Don’t be afraid or reluctant to start small. Many big businesses and companies we know today started small and several of them were started by students while in university, polytechnic or college. The likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page are a few examples of successful entrepreneurs who started while in school.
There are several small scale businesses that will fetch you money as a student, even if you are not getting so much profit at the initial stage, but continuity in the business will give you steady income and this steady income will enable you not to experience lack.
Here are 50 businesses you can do as a student in university, polytechnic or college:
1. Selling groceries (provisions): Students love provisions, either they are buying biscuit and milk, or they are buying sachet of beverages for tea. They keep buying one thing or the other, and most times they spend more money when they can easily buy those provisions at the comfort of their hostels or lodges.
And believe me, starting up a little provision shop in your room isn’t expensive, because your little pocket-money can be ok to start it, and continuous buying, selling and having turn over gives you good profit.
For example, in a month you get N10,000 as pocket-money, you can buy sachet of Milo in a roll, it should be around 12 or 11 for N400/350. You can sell @ N50 per sachets, you get milk too at the same range, you can also add different kinds of biscuits some of these biscuits cost N800/1500 per carton, and the quantity inside a carton varies. Don’t forget to add sugar to your purchase, buy your little sugar nylons and tie it to different amount that is convenient for you, then you are good to go.
Don’t forget to add cereals like golden morn, corn flakes, cabin biscuits etc.
This will boost your demand more.
Get air tight containers to store your products so it will remain fresh or get be protected from rats.
2. Sachet water business: Popularly called pure water, selling sachet water is another good business a student can engage in with little overhead cost to start. It is not stressful and it yields good profit.
One set of pure water that contains 11bags is cost about N900/1000 and you can either sell per sachet, that is, by selling each sachet for N10. You make N200 in a bag of water when you remove your initial cost of N100 per bag. You can also decide to sell a bag for N120/150 depending on the hostel or lodge you stay, but bear it in mind that sales turnovers gives you more profits and patronage.
You can also get a mini size refrigerator which cost about N40,000 or a deep freezer for it.
3. Selling raw food stuffs: Students need a place to buy raw food stuffs.
Here is a breakdown for this business:
One paint /bowl of garri in most places is less than N500
One paint/bowl of beans is N1900/2500 depending on your location.
One paint of rice is N1300
Carton of noodles pending on the size can be N2500/4000
And you can add any food ingredients to it, you could get a create of eggs for N700 and with discipline you will start seeing your profits.
4. Snacks production and supplies: Almost everyone loves to eat good snacks, and surprisingly it’s inexpensive to produce. See a comprehensive guide of how to start snacks business in Nigeria.
5. Chin-Chin production and sale: This business has a unique selling point that is best known to the owner of the business.
You can add spice to your Chin-Chin to make it different from others. Add ginger, flavours, little pepper and milk, with egg if you want, just be different with your production and you will get good sales.
6. Zobo drink production and sales: Yes! Who doesn’t love a good zobo drink, well or mildly gingered with flavours, and sweeteners?
Setting up a zobo business is relatively one of the cheapest business one can do, as most ingredient comes cheap at the market.
You can also add a twist to your business by inputting your branded labels on the body of the plastics bottles you intend using.
7. Kiosk for cooked noodles: Note that most of the businesses I am discussing are from experience and I have seen students make money from them, by just doing it after school hours.
Things you will need for selling cooked noodles:
- Your gas/stove.
- A stand/table to display your various sizes of noodles.
- A crate of egg.
- Vegetable oil, pepper, onions, carrots, etc.
- Disposable plates and spoons.
You can also add different side attractions to it, if you have the money like getting a kilo of chicken or beef, make sure it’s fried, then you can ask your customers what will be their pick with the noodles.
This business is good but time-consuming, I will advise that you get a friend or a person who is not a student you can be paying daily wages for helping you.
8. Plantain/potatoes chips production: Plantain chips production doesn’t require too much rigors to start. All you need includes: your vegetable oil, ginger, dry pepper if you so desire, and salt to taste.
You can also get a chips slicer to make you more efficient, chips slicers cost N3500.
You are ready to start your business, when you take into consideration the quantity, you want to start with. See a comprehensive guide on how to make and sell plantain chips.
9. Printing and photocopy business: This is a business that doesn’t grow old in any higher institution in Nigeria. Day in, day out students will be required to print or do photocopy of some handouts or assignments.
A photocopying machine is relatively cheap especially the laserjet printers, which can also serve as a photocopying machine, A4 papers are inexpensive too, with a rough estimate of N30,000 or lower you can get your photocopying /printing business running.
