Are you searching for business ideas for students with low investments? Are you a college or university student looking to make money spending a few hours a week? There are plenty of money-making opportunities for students with zero or low investment.
It is always better for any individual to have an experience of entrepreneurship in his or her early days. The college or University period perhaps provides the first platform for a beginner to taste the water in starting something of their own. Finding a business idea with less or no money for a student is indeed difficult. We have compiled a list of business ideas tailor-made for students that cost nothing or just a few pennies to start.
60 Business Ideas for Students
#1. Start a Blog
In today’s world Blog is a powerful medium of communication online. It is, therefore, not surprising that on 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. Blogging can be a good business for students who love to write. If you are looking to create a blog read our guide on starting a blog.
2. Paid Surveys
This type of job has been around for years now, and there are some scam artists out there, but there is also a genuine need for people to complete paid surveys, giving their opinions.
Usually, these are market surveys for major manufacturers, which help them know how to improve their products and which products to launch next.
Simply register with a few legitimate paid survey sites. You can sign up with a site like Survey Junkie and get paid for sharing your opinion for free. Check our guide on how to make money from survey sites.
#3. Sell on Fiverr
The charge for a standard gig at Fiverr.com is generally $5. Take a look at the sort of jobs that people are doing for this amount, and see which ones you could do, too. Often you can get a bigger job, where someone will pay you for several gigs to complete it.
#4. Sell Your Old/Unused Clothes
Sell your unused clothes and make quick money. If you have clothes with a reasonable brand name, then there are websites that will pay you for them.
You just order a Cleanup Kit from them, bundle up your clothes and return it postage paid. You can also look for local shops that will sell your clothes on consignment
#5. Earn Money Selling Used Books
The concept is all about earning money by selling used books. Second-hand books are abundant. You can earn handsome money by selling those books.
#6. Book Keeping
Every small or big company needs business accounting services like bank reconciliation, e-filling, service tax, sales tax, payroll, etc. Students with accounting knowledge can provide freelance bookkeeping services to small businesses that can’t afford to have a permanent accountant.
#7. Candle Making
The demand for decorative candles is increasing day by day. You can create decorative candles and sell those to a hugely developing customer base. If you want to learn how to make decorative candles check our stepwise guide on how to make candles.
#8. Mechanical Turk
Amazon has a micro-task site called Mechanical Turk. The jobs are very small, and so is the pay, but the idea is to complete a lot of them.
#9. Greeting Card Making & Selling
Greeting card-making business ideas is perfect for those students who enjoy creativity and want to turn their creative minds into successful ventures.
#10. Create a Mobile App
If you love spending time with smartphone mobile apps, creating a mobile app is not a big deal at present. As a college student, find a need that you feel students have, and develop a mobile app that may help them from that challenge.
#11. Publish Kindle eBooks
Why not write yours and publish it on Kindle as an e-book? Amazon makes it easy to do, and it’s free.
#12. Content Writing
Students having expertise in content writing can make good money writing as a freelancer. The demand is huge and one of the best self-rewarding business ideas for students.
#13. Cookie Gift Baskets
A cookie gift basket with homemade cookies is one of the most profitable cooking business ideas any student can start with a low-cost investment. People always search for innovative gifts with homemade specialty items. You can offer special cookie gift baskets for specific occasions.
#14. Sell Courses
you can take video courses on a wide range of topics. All you have to do is make a video course about something you can do, upload it, and wait for people to buy it. There are plenty of places where you can sell those courses like Udemy, Teachable, etc.
You can make money online by completing mini-internships, which you find by going to the website MindSumo.com. You may find yourself solving problems for companies, and it’s all a good experience.
This gig can pay a reasonable amount per week.
#16. Sell Stock Photography
If you are good at photography, sell good quality digital photos to sites like istock.com, shutterpoint.com, and fotolia.com. There are several stock photo sites that will accept your photos and pay you if someone wants to use them.
Sites like istockphotos.com are regularly searched for relevant pictures by people publishing books and articles, so you could get royalties on an ongoing basis.
#17. Earn from Mobile Apps
There are plenty of apps that offer income opportunities right on your smartphone. Read our guide on ways of making money from smartphone mobile apps.
#18. Start a YouTube Channel
There are thousands of students making good money running their youtube channels across the world. Starting a youtube channel does not cost you anything. Based on your passion you need to select a niche that has a good demand for a specific group of online audiences. It can be sports, recipes, gadget reviews, comedy videos, etc.
