Learn about the top 30 business ideas for college students and tips on how college students can pursue these businesses on their college campuses.
It’s easy to see how that waiting to finish college before considering business might not be so smart.
Most of the great inventions and companies that rock our world today began from their college dorms.
So if you are looking to develop business ideas in college, this article is for you.
Ready? Let’s go!
Table of Contents:
Top 30 business ideas for college students:
- Create an App
- Soap making
- Candle making
- Become a Blogger
- Teach Online
- T-Shirt Designer
- Start a Youtube Channel
- Event Photographer
- Become a Freelance Baker
- Sell Secondhand Books
- Become a Local Tour Guide
- Offer Babysitting Services
- Dorm Cleaning Services
- Offer Laundry Services
- On-the-campus Delivery Services
- Editing Services
- Become a Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Graphics Designer
- Social Media Manager
- Social Media Influencer
- Personal Trainer
- Become a Sports Coach
- Upcycle and Resell
- Create a website for college accommodation reviews
- Offer Language lessons
- Digitalize Notes
- Summarize Class Notes and Sell
- Connect artists or musicians with local events and businesses
- Lend Furniture
1. Create An App
Imagine you created an app for voice-enhancement.
Everyone wants to sound cool.
Lots of people could download and use your app for voice messaging.
More and more people use voice enhancers and it would be correct to say this is the next big thing as it can allow people to make better use of their already installed apps like iMessage and let them use their voices in interesting and cool ways.
They could even use their video clips and other fun features.
Think of something as cool as the voice device Amazon Alexa.
You would need a co-founder, and one person has to have a strong background in coding and software development.
You can do your further research because we believe this could be the next big social business idea.
You could also choose to develop an app that enables singles to meet on campus and connects them better.
You could also consider building an app that enables professional networking, but think futuristic when going about it.
Another area you could consider is motivational apps.
Let’s face it, life is tough.
Anything that can encourage people and keep them going is going to be immensely appreciated.
It could be anything from academics to mental health.
You could make it a motivation session for fitness workouts, and even a platform where students can come together in the fight against social anxiety, depression, and other problems.
2. Soap Making
Making soap is a hobby for many people and if you are among them, you can convert this into a full-time business and earn from it.
When it comes to a good choice, homemade soaps are often yes for customers because most times, they are made from organic ingredients and have beautiful designs.
They are inexpensive too and they make the perfect gift idea.
The great thing about this is that you can start your soap making business at home with very little capital.
You just need to understand your market, know your competition, define your niche, write a business plan, find suppliers, and set your wholesale and retail prices.
If you want to make a lot of sales in your soap making business, you must ensure that you do the following:
- Make quality products
- Buy your ingredients in bulk
- Build your brand creatively
- Use beautiful and attractive packaging
- Make your prices affordable
- Promote your brand
You also need to know that at first, you might keep working without making money, so you might want to start this as a side business, not the main thing.
You might even find that the prices are too low to make a profit, but understand that it takes time to establish a brand people trust.
If you keep at it, it can be a great source of income for you as a college student.
3. Candle Making
Another great idea for college students’ business is making and selling your scented candles.
If you like to create, this should be an exciting one for you because you can do assorted colors and scents of candles and supply them as an avenue to making extra income while in college.
4. Become A Blogger
If you find that there is something you love to talk about and you’re super good at it, you could decide to go into blogging.
The investment for this business idea isn’t so much and it’s not so difficult to start.
You can start a blog on your favorite topic, build an audience, and monetize it through ads, premium content, and any other creative way.
The cost of starting blogs is quite affordable now, so with a domain and hosting, you’d likely be spending less than $50 a year.
Plus, every important information you need to grow your site is all over the internet for free.
Remember that consistency is the key when it comes to blogging.
Stay at it till you see results.
5. Teach Online
Online teaching is also a great way to earn cool cash.
If you’re good at math, for instance, you can help other people get better at it online.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t teach English if you know it so well, too.
