Student Village Academy Forums Student Businesses 13 Business Ideas for Students in 2023

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      Shekinah Brama

      This is your chance, whether you just graduated from high school or are on break before your senior year of college. You won’t have this much time—and this much youthful vigor—to take a leap again in your life.

      There are many lucrative business opportunities for college students that require little start-up capital and can even be operated from home (or dorm room).

      1. Establish a tutoring service

      Helping younger college students get ready for the classes you aced last semester or high school students with their summer studies.

      2. Sell handmade goods

      A person packs handmade ceramics into boxes to shipTake a break from studying to work with your hands and sell your handmade creations if you’re creative. You can market your products through online shops, online markets, or physical events like local markets.

      3. Start a neighborhood service-based business

      A person kneels to offer a dog a treatWhat services can you provide in your neighborhood? Create a simple website to promote your availability for services like child care, pet sitting, deliveries, personal shopping, maintenance, landscaping, or cleaning—the list of non-products you can sell is endless.

      4. Try dropshipping

      With dropshipping, you can sell goods to customers without ever making an upfront purchase or keeping track of inventory. For those who are talented in design and marketing, this is a fantastic idea. How you curate, market, and position the products is more crucial than the products themselves.

      5. Start a community-focused business or non-profit

      If your goal isn’t to make money but to gain skills and experience, you could start a cause-based business that gives back to a charity or community organization that you care about.

      6. Monetize content or a personal brand

      A makeup artist does a makeup demo using a model and recording on a phoneIf you’re already a minor superstar on a social media platform like TikTokYouTube, or Instagram, consider leveraging your growing audience to make money. Do sponsored content or set up an ecommerce store to sell merch to your fans.

      7. Sell print-on-demand goods

      One of the simplest online business ideas for creatives is selling print-on-demand products, which is another fantastic option for starting a business on a tight budget. You can print your designs on anything, from t-shirts to camp mugs, if you have artistic talent. This business model is a fantastic startup idea that you can implement in your spare time and manage on your own.

      8. Become a freelancer

      A person works on a laptop in a home officeMake yourself available to take on freelance work like editing, copywriting, illustration, or whatever it is that you do best. You can set up a portfolio site or create a listing on a site like Upwork. This profitable business idea has low startup costs—and can earn you some serious money.

      9. Create experiences

      After years of hesitation around travel, people are craving in-person connections. Can you create and sell experiences to tourists, for example? Think biking or culinary tours of your city’s favorite spots. University students can offer a unique perspective of the place where they study.

      10. Become a reseller

      Person holds up a vintage shirt in a retail settingIf you have an eye for potential, scour local buy-and-sell sites or thrift stores for interesting and vintage finds. You can curate a unique experience by fixing up old home décor or vintage clothing and selling them on a dedicated website or online marketplace.

      11. Sell at pop-up shops and markets

      Grow your own veggies and make preserves, bake cookies, make handmade goods, or curate vintage. Whatever your skill or interest, consider how you can make extra cash selling at weekend markets or a temporary pop-up shop.

      12. Run a summer camp program

      Person looks through binoculars in front of a camping tentAlleviate parent burnout after years of balancing child care and schooling with at-home work. Choose one your interests—say math, drama, or wilderness exploration—and create an engaging camp program for young kids.

      13. Offer technical services

      There are several services you can offer to fellow students or the local community, including translation services, editing help with essay writing, transcription services, and tech support. Local businesses may also be looking for help with digital marketing. Advertise your skills on your college campus or reach a wider audience on social media platforms.

      How do I start a business as a college student?

      Person paints an abstract design on a large canvas.


      Getting started is as easy as making the decision to do it. For most of the ideas above, you can set up an online store in minutes and get a feel for the tools before committing to a plan. Learn as you go with free entrepreneur resources like the Shopify blog.

      Which business idea for college students is best for you? In short, your startup should reflect your interests and leverage your strengths. Ask and answer questions like:

      • What am I good at?
      • What skills do I have that could benefit others?
      • Can any of my hobbies or interests become a small business?
      • What’s important to me and what are my values?
      • How much time do I have to commit to a small business?
      • How much will it cost to start a business?
      • How can I leverage resources at my college to help me start a business?
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