#19. Dog Walking
Dog trainers now have good demand. Getting a formal qualification will improve your chances of getting more clients. Dog walking is one business students can do part-time and can make serious money on the side.
#20. E-book Writing
If you enjoy writing and you know the technique of making e-books then E-book writing is one of the best business ideas for students. You can start selling these E-books from your website, blog, or from Amazon also.
#21. Register with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is a site that rewards you for doing what you do anyway.
You earn Swag Bucks, a points system that pays out when you get more than 500 points. All you have to do is various online tasks, such as using their search engine, watching videos, or expressing your opinion in surveys.
Simply register on the site and explore the opportunities.
Online proofreading jobs are in great demand nowadays. You can take it as a job or start a business of your own. However, you must be adequately trained to get jobs from high-paying clients.
#23. Form filling or data entry
There are various types of data entry jobs available online. Check out various job sites and you will find plenty of data entry jobs. You can earn a certain amount of money for each form and so you will be paid on the basis of the number of forms.
#24. Graphic Design Service
Having expertise in graphic designing you can start a graphic design service. Technical knowledge with a creative mind is a bonus to be successful in this job.
#25. Car Wash
Car washing is a great way to make extra big money for students with low investments. Startup costs are low and earning potential is very high. You can check our complete guide on how to start a car wash business to learn more.
#26. Join Focus Groups
If you’re prepared to give a little more time to it, you might consider joining a paid online focus group. Once again, you’ll be giving your opinions to companies who want to know what direction to take their products. It could take a couple of hours, but you might get paid $100.
#27. Investment Advisor
You can work as an investment advisor and earn healthy commissions selling insurance products, stocks, mutual funds, fixed deposits, etc.
#28. Jewelry Making
Students crazy about jewelry and passionate to handle crafts materials like beads, charms, etc. can start a jewelry-making business. Having some training in jewelry making is essential in starting this business. You can start selling in your local community, gift stores, or online sites like Etsy.
#29. Sell Your Essays
With this one, you probably want to check whether it’s legal in your area, but some websites will pay you for your essays. You’ve already put a lot of work into researching and writing them, so why not get paid for it?
#30. Market Research Services
Providing market research services is a very profitable way of making money while you have the specific expertise for that.
#31. Micro Jobs
Some companies look for students and other people to complete their minor jobs like posting answers to forums, comments on their blogs, etc. These things are done to achieve online popularity. Students can grab this opportunity to earn money on the side.
#32. Sell Products on Amazon
Amazon gives you an alternative place to sell your textbooks, and you may even make more money. You can sell all kinds of old and new books on Amazon and not just textbooks.
You can also use Amazon to sell other things, such as CDs, DVDs, and video games.
#33. Mobile DJ
Students who love music and have a charming personality full of energy can ideally and successfully own mobile DJ business. If you enjoy spinning tunes, making people happy, and earning a steady stream of supplemental income, the mobile DJ business is perfect for you.
#34. Mobile Facial Spa
Mobile facial and spa businesses provide service to the people who just can not make time in their busy schedules to allow themselves the luxury of a facial and spa, especially when they work full-time. This is one of the profitable business ideas for girl students.
#35. Mobile Foot Massage
As lifestyle turns out to be more stressful, the demand for massage services is on the rise and it creates terrific opportunities. Students can start this venture with a very minimum start-up cost. People who spend a lot of time on their feet are the obvious customers of the mobile foot massage business.
#36. Design T-Shirts
Another great idea if you are artistic is to design T-shirts that can be made and sold online. Several companies allow you to upload images that they will put on T-shirts for you, or you could simply come up with slogans that people want to wear.
There are lots of sites where work is available, such as Upwork. You simply bid and see if you are selected to do the job. You can select different types of work, such as website design, graphics, or writing.
#38. Decorative Wall Painting
This is another part-time way of making decent money for students. The demand for decorative wall painting has seen a huge growth in the last few years.
#39. Offer Paying Guest Services
If you are living in a metro city, then it is a wonderful home-based business for students having spare rooms to rent. A room with two beds, a study table, and a cupboard is eligible for rent as paying guest accommodation. By supplying a meal, you will be enjoying an extra margin from that.
Suggested Read: How to Open A Bed & Breakfast Business
#40. Personal Chef
Having passion and knowledge about cooking, any individual can initiate this business right from his/her home location. Many celebrities and health cautious people generally like to keep a personal chef to have a daily basis of healthy and hygienic food. If you enjoy becoming a personal chef and working for a celebrity you may initiate this business.
