business ideas for students with low investment
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

12 Profitable Business Ideas for College Students with Little or No Investment

We are living in an age where technology has entirely reshaped the global economic outlook. The global economy is changing constantly and in order to keep up with the economic ups and downs, we must have to be active participants.

Times are gone when people used to go on a job hunt long after finishing their higher studies. Nowadays, even while studying at college, every student can become a freelance professional essay writer and own some money.  In today’s technological era, where machines and robots do a big amount of work, humans are required to surpass their efficiency in order to make an impact.  

Nowadays it is possible to get anything done online and fast. From getting things like food delivery or even dissertation coaching services, nothing is off the table. 

Profitable Business Ideas for College Students with Little or No Investment

Moreover, the increasing population is growing the competition more than the number of job opportunities. As a fact of the matter, today’s college graduates struggle with joblessness and underemployment in record numbers.

And the problems do not end here, the increasing price index for college tuition either stops them from continuing their education or else they end up crippled by educational loan payments. Six-figure student loan debt balances aren’t uncommon, which is why it’s crucial to determine how to pay off $100k or more in student loans fast.

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.

This is why it is important for high school, college, and university students to consider starting their business right in their student life.

If you are a student, you already know the dilemma of student life and you might already have searched a lot about the following:

  • Business ideas for students in university
  • Affordable business ideas for students
  • Business ideas for high school students
  • Things to sell to college students
  • Business ideas for students without investment
  • Money making ideas college students
  • Low-cost startup ideas for college students
  • Home-based business ideas for college students
  • Online business ideas for college students

This article will guide you through some of the best business opportunities and startup ideas that you can start in your student life. The best thing is that all these ideas do not require a huge investment and can be started with little or no money.

1-Sticker Shop Online

Stickers are one of the most trending products worldwide. Everyone can stick it anywhere, such
as cups, laptops, skateboards, and more. Many people start their sticker shop at Etsy, Shopify, or
social media. Nowadays, making stickers is so easy and simple. You can design and make it by
yourself with a Cricut at home. Or you can find some reliable sticker makers like or Stickers. co. Both of them are affordable and low-cost. The latter will help
you save much time to design and make because they have an excellent team from design to
produce, which is friendly to beginners. And moreover, the shipping time is so short. Just one
idea and you can start it.


custom sticker



It is probably the most cost-effective idea and does not require any capital. You may offer individual sessions or group classes. Consider posting fliers in local libraries and shops and certainly many parents would love to have a current college student help their high schoolers with application essays and more.

You may also advertise your services online and through social media, or simply offer referral rewards to people who can do word-of-mouth marketing for you.

3-Transportation and Delivery

If you own a vehicle, it can earn you a good amount of cash in your free time. Either become an Uber driver (sign up for more similar services) or offer transportation service in the local community (pick & drop to office, school, etc.).

You may also reach local businesses for document and small product delivery within the city. You may add up more services as the business grows, i.e. helping students move in and out of campus apartments and dorms, airport pick & drop, etc.

Unlike the first startup idea, a transportation business may have some startup costs, i.e. vehicle, licensing, insurance, etc., and overhead like fuel & maintenance.

4-Personal Training

If you’re a health and fitness enthusiast, you must consider starting a personal training business based on your college campus. Believe me, a lot of students will be interested in your service, and they can bring a huge business through referrals. You may start with early morning yoga classes or evening fitness camps for students and professionals.

This business doesn’t require much investment because many trainers operate out of their client’s homes, and do not need to spend on office space. Later, when you have enough clientele, you may partner up with a local gym rather than starting your own gym from scratch.

5-Writing Editing and Proofreading

Offering writing, editing, and proofreading services can be yet another easy-to-start business, however, it is workable only if you have good writing skills. The best thing about the writing & editing business is that you can start it with literally no money and it is one of the best work-from-home options. All you need to invest in your free time.

To get writing projects, you may start by exploring opportunities as an essay writer at Fiverr,, DigitalPoint Forums. Once, you have a few happy clients, your business will flourish automatically. You can offer referral discounts to existing clients and they will surely help you get more clients. You can also explore more business forums and best website for assignment writing to get new clients.

