very lazy to do their laundry, and so it piles up.

This problem gets even worse with private universities, and as such, cleaners and low-level staffs offer to help students do their laundry for a small fee.

Dry cleaners in colleges and universities have a very wide customer base, because of the students lackadaisical attitude towards doing their laundry. This poses a big laundry business opportunity for students and external individuals looking for a business idea to start up in a university.

A big business advantage would be for individuals that run same day dry cleaners. If students realise they can drop-off and pick-up the same day, they’d more likely patronise your laundry business. In America, coin laundry could work perfectly for students, but in Nigeria, a manual pick up and return is the way to go.

The laundry business is one of the most lucrative business ideas for college students in Nigeria, and many other places in the world.


2). Photography Business:

The number of professional student photographers are rising faster than ever. Many students go around their colleges and universities taking pictures of students, nature, objects, and almost anything just to perfect their crafts.

A well seasoned student photographer could go on to become a wedding photographer, model photographer, food photographer, and a few others. Some even delve into areas people rarely think about by going into newborn photography and portrait photography.

Running a photography business while still a college student, is a great way to make some money on the side. If you’re a really good creative wedding photographer, overtime as your reputation grows, you could earn as high as $1,000 (200,000 Naira) just to shoot a wedding in Nigeria. The fee is usually weigh higher in several other countries, and lower in some.

Perfect your photography skills, and you could as well be running one of the most lucrative business ideas for college students.

See Also: 6 Startup Tips for Women Entrepreneurs


3). School Restaurant Business:

One of the places students flock the most after classes in an African or better still, Nigerian university, is one of the restaurants in the college. Students mostly prefer to eat-out, than to prepare their own meals. This makes them always troop into the nearest restaurant in their schools for a quick meal.

Starting a school restaurant business can be lucrative for any savvy individual. Rent a modest space in a frequented area of the university, then hire a cook and an attendant.

The unlimited demand for restaurants in colleges makes this one of the best business ideas for college students with weigh higher sums.


4). Internet Cafe Business:

With the high cost of monthly internet subscriptions coupled with the bad networks in Nigeria, students in schools located in very rural communities have real problems comfortably accessing the internet. While many wouldn’t mind dragging along with their slow mobile phone internet connections, when serious assignments and course works are to be submitted, they go scampering around looking for an internet/cyber cafe to use.

This may not be one of the most lucrative business ideas for college students, but it sure covers a need in local communities, and turns in some profits for the owners over time.

The more rural the community, the higher your chances have turning a higher profit.

See Also: 10 Amazing Small Business Growth Strategies


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5). Tutoring Services:

Tutoring centres in universities earn a good return from students looking to brush up their knowledge of their course works in Nigeria. Some students use classrooms in the universities for their private tutoring businesses.

Math tutoring for instance, can cover a wider tutoring demand in any college. Not many individuals are good in math, and so, math tutors tend to have a higher chance of reaping some returns from their tutoring services.

You can also take this online and launch a college research paper writing service. Students pay through the roof for papers to be written for them.


6). Hair Stylist Business:

No matter how stressful the week, or a few months may be, female and male students still end up having a hair cut or their hair dressed, at some point.

They do this at their favourite saloons, usually in the school premises or just outside the school. Setting up a hair stylist business in any university would create a recurring stream of revenues for any student.

Pick an affordable location in the school, and hire a barber and/or a hair dresser. Over time, students would get familiar with your saloon, and constantly patronise it.

See Also: 15 Profitable Small Business ideas for Beginners In 2016


7). Fashion Boutique Business:

Fashion remains an ever growing industry. Too many ladies try to keep up with the latest trends, and so constantly visit fashion boutiques from time to time to purchase items.

In as much as students purchase from a clothing store, many also purchase for instance, dresses online. Online and offline purchases of fashion items keeps this genre a profitable business category.

Student entrepreneurs starting women clothing stores within or slightly outside campus, could tap into the already existing market of students.

Figure out what students love to wear the most, then sell mostly that.


8). Super Market Business:

Super markets within universities are one of the most lucrative business ideas for college students. Although expensive to start up, a super market that sells almost everything the average student needs within the premises, would turn in a high recurring revenue.

See Also: 6 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home


9). Transportation Services Business:

The distance between hostels, faculty buildings, and various other locations within a university makes students tire easily, and so, wear out. This major reason makes them ply various forms of transportation within their universities, just to get to their destinations.

If a certain college permits external individuals to have their own transport businesses, you could maybe purchase a tricycle, a bike, or a taxi to serve the transport needs in that university.


10). Bookstore:

What’s a student without the right resources for learning? The most basic resources used are books, and every student most own at least one.

Through the semester, lecturers recommend what textbooks and course wares students must purchase to maximum their study potential. These books are mostly bought either from the lecturer, bookstores in the university, or bookstores outside the university.

Setting up a small bookstore in the university that sells both books the school recommends, and books students who want to expand their knowledge seek, is a good business idea to start out.

A mixture of the right book types including novels, in the right location within the university, is a great way to start.

See Also: How To Get Seed Funding For Your Small Business In Africa

These small business ideas for college students are only a few of many other possible business opportunities that can be started out in a university.

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What are your thoughts on these business ideas for college students? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Image Source: investorov.net

Stan Edom
Stan Edom
I'm an entrepreneur with expertise in supply chain management, international trade, small business development, e-commerce, internet startups, renewable energy, and agriculture. I'm also a network engineer, I.T security expert, and computer programmer. In my spare time when I'm not working out at the gym, I try to solve problems people face in their everyday lives with whatever means necessary.

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  1. Stan great write up, i regret not engaging in any business while in college.

    I think you should add computer hardware repair and software troubleshooting to your list. We live in computer age where computer has become the other of the day. This will require an expert technician to help students troubleshoot and maintain their computer.
    This person dosent necessary need to own an office but can move around soughing for clients
    Anyone who has this skills living in a student area will be highly sought after.

    My 2 cents

    • Thank you Wes for the input.

      I’ll do well to include it in a future article.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. beautiful ideas!!! I haven’t actually gone into a university,just finished my secondary school of recent. i want to go into poultry business. I know how to design websites and i learned photography

  3. Great Post, Really Great. I was simply amazed with the quality you have.
    With the number of jobless youth growing day by day, business ideas for college students have interested many students as they aim at self-dependency.

  4. Tutoring services is the best but the problem with it is that it is time consuming. Thanks for the list. I would try other options listed here

  5. Nice, Really nice! i Love this article. Very comprehensive as well as informative. Thanks for the sharing. It inspired me to make my own. here i published something about Business ideas for students. Click Here. Anyway Keep up the best work!

  6. Hey stan
    All your ideas are a unique man, I started searching without a single idea and now I got some idea in starting a business and also I am going to suggest this article for my friends to get some knowledge, keep doing this great work and keep sharing with us.

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