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25 Innovative Business Ideas for Students with Low Startup Capital

Having zero or low startup costs is no longer an excuse for a student. Blogging, digital marketing, freelancing, dropshipping, etc., are great examples of business ideas suitable for students.

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Business ideas for students
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Are you a student and looking to start a small business? Do you have low startup capital but you want to launch a successful business? If your answer is yes, then read through this article to see different small business ideas suitable for students.

Most of these business ideas are not only suitable for students but also give a high-profit margin.

1. Start a White Labeling Business

The white labeling business is a great business to start as a student. This is because you are not manufacturing or producing the products yourself.

In this business, all you need to do is choose a product, find a supplier with an understanding of imprinting your logo or brand on the product, and set up an online store.

One white-labeling business model you can deploy is print-on-demand. That way you don’t have overhead costs and you don’t have to store inventory.

2. Start a Freelancing Business

As a student, if you major in disciplines like English, Arts, or Music, a freelancing business would be a very good one to start. It will be easy for you to start freelance businesses such as proofreading editing, transcription, translation, voice-over artist, etc.

If you major in accounting or even computer science, you can offer freelancing services in areas like bookkeeping, data entry, web design, app development, etc.

Remember, all you have to do is register on a freelance website, set up your profile, have a good portfolio, and just like that you have started your freelance business as a student.

3. Start a Virtual Assistance Business

You can also become a virtual assistant. Your job role can include writing and answering emails, customer care services, etc. Many business owners out there are looking for executive assistants that can help them.

4. Start a Pet Sitting Business

If you are a pet lover, you can embrace the pet-sitting business. You can engage your free time for pet sitting. Note that you need to have a conducive environment, space, and good equipment for people to comfortably leave their pets in your care.

5. Start a Handmade Craft Business

Do you have gifted hands or a natural ability to create beautiful designs? Then you can consider starting a handmade craft business. You can produce your products and sell them to fellow students and lecturers. Alternatively, you can open an online store.

6. Start a Catering Business

Depending on your school schedule, you can start a small-scale catering business. You can have a cafeteria corner where you sell food during lunch breaks. Your catering business can run as a home-based food business. You need to do your research to know what students’ preferences are so you can properly serve your customers and grow into a profitable business.

7. Establish a Delivery Business

You can register with different small businesses or brands and help them deliver their products to their customers. They will always be willing to reward you handsomely. This will be easier if you have mobility, be it a car, motorcycle or bicycle.

8. Stock Photography Business

If you’re photogenic and you love being in front of the camera, you can go into stock photography. There are several niches to choose from: beauty niche, fashion niche, skincare niche, etc. Take beautiful pictures of yourself and sell them online.

9. Video Editing and Production

In this internet age where content is king, starting a video editing business is highly profitable. As long as you have good skills for shooting or editing videos, you will always be in business. 

Companies need to shoot videos for their product ads and branding purposes. You can turn this into a full-blown business after school.

10. Explore Different Writing Business Opportunities

Even if you don’t have writing skills, you can learn. So, how do you make money from writing as a student? There are several writing niches you can explore: creative writing, content management, SEO writing, technical writing, etc. 

If you have the skill and learn the business of writing, you can easily scale your writing business. You can make your first $1,000 in a month as a writer.

11. Bookkeeping and Accounting Services

Many businesses are so busy trying to make sales that they have little to no time for bookkeeping, accounting, and data entry. These businesses are always looking for data entry specialists, accountants, and bookkeepers to help them manage their numbers. This is where you can come in as a student. From the comfort of your home, you can work as their data entry manager and earn a decent income. Check out other business opportunities for accountants and auditors.

12. E-commerce Business

The e-commerce business will continue to be a forever flourishing business, majorly because of the ease of convenience. What would you like to sell online? Pick a niche, set up your online store on e-commerce sites like Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, etc., and get started?

You can also use the Facebook Marketplace to kickstart your e-commerce. Using WooCommerce, your favorite payment gateway and WordPress, you can build your own online store.

13. Become an App Developer

App development is a highly in-demand skill. App development requires time. A lot of mental work goes into it. App development is one of the most lucrative business ideas for students. 

The best part about it is that you can start it on a freelance basis. From the comfort of your own, you can serve clients in different parts of the world. You can choose to go into it full-time once you are out of school.

14. Start a Subscription Box Business

The subscription box business is fast gaining ground as people love the idea of someone else shopping for all their items and also delivering for them. This business would be good for you if you like to find and discover products in the marketplace.

