The only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something. Are you running low on cash as a student? Starting a profitable small business can be the best investment in your college life. It’s a great way to earn extra income while at college. 

There are different ways to come up with a profitable business idea. Research or invent something that would make life easier. Invest in what you love doing during your free time. Below are the best business ideas for student startups in 2023.

Start a takeaway shop

Starting a takeaway shop within the school premises is a great business idea for students. It requires little capital to start, and you can enjoy ready customers. Students often prefer taking snacks to carry food with them from their homes. Sell typical snacks and simple ones that are budget-friendly to the students. If possible, hire someone to help so you can faithfully attend your classes and finish your assignments.

Sometimes you will have so many assignments due on the same day, and if you don’t have anyone to help you, you might be forced to close the shop on that day. Fortunately, if you hire someone, you will have adequate time to write your essays or research papers. Take time googling ‘write essay for me’ avoid unnecessary punishments for deadline skipped.

Resell textbooks

Selling your textbooks at the end of the semester is a great way to start. But this is not the only option. Offer to buy your classmates’ second-hand textbooks at the end of the semester. There is a high chance that they will accept to sell the textbook at a relatively lower price than the one you intend to sell.

This saves them the hassle of having to sell these books online themselves. At the start of the new term, find the new students taking the same course and sell the books at a higher price than you bought them. But the price should be less than that of a new copy.

Sell clothes online

Most college students are always in search of new clothes. It must be within their budget for them to buy it. It’s rare for most of them to mind buying non-branded apparel as long as it’s ready. Why not take a step further and start your own clothing business? Don’t forget to create a custom logo for your brand that will help you stand out. This is a great business idea for college students. Post pictures of the clothes you sell online where most students can see them.

It can be your WhatsApp status or your Instagram feed. Target buying the clothes that are within the student’s buying range. Avoid costly clothes as most students won’t be able to afford them.

Run a delivery service

A delivery service business can be very profitable if you manage yourself correctly at college. It’s one of many ways to make money from delivering goods to customers. Ensure that you have delivery means. This could be a bicycle, motorbike, or small car. The means chosen should be able to complete each order on time.

Evenings and weekends are the ideal time to deliver goods to the customers. Register with a company that provides the services you intend to deliver. Delivery service business usually takes a lot of time, and you should ensure that you attend your classes faithfully.

Organize student trips

Students often love traveling to different places, provided their peers accompany them. That’s why organizing student trips is a great business idea for college students. Scout out some popular destinations and organize a trip for yourself and a few dozen other students.

The trick in this business idea lies in providing cost-effective services and still making relatively huge profits. You can book en masse to enjoy great discounts. You can either provide snacks or ask your friends to carry them with their snacks.

Start photography business

Do you have enough money to purchase a high-quality camera? The beauty of the photography business is that you can send the pictures in soft copy. There are some customers who will request for their pictures to be printed according to their favorite formats. Apply to take photos during school events and charge student-friendly prices.

Excellent shooting skills are highly needed in this case, and you need to undergo training before picking up the camera and taking photos. There is more to photography than just taking random pictures. So, invest in learning great photography skills.


There are numerous business ideas that you can invest in to earn a decent income while at college. All you need is a plan and the necessary capital to get started. Each business idea discussed above can be a constant supply of money for a college student.

Artem Borodin

CPO at Standuply. PMP, CSM, CSP. Ask me a question via Standuply

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