Introduction to top 50 business ideas for students: Starting your own business and working for yourself is a great way to earn extra income at home without the shackles of shift work. However, finding a great idea isn’t always easy. You can start your own small business using these ideas, and you’ll be on your way to success.
Top 50 business ideas for students
1. Make money from social media
If you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform, you can earn money (and get free stuff) by advertising products for brands.
2. Start a website
It doesn’t get much easier than setting up your own website for your small business – and the best part is that they can be about whatever you like (within the legal limits, of course).
3. Become a YouTuber
There’s some serious money to be made on YouTube, whether through the ads that YouTube puts on your videos or through sponsored content that you’ll have access to if you have a successful channel.
4. Pet sitting
Getting paid to hang out with animals is probably the best of all these business ideas, but is there anything better?
It’s not uncommon for people to hire a pet care provider, even if it’s to walk their dogs for an hour each day, whether they’re working during the day or vacationing abroad.
5. Resell textbooks
Sell your second-hand textbooks to your classmates at the end of the semester. If you offer them a low price, they’re likely to accept it since they don’t need to deal with selling it online themselves.
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6. Sell on creative marketplaces
Have you got a creative streak? Make sure you are over at Fiverr and Gumroad right away. There are tons of sites where you can put your talents to work, whether you are a graphic designer, a musician, or even a recipe developer.
7. Publish a magazine or blog
Focusing on your main interests would be the best place to start. In that way, you’ll have a sufficient number of potential contributors to start the process of filling out your publication.
8. Sell clothes on depop
How about some extra cash in your pocket? You got it. Sustainable development? Done. Want more space in your closet? Check.
Selling old clothes online is hard to imagine a downside, and sites like Depop make it so simple.
9. Upcycle and sell for a profit
The process of upcycling is not just a great way to repurpose old clothing; it can also help you to make money.
Upcycled goods can be sold on sites like Gumtree and Freecycle, and it’s not just clothes that can be transformed. There is a huge market for upcycled furniture, so if you’re in a charity shop and see a tired old chair that could use a fresh coat of paint, don’t let it languish!
10. Run a delivery service
One of the many ways to make money walking is to start your own delivery service – but if you own a bike (or even a car), you’ll be able to complete each order much faster.
11. Buy and sell popular graphics and icons
Pay a flat rate to a freelance graphic designer to create popular web graphics or icons for you, assuming you do not have the skills to design them yourself.
12. Film screening club
Have you got access to a church hall or a pub that could use a few more customers on a quiet weeknight? Would you consider a lecture hall (also known as a glorified cinema)?
13. Get paid to queue
The Brits are often accused of loving queueing but, in reality, everyone dislikes it – we just respect the order, believing that it’s the fairest approach.
14. Convert CDs into MP3s
In this case, you’re more likely to be able to use it on your parents or grandparents rather than people your own age (but don’t discount it! ), but if you can find someone who will pay, don’t let age stop you.
15. Self-publish a book
You’ve always wanted to write a story? With the growth and popularity of eBooks, becoming a published author is now easier than ever.
16. Start an accommodation reviews website
Setting up your own website is so easy, even if you sound like a broken record. But finding somewhere nice to live at university often isn’t, so help your fellow students out by creating a site where students can post reviews for accommodations in the area.
17. Set up a Skype language course
Do you speak both English and Spanish? In that case, whether you realize it or not, you could be making some serious money from something that probably seems completely natural to you.
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One way to earn money from your language skills is to offer language classes over Skype. It’s a fairly straightforward process in terms of the amount of time and effort required to get started. In this way, you can sell your services to people all over the world without ever having to leave the comfort of your home.
18. Plant your own fruit and vegetable garden and sell it
It is possible to grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs at home – so many that we have a guide to it.
19. Sell original work on Etsy
Try this one too if you liked #6 on this list! If you are looking to sell your original works, Etsy is the place for you — t-shirts, jewelry, stationery, etc.
If you’re interested in learning more about making money on Etsy, please read our guide first.
20. Sell audio or eBook versions of works that are not protected by copyright
As there will be less competition for these works and perhaps greater demand for an online copy, we recommend focusing on harder-to-find works, like medieval literature or science books from the 18th century.
21. Become a professional finder
Have you ever imagined yourself as a little Sherlock Holmes? By combining these skills with the internet and your local contacts, you can help people locate the impossible (we’re talking about irreplaceable items they’ve lost or extremely hard-to-find items they’d like to buy).
22. Become a freelancer
You can offer your web design, illustration, writing, or admin support skills to people in need of these services, no matter what your current course is.
23. Create food hampers
You can give parents of students a little less worry once they send one of your hampers since they’ll know exactly what their children are eating.
24. Run speed dating nights
The best way to meet someone is to meet in person. Dating apps are fine, but they don’t quite measure up to meeting someone in person. So, students who would like a matchmaking service that is a little less virtual can arrange a speed dating night where an entry fee can be charged.
25. Make bespoke photo albums
Using a service like Lulu.com, you can create professionally printed books or magazines and embellish them with hand-crafted touches or notes to make them unique.
26. Offer a transcription service for lectures
Although we wouldn’t encourage people to miss lectures (no, seriously, we wouldn’t do that), it is rare for a class to have a 100% attendance rate. Because the lecture slides are often lacking context, you should offer to translate the lecturer’s words and sell them to absentees.