#41. PTC (Pay To Click) Ads
No skills are required in earning here. It is only the internet that can offer you earning money just by clicking and viewing the ads for a few seconds. But be careful. There are plenty of scam websites that often dupe. You can check out our list of legitimate pay-to-click sites that pay their members.
#42. Resume Writing
A student having a fair amount of ideas about resume writing can start a resume writing home-based business by crafting an excellent resume for the job seekers. Also, you need to be good enough about editing, structuring, and proofreading. For starting this business you will just need to have a computer with some basic software.
#43. Scrapbook Making
Everyone wants to have a creative scrapbook of his/ her own. but everyone doesn’t have enough time or creativity that requires crafting a scrapbook. American Households Spend over $4 Billion Each Year on Papercrafts and Scrapbooking. If you have the necessary skills, it is a good way of earning extra money.
#44. SEO Consulting
SEO consultant serves the industry as an internet marketing expert. When people search for specifics in search engines, websites that appear and come on the first few pages, are the sites that usually attract maximum traffic. Search engine optimization is a process to get the website ranking higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Every day there are thousands of websites, that are created and the maximum fails to survive because of the lack of knowledge about internet marketing. SEO consulting is one of the profitable business ideas for students having knowledge of SEO.
#45. Make & Sell Soaps
Craft passionate students can start a home-based soap-making business with comparatively low capital investment. You can start decorative specialty soap making and start selling to your local community or in gift stores.
#46. Social Media Consulting
Almost every people use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest these days and many companies are ready to pay people to get the service of their social media accounts management. Social media consulting is one of the highly profitable internet-based business ideas for students.
#47. Tax Consulting
After having some accounting or tax-related courses, a student can initiate a tax consulting business from a home location with almost no investment.
#48. Become a Tutor
Every parent these days always is looking for a good tutor for their child. This is one of the best small business ideas for students in which you can start this business just with no capital.
#49. Work as a Translator
The translation is fast becoming a highly potential web-based business offering opportunities for students or anyone making money online. With ever-increasing net connectivity and globalization, knowing and understanding other languages have become extremely vital in keeping pace with the speed of society.
#50. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistant business is all about providing services like checking and answering emails, organizing to-do lists, and updating calendars and schedules with minimal interaction with your clients. Students can make good money working as a virtual assistant with just a computer with an internet connection, and a phone.
#51. Conduct Walking and Bike Tours
You can organize walking and bike tours for visitors and local citizens as a tour guide. or this you need to have a good knowledge of local heritage and history. You can guide tours around your local commons, hills, or towns and share insight into the history of your area for a small charge.
#52. Web Designing
A web designing business opportunity is perfect for students who are professionally expert in website designing and has a basic knowledge of HTML coding, graphics designing, and copywriting. The different areas of web designing business include web graphic design, interface design, user experience design, web development, and search engine optimization.
#53. Wedding Planning
A wedding planning business may come naturally to someone who is organized and focuses on details. In the last decade, the need for professional wedding consultants has grown exponentially.
Today, people are often too busy juggling the demands of their professional and personal lives to oversee the details necessary to create the wedding of their dreams. That has actually created an enormous opportunity for students considering going into the wedding business.
#54. Yoga Instructor
Yoga training is one of the most trending best small business ideas which can be started by college students with no or very low investment by spending a few hours a week.
#55. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing involves having your own site and sending your traffic to someone else’s site to purchase their products or services. For every sale initiated by a link from your site, you will earn a percentage of the sales commission. This is one of the best small business ideas for students who want to make money online.
#56. Be a Friend & Earn Money
Believe it or not, some people want friends so badly that they pay for them! Yes, on sites such as RentaFriend.com you can meet up with people who are prepared to pay for your time, perhaps accompanying them to a game or simply talking over a cup of coffee.
#57. Donate Sperm
Far from a joke, you can get paid for your donation, and pay will vary according to how good a specimen you are, in ways that count for the recipients. If you go to SpermBankDirectory.com, you will find if there are any local sperm banks that you can try.
#58. By a Local Tour Guide
If you know your town well, you could make good money as a local tour guide by showing people what your town/city has to offer.
#59. Find a Ro0m Mate
If you have a house with a spare room, consider sharing it. You’ll need to pick someone you can get on with, but it will definitely help your finances.
#60. Drive for Uber
By working for Uber, provide a taxi service whenever you have some free time. You have to live in an area where these services operate, but you can choose the hours you want to work.
There are many opportunities for college students to make money if you look around. But don’t forget your primary reason to be in college is to become a graduate!!
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.