10. Juice making: Want to know how?
What if I told you that the introduction of juice extractor/machine now makes it easy for every one to be able to extract juice from any kind of fruit.
A juice extractor can be manual or electrical, and it cost N3500/7000 pending on your location and where you order from.
You can place a sign board or a post in your lodge to direct people in, to come get their freshly made juice without any preservative. You can even make the juice while they wait.
Research nice fruit combinations to get better results. You can set a price to it as this business is still fresh in the market, it is not yet saturated.
11. Toasted bread/sandwich: This is a business you can do without much stress, as almost everyone loves to have a good taste of toasted bread. One thing I find appealing about toasted bread business is its ability to keep its customers wanting more, if properly garnished.
A toasting machine isn’t expensive and the price is always determined by the number of compartments it has.
The least toasting machine compartments I have seen is 2 and it cost N3500. The compartments can be as many as 8 and the choice is yours on the size to buy.
12. Sales of clothes: From the comfort of your room, you can get good trendy clothes, from Lagos, Onitsha or Aba and sell for a good gain. Clothes are really affordable in the places I have mentioned. You get to see beautiful and adorable clothes for different body types. You can start small, then gradually increase your purchase as demands increases.
13. Sales of foot wears: You can start dealing in different kinds of foot wears. Look for trendy foot wears online and purchase them, add your transport expenses and your desired profit for each pair, before you fix your sales price. You can also get good footwears in Lagos, Onitsha or Aba.
14. Sales of airtime recharge cards: Do not underestimate the mobile phones airtime business as most people buy airtime, be it for subscription or for calls. However, the profits on this business is not much, but it can be done together with some other businesses I have listed above.
15. Popcorn Business: This is a fast selling business. One beautiful thing about this business is its ability to advertise itself. Popcorn aroma draws its lovers to it. The owner makes good money daily from the business and you can either choose to start in the morning, afternoon or evening as the students are returning home.
What helps you get good patronage in this business is your ability to blend in good flavours, sugar and salt. A popcorn machine may be electrical or manual and the prices may range between N30000 – N60000 depending on your choice and other functions.
16. Groundnut production and sales: This is also among the cheapest start-up business any student can do, because it has little overhead cost.
Majorly, the student will have to dedicate one big/medium size pot to this business. You may use a gas cooker or stove as source of fire, then you can purchase a cup of groundnut, fry it in garri instead of the traditional sand, then package it well, sell and supply, you will be amazed at your profit.
17. Cake making: Who doesn’t love eating yummy cakes? Answer is no one. You can learn this skill online, teach yourself, start the business and make profit from it. Read our article on how to start a catering business.
18. Liquid soap production and sales: With the right fragrance and texture this business is among the cheapest to establish and it yields good profit too.
19. Organizing tutorials: This business requires you to be dedicated to studying and also you need to have the brains for it.
You can start-up a tutorial class for junior students of the same faculty or department, initiate the idea and get your friends involved from various department in that faculty, have a written agreement on how profits can be shared between you and them as the initiator, and you will make good money for just bringing people together to learn.
20: Fashion designing: Before you engage in this business, you must be able to sew some simple clothes, design them, and amend torn clothes with patches on the materials.
You have to prepare well for this business because your output determines if you will be patronized. Read our article on fashion designing to get more information on how to start it.
21. Photography: People love memories, and photographs help us to keep good memories alive. If you already have this skill and you are not yet using it to make money, I have to encourage you to start something with it.
22: Shoe making/repairs: You can start this business with simple tools by repairing shoes for your fellow students and make money. You may also design and create styles for yourself, take snapshots and send it to different people to advertise for you.This can also be a skill you may acquire online.
23. Making and selling fries: You can choose to employ a person for this business and you pay the person from the daily income you get from the business.
Fries is a very lucrative business for anyone who engages in it. You can fry yams, plantains, potatoes and bean balls (akara) at strategic junctions round the school environs.
24. Bead making: This business is also for fashion lovers and it requires that you have a creative eyes for styles. Get your beads, stopper and fishing lines, create intriguing styles and sell.
25. Kunu drink production: Just like zobo drink business, a well prepared kunu draws its lovers to it, aside its rich taste, it nourishes the body. Kunu is best served chill, and it also requires little capital to set up.
See Part 2 of this article which contains the remaining 25 business ideas and tips on how to market all 50 businesses to make money from them and become financially independent as a university, polytechnic or college student.
How do I raise the capital to start a business ?
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About The Writer : This was written by Salome Precious, senior content developer at MyAfribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion.
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