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27. Establish a website for owners and borrowers to trade services
All of these and more – clothes, services, bikes, books – are constantly on the hunt for loaners. It is a great business idea to create a swapping website to facilitate matches between those who want to borrow something and those who have something to offer. It could also pair students living in different towns with others who want to see the UK.
I don’t think there’s much to say here! It is important to actually enjoy the company of children, which is why our guide contains all the details on becoming a babysitter. If not (other than the money, of course) what’s the point?
29. Organise student trips
Organize a trip for yourself and a few dozen other students to a popular festival or city (in the UK or abroad).
30. Matched betting is a great way to help friends and family
A matched bet is a risk-free way of making a guaranteed profit – provided the instructions are followed carefully.
31. Become a model for Stock Photographs
There’s nothing wrong with using stock photos if you’re not a model – after all, they’re meant to be more realistic than traditional photos. Although, if you’re not comfortable being photographed, you could assist photographers by finding models instead.
32. Produce a campus newsletter
You can save on costs (and save the environment) by sending out a newsletter via email rather than by printing a paper copy. As another way to make some money with your blog, you can sell advertising space to local businesses, offer readers discounts and deals, or even run competitions.
33. Start an annual gift or card service
Have you ever forgotten someone’s birthday? We’ve done it too. You can save yourself (and everyone else) a lot of shame by setting up a service that not only reminds people of important dates (anniversaries and Valentine’s Day are just as lucrative as birthdays!) but also takes care of the gift and card.
34. Become a market research consultant
It is a well-known fact that students do not have money, yet companies are still eager to sell to them. Therefore, as a student, you can provide them with some valuable insight into how their brand and products are perceived by young consumers, and they should pay for your services accordingly.
35. Publish year books
You’re unlikely to get a yearbook from your university, but they are always fun. Rather than leaving the responsibility to others, why not take it on yourself and lead your class?
There are a lot of print-on-demand publishers who will help you with that, and you could even sell advertising space to local businesses if you want to maximize your profits (or keep your prices low) for your buyers.
36. Buy and sell old gym equipment
Every home gym owner seems to have some unused equipment sitting in his or her garage, right next to a pile of good intentions.
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37. Provide pick-up services or wait for deliveries
Number 13 and this one are pretty similar! Offering to collect a missed package on someone’s behalf will save them time or money that they would otherwise spend rearranging the delivery.
38. Facilitate the connection between musicians and local businesses
Promote local events and businesses by creating a portfolio website for bands and musicians. As a result, they will have a go-to resource to book performers in the area!
39. Provide local businesses with smoothies and sandwiches
The first thing you should do in the morning is contact local businesses and ask them to place one or more orders. You can then make sandwiches and smoothies at home (we have some great sandwich ideas here) and have them delivered at lunchtime. It’s similar to Deliveroo, but for much, much less money!
40. Convert your best artwork or photos into posters
At the beginning of the year, when students are starting university and looking for ways to decorate their rooms on a budget, this book should be a big seller.
41. Create a proofreading business for essays or thesis
After you have written your own essays, proofreading others’ essays might be the last thing you want to do. The advantage is that you will learn a lot about how you should (or shouldn’t) structure an essay, and you will also get paid for your time, unlike when you are doing your own.
42. Write a guide about the local area
Create a resource that helps freshers to make the most of their new town, whether it is a website, a magazine, an app, whatever you decide.
43. Start your own travel exchange
Put together a package of budget flights, accommodations, and events and coordinate them between your own university and the one based abroad. To make the process easier, start with a university that yours is already affiliated with (usually one that offers a year-long study abroad program).
44. Sell a university essentials welcome package
When we talk about essentials, we mean stationery, kitchen utensils, discount vouchers, and more – basically any of the items we suggest freshers take to the university that can be delivered to their rooms before the first day of classes.
45. Start a tutoring service
Most private tutors earn over £30 per hour, which is really good money. It is not necessary to limit yourself to a certain subject area when you’re a tutor for school students. Providing help with math is a valuable skill, especially if you studied English at school and did well in math, as well.
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Our guide on how to become a tutor explains how you can even tutor online in order to broaden your customer base.
46. Rent out your unused parking space
You may be able to earn a little extra cash by renting out parking spaces outside your house. Getting a slice of the profits from your rental property is an option, though you’ll have to check with your landlord first. The idea is particularly lucrative if you live near a train station, airport, or high street, or if you live in an area where parking is mostly limited. Anywhere where there is limited parking!
47. become a sports coach for a local or university team
It really isn’t that complicated. You can get paid to be a coach for one of the local teams (or for the university team, if they pay) if you are good at the sport or just enjoy teaching it.
48. Collect other students’ dirty laundry
Perhaps we aren’t addressing the ‘lazy students’ stereotype here, but if your fellow students are too lazy to do their own laundry (or don’t know how to use a washing machine), why not help them out?
49. create a motivational app
Make sure that the app can track lectures, seminars, and gym attendance, along with some inspirational messages. If a user sticks to their goals (or exceeds them! ), they can collect points, vouchers, or gifts, while slacking can result in penalties.
50. Start an outdoor fitness trail
Outdoor fitness trails are among the most popular alternatives to paying for a gym membership and are a great way to stay fit without paying a monthly fee. MeetUp.com is a great resource for organizing hikes to unusual locations that encourage people to get active without using gym equipment.
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