When it comes to teaching online, don’t limit yourself.
As far as you can handle it, then go for it.
Also, teaching online expands your customer base faster.
6. T-shirt Designer
The last few years have witnessed many college students earning money from their online t-shirt designing business.
See all those t-shirts that carry trends?
Ever wonder who makes them?
You guessed right, the majority of those designs are provided by college students.
This doesn’t make it a get-rich-overnight scheme.
There is a lot of work to be done here.
You have to make hundreds of designs and invest quite some amount of money into marketing your brand.
Also, keep it in mind that this is a very competitive field, but don’t worry about the competition, just focus on making quality t-shirts and invest in your marketing and after a while, you will begin to see results.
7. Start A YouTube Channel
This is a great opportunity to make some cool cash as a college student.
From the ads that YouTube can place on your videos, the opportunities for sponsored content and so much more, there is money to be made here, good money.
And you don’t even have to be the most popular person on YouTube to start earning from your YouTube channel.
You just need to pick a topic that interests you and put together some simple guides or reviews.
As long as you’re offering something valuable and unique, there’s no way you can’t do well.
8. Event Photographer
If you have a thing for taking high-quality photographs, then you should consider turning your hobby or talent into a skill or a freelancing business.
Students and local businesses may need your services and in the beginning, you can offer all kinds of services but as you grow the business, you will need to narrow down to a particular niche because you will find that there is a lot of competition.
Whatever you need to do, keep in mind the cost of the equipment if you want to go all the way, but this is a very profitable area to invest in as a college student.
9. Become A Freelance Baker
Another business idea to consider as a college student is becoming a freelance baker.
You can sell cakes and other baked goods at a profit.
You can simply post some leaflets about what you do on campus or run an online ad.
This is a fun area because if you please, one client, and make them happy, you get three more.
The food industry works best with word of mouth.
You can monetize this in two ways:
You can prepare goods based on customer demand.
You could also choose to produce say, a hundred cookies, and ride a bike around campus looking for hungry people to sell to.
The latter will go at a cheaper price than if it’s a requested job.
Also, this business is easy to start and doesn’t demand too much investment.
10. Sell Secondhand Books
As a college student, you can offer to buy your classmates’ secondhand textbooks.
They will most likely accept fairly low prices as it will save them the stress of having to sell it online themselves.
Then, when it comes to the end of the term or new year, simply find the students currently taking that module and then sell to them at a price more than you bought them but lower than the cost of a new copy.
As long as they’re students in need of those textbooks, you will always see the money!
11. Become A Local Tour Guide
This can be a very profitable idea especially if your college campus is in an area that is popular with tourists.
You can offer your services as a tour guide to tourists and show them around the community.
12. Offer Babysitting Services
This is a major part of the American economy.
Everyone wants the best child care service for their child and this could be your opportunity to own your own business if you are passionate about it.
You just need an understanding of the demand for this business in your community, knowledge of the type of service you will provide, develop a business plan, understand the licensing laws, and set up your business.
After this, you are good to go.
13. Dorm Cleaning Services
Many people have maids who clean up after them at home and they might want to continue with that in the dorms.
You can render dorm cleaning services for these people and get paid for it.
Start-up capital is minimal because you can go door to door advertising your cleaning services.
After a while, you will have consistent clientele and then you can consider hiring other students to do the cleaning for you.
This business idea is a great one because there’s so much room for expansion in it.
14. Offer Laundry Services
Some college students may not be able to find the time to do their laundry as regularly as they would like.
This can be a creative way to make extra money, by simply starting a laundry service where you charge an affordable fee to help these students take care of that chore.
15. On-The-Campus Delivery Services
There are lots of delivery services across the campus, however, you cannot say the same for campuses.
You can start an on-the-campus delivery service to help deliver goods across the campus.
You can deliver professors’ suits from the school laundry to the lecture hall, or food from the cafeteria to the dorm.