6-Become a Social Media Influencer

If you are someone who loves to spend time on social media, this is probably the best option to channelize your interest in a positive activity. You may be doing the same fun, but this fun should return you the value of your time.

Almost everyone can produce amateur videos by using an online video editor, and as a college student you can create your own Facebook/Instagram page; create and share funny/interesting/valuable unique videos. Develop a good followership/fanbase, and reach out to businesses to advertise their brand to your audience.

7-Forex Trading

This is another profitable home-based business that a college and university student can successfully start, however, it is a bit risky venture. The forex trading business, the crypto trading app also requires little investment, so you should consider this only if you are ready to learn to trade, confident about your analytical skills, and have sound knowledge of cash flow and the exchange market.

8-Web Design & Development

If you are a design or computer science student, this may be a great way to have hands-on industry experience while you are still studying. You may start with simple projects like logo designs, or a simple HTML website and as you improve your skills, you can offer complete website revamps and mobile apps.

A lot of opportunities exist for web design and development professionals, however, you need to work equally on marketing your business along with developing professional skills. This is one of the best business ideas for college students because it sets you up well for the commercial world.

9-Marketing Firm

Marketing and advertising industries have tons of opportunities for students with marketing majors and even you will see a lot of non-marketing grads very much successful in running their own agency.

You may want to start with helping local businesses, startups, and personal brands to promote their brand on social media, and as you gain experience, you may offer complete online and offline marketing solutions.

10-Voiceover Services

If you are a college student with a good voice and excellent diction, consider it your business capital and start a voiceover service today. You can start small projects on Fiverr and depending on customer satisfaction, you can grow it really big.

With emerging marketing trends, voice-over services are much in demand by big companies and startups, and it’s your turn to turn this opportunity into a big business.

11-Niche Blogging

Now, this one is really a stress-less business, can be started without any money and you have the freedom to choose your own hours. However, the success of the business depends on your ability to turn your passion into a successful business.

You need to do enough research on finding a profitable blogging niche that is also something of your interest and develop some great content on it. Once, you have an awesome blog with a good readership, you have plenty of options to monetize your venture.

12-Do Something for Your School

You’re a college student. So, what better thing to do than start a business that you can eventually incorporate into your school? The opportunities for improvement are endless when it comes to college operations and systems. Staying school-related is one of the best business ideas for college students.

Lots of colleges across America would be very receptive if a student genuinely had a good idea to make their machine run better. Say you are a web developer and you’ve created a class scheduling app specific to the college you attend. Most schools have different systems for this, and it would help students to have something that they and their professors are completely familiar with. No more excuses for getting to class late!

Write an email to the head of the business department, or even an administrator of the school who could help you get started. Pitch them your idea, make sure to include a detailed plan of course. Chances are, if it’s a good idea they’ll be happy to facilitate a future alum’s business venture. Help your school, and you’ll be helping yourself!

13-Create a Service for Your Peers

Maybe the ‘helping your school’ route isn’t for you. Well, what’s better and more accessible than school administrators and the roadblocks that come with officiality? The students around you! If you go to a big school, this will be especially helpful. Think about the grievances you hear your peers expressing daily, or weekly. Here are some examples of ones that I personally have heard time and time again:

  • Bad communication from professors. It can get choppy when there’s nothing holding professors to communicate well. Create a student-professor web interface that clears his or her inbox and makes communication more direct!
  • Dirty shoes after a weekend of partying. Create a shoe-cleaning service. People can sign up, then you collect their shoes and make a note of their residence. Clean them up however you can do it best, and return the shoes with a fee. A bonus is that the shoes are collateral, so you can either get paid in advance or ensure follow-up payment. 
  • Create a cleaning service. College students can get insanely messy, so if you’re up for it, find some people and clean some rooms!

There are many more ideas of businesses or services you can create for the students that attend your school. Why wait? Start brainstorming and making some money!

The Bottom Line

With skyrocketing tuition fees, an uncertain job market, and an increased cost of living, many students are struggling to make ends meet while earning their degrees.

Starting your own business rather than taking on thousands of dollars in student loans, will not just help you support yourself during college, but afterward too.

You will finish school with less debt and extra cash, and you can also add this experience to your resume just in case if you need a job later!

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.