There are several subscription box business ideas to start: cosmetics, fashion, pet subscription boxes, etc.

15. Online Coaching/Tutoring Business

Online tutoring is one of the best business ideas students can explore. For instance, if your area of discipline is nursing, and you are done with your first year and moved to sophomore year, you can have an online tutoring business where you teach first-year students the nitty-gritty of first-year studying, prepare them for the semester exams, etc. You can run your coaching business in the form of a subscription-based business. In a subscription-based business model, students can subscribe monthly or per semester.

16. Social Media Management

Thanks to the internet, you can start a social media management agency from anywhere in the world. The most basic tool you need to run a social media management agency is your internet-enabled smartphone. Whether school is in session, or you are on holiday, you can continue to run your agency.

17. Vblogging through YouTube

We live in a world of content and more content. It does not have to be anything glamorous; you can create content on literally anything. You can start a YouTube channel where you share your life experiences as a student on campus. Your YouTube channel can be a platform where you teach the course you are studying. 

If you are not okay with that, you can teach anything else that catches your fancy. You may not need any startup capital at first. Your smartphone and free video editing software can help you run the business until it becomes profitable. 

As your YouTube channel grows, equip yourself with the necessary tools and resources to scale up the business.

18. Blogging Business

Another business you can go into as a student is blogging. If you love to write or share your thoughts, just pick a niche to blog on. You can blog about scholarship, school news, business, insurance, or anything related to your course of study. 

You will need a little capital to start a blog. With $100, you will be able to get a domain from Namecheap and web hosting from HostGator. If you do it right, your blog will be monetized and Google AdSense will start paying you.

19. Start a Dropshipping Business

In the dropshipping business, you sell other people’s products. They are mostly physical products, that you market or advertise to your audience. Meaning, that what you are doing is connecting the seller to the buyer and earning from it when a sale is recorded. 

Remember Kylie Jenner, who was on Forbes’s youngest billionaire list in 2019 at the age of 21, this was how she started. You can get started on an e-commerce website like Shopify. You can even rebrand the products to have your brand name on it. Take a look at the best-selling dropshipping products before making your choice.

20. Self-Publishing Business

Ebooks and books are very easy to write and self-publish these days. You don’t have to be a full-blown writer to make money from self-publishing as a student. You can become a children’s book writer, comic writer, creative writer, educative or motivational writer, etc. Whichever one you choose, you will always make money when you write and publish your books.

21. T-Shirt Printing Business

Students can explore different T-shirt printing business ideas. We all know that wearing brands, celebrity designs, etc. is a big deal these days. Football fans, birthday celebrants, and members of organizations are your ideal customers.

22. Digital Marketing Business

Digital marketing business is a very broad one with several niches to choose from. It could be web design, direct response marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising, etc. You can set up a digital marketing agency as a student and hire freelancers from different parts of the world.

23. Affiliate Marketing Business

Affiliate marketing business is just like the dropshipping business, in that you are selling someone else’s product and earning from the sale. The only difference is that these products are digital, not physical. 

Your job is to find good digital products, find customers, and make money when you make a sale. There are several affiliate marketplaces you can look into like Clickbank, JVZoo, Impact, etc. Take a look at the difference between dropshipping and affiliate marketing.

24. Campus Podcasting

As a student, there is always something to talk about. In fact, so many things to talk about within the campus and outside. For instance, school experiences, life after school, love, life, career, etc. 

If you do this right, you can make money from podcasting. It could be either through advertising, membership plans, selling products and services, or affiliate marketing. You can sell your podcast business for good money after you graduate from school.

25. Product Review Business

You can also go into the product review business. In this business, you are to review books, software, equipment, schools, disciplines to major in, etc. There are so many things to explore here. 

You can choose any of the popular social media platforms to get started with. TikTok and YouTube are amazing platforms to start with. With your knowledge of TikTok marketing and YouTube SEO, it will be easier to break into this business and succeed.

Conclusion

Having zero or low startup costs is no longer an excuse for a student. Blogging, digital marketing, freelancing, dropshipping, etc., are great examples of business ideas suitable for students. Today, you can choose anyone that suits your personality and launch out immediately.

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Okezi Eni is a highly sought-after community manager, SEO content writer and a contributor at EntrepreneurBusinessBlog.com. She covers the sales and business categories of our blog. You can connect with Eni via email, [email protected].

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