Your job description would involve saving them time and energy and it can pay well if you can deliver.
16. Editing Services
Many students have different kinds of assignments and projects.
Your personal computer is enough to start a typing business and help them sort out their assignment and transform it all into digital documents.
This is viable if you have great typing skills.
17. Become A Virtual Assistant
This is a great business idea for college students as you can do it from your dorm room or house.
As a virtual assistant, your job is to help other businesses and professionals with their online needs.
You could narrow down your work to fit professors and college teachers.
18. Freelance Graphic Designer
Graphic design plays a vital role in the creation of any website alongside the logo, banners, and other vital things.
You can become a graphic designer and help people get their business cards done or brochures too.
You just need some graphics skills and passion.
19. Social Media Manager
Social media is a fun way to connect with friends, and it has become so valuable that businesses use it to get more clients.
Sometimes, companies have so much work on their hands and they hire social media experts to manage their accounts for them.
Just like virtual assistants, social media managers offer different services depending on the client’s needs and their expertise.
If you have a hand for this, you can try this business idea.
A podcast business is a great and fun business idea for college students.
It can be quite competitive, however.
You need to plan for it, choose a unique topic for your podcast, pick a co-host, choose a name for your podcast, decide on the length, and get your equipment, list of guests, and everything you need.
21. Social Media Influencer
If you have a large following on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you can make money by advertising products for brands on your social media accounts.
Try to stay with companies that are relevant to your brand, but this does not mean influencers cannot promote different kinds of products.
22. Personal Trainer
If you love sports of personal fitness, then you could use this idea to make money.
A lot of people struggle to lose weight or stay in shape.
You can start personal fitness training to help them achieve their desires.
Remember, you’re also offering exclusivity, so this will sell.
You can use the local campus facility for your training sessions.
23. Become A Sports Coach
This is another workable idea for students in college.
You can become a sports coach providing services aimed at people taking part in sports competitions.
24. Upcycle And Resell
You can revive your old clothes and resell them.
Not only clothes now, but any good or product that can be transformed can be sold.
You can simply pick up something like an old chair with faded paint and give it a new coat, then put it online for sale.
25. Create A Website For College Accommodations Review
Many students often worry about finding somewhere nice and safe to live in, and you can take this burden off their shoulders by creating a website for college accommodation reviews.
They will be more than happy to pay for this service because it puts them at ease.
And everyone loves to worry less!
26. Offer Language Lessons
If you are bilingual, you could teach your languages and get paid for it.
Many people do not know this but it is a great way to make cool cash doing something natural to you.
You can do this over Skype and have students tune in from all over the world to take your classes without you even having to leave your room.
27. Digitalize Notes
If you can type fast, you could even offer a note digitalization service to other students, teachers, or university staff.
You could charge per-word for them into word documents, excel sheets, or even powerpoints.
28. Summarize Class Notes And Sell
No matter how we deny it, they will always be those students who are too lazy to take notes in class.
You can simply summarize the class notes and sell them to them for a fee.
This is great if you are that kind of student that can summarize the information in a neat and nice-looking and concise way.
29. Connect Artistes Or Musicians With Local Events And Businesses
You can create a portfolio website for bands and musicians, and then you promote the website to local events and businesses.
Then they will have a go-to platform to book artists and musicians and you get paid for it.
30. Lend Furniture
Many students spend so much on their furniture dorms and end up throwing it out for pennies.
You can be of help to them.
You can help them by renting their dorm furniture.
You can work with local furniture shops around campus and design furniture for each room and then charge a monthly or yearly fee to the students.
You can run your adverts on Facebook, Google, or Instagram.
Among these many ideas, we are sure at least one of them must have clicked you!
We hope you found this article helpful and it gave you a clear perspective about your business as a college student.
Leave a comment below!
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Anita is a part of Weshare’s writing team. She has social media marketing experience for over 4 years and has been writing in-depth guides and articles about marketing, social media, and online education for the past 7 years.
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