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Top 10 Small Business Ideas For College Students

There are many reasons why beginning a business in college is excellent. The most common one would be saving to settle loans and expenses, but what about others?

You may think it’s crazy to want to take on such a stressful venture, but it’s not as terrifying as it seems. Several students get temporary jobs to afford expenses or earn on the side, but these jobs can be draining.

  • Gain hands-on experience and skills that you can’t learn in the classroom.
  • Build a network that would be useful after school.
  • Boost your CV with the experience, skills, and lessons you’ve learned with the help of tools such as studyfy reviews.
  • Choose your hours.

These are strong reasons to begin a business, but how do you develop a business idea?

Getting Started

No one says you have to be a founder of an enterprise while in college. To pick the right business for you, here are some things to consider;

  • Market Research: No matter what you decide to do, you need customers to succeed at it. Incredible business ideas have a wonderful audience. Find a need around you and a way to solve it, preferably a need or want with an everyday demand.
  • Your Passions: Business can be daunting, but it feels less so when you enjoy what you do. Ask yourself these questions; What do I enjoy doing? What am I skilled at? Do I want something that has longevity? These questions can bring clarity and help you decide quickly.

Top Business Ideas

The most common small businesses to start in college require you to give services in exchange for a fee. You may need to learn some strategies for a profitable project, so read the best books to read for a business student. Some of these may require a skill set, while some may not; opt for the one you can deliver on.

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1.  Writing, Editing, Proofreading

This might be the perfect plan if you are skilled at wielding a pen. Writers are in high demand in most industries, and you can use this to your advantage. You can make a profit working with brands as a freelance writer or editor and work.

Proofreading is a good idea if you are attentive to details. Another great idea for a skillful writer is becoming a permanent employee for a PR and media department at any company. Working as a copywriting intern will help you get some valuable experience for the future.

2. Tutoring

This is the perfect project for you if you are acing your classes. You don’t need to be great at all your courses, just one you excel at is enough. No one wants to fail, so they would pay to gain some knowledge and get the ability to pass their exams.

You do not need any capital, as you can simply communicate your interest to your professors or directly to your classmates. To be a successful tutor, you should treat your college ‘clients’ well, and give them appointments you can keep.

3.  Tech Services

Lots of students are taking advantage of online resources to learn skills. If you have some of these skills, you can put them to use. Search for freelance opportunities for roles like data analyst, website developer, etc., on forums and dedicated platforms.

Before considering this wonderful option, make sure you are ready to start remote work since with the pandemics around the world the tech services industry has moved most of its workers home from the offices.

4.  Transportation and Delivery

Own your hours when you render this type of service. You can start on-campus delivery that gets packages, food orders, etc., to your fellow university students. A bike helps get you around, and you can advertise yourself using forums, bulletin boards, and word-of-mouth. If you own a car, you can also provide taxi services. With some timespan and branding, you can get hired to drive to specific places.

5.  Drop-Shipping

Do you like buying and selling? Start a low-risk line and make money connecting brands to consumers. You only need to have an account on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Shopify, and Craigslist. Build your brand by driving traffic through advertising and earning passive income.

6.  Personal Training

This is ideal for gym buffs and fitness enthusiasts. If you love consistency and you’re enthusiastic about helping individuals improve their minds and body, you can make a profit from this. Start personal training and sell yourself to fellow students and staff. If you get it right with one or two clients, referrals are sure to follow.

7.  Influencing

Why spend so much time on the internet if you’re not earning from it? Several students have amassed quite a following on their accounts. Whether it is Instagram or TikTok, you can earn advertising brands to your followers. You can reach tons of people with the right ideas and if you find the right hashtags. You may need some props like backdrops, a tripod stand, and fantastic camera quality for this project.

8.  Transcription and Translation

These are in high demand, and they hardly require any skills. You can choose to transcribe podcasts, lectures, meetings, etc., from various industries and fields. To do well as a transcriber, you need to be a good listener and have command of your grammar.

If you are fluent in another language, you can also offer translation. You can translate documents or even join meetings as a translator.

9. Photography

Taking photos of friends and capturing moments on camera is fun, but nothing beats making money with your art. You can post your amazing pictures on social media and inform your followers that they are available for sale and you for hire. To succeed here, you need to create tons of content for your growing community.

10. Forex or Crypto Trading

If you have some capital and high-risk tolerance, you can learn to trade crypto or forex. You can build a trading app or a startup that teaches how to trade and earn. Before taking this step, make sure you are an expert trader and have superior analytical skills.

Trading is not the easiest or fastest way to make money from nothing, and it’s definitely not one to take up when you are not ready. Even though the field is not for everybody, one could learn how to do it and become successful, but it takes a lot of hard work and persistence.


Starting a business in college is hard. You’re going to have late nights, sacrifice your fun, and get stressed a lot. The chances that you would fail are high, but that shouldn’t discourage you.

Failure in this situation would help you learn from your mistakes. So, when self-doubt creeps, face your fears, and you’d come out on top.

If it is a success, you can settle your loans instead of allowing them to accumulate. You can even keep up with the company after school and earn extra cash.

Before you begin, remember this, write it down; “Slow and steady wins the race.” There is no need to run before you can walk. Even if your goal is to have a company and employ workers, you need not hurry and learn.

About the Author

Ingrid Stellman is a business analyst who is interested in the development of startups with innovative ideas. Being a writer for, she brings her professional knowledge, experience, and excellent analytical skills together to help students.

Ingrid is an author of a blog for like-minded people where she collects the best advice for beginners. Among her other achievements, there are publications in academic journals.


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How to Drive & Increase Traffic to Your Startup Website

Do you have what it takes to start and run an online business?

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