If you are a Nigerian student and you are
reading this article, the truth is that you can
start a side business as a full-time student
and still keep up your good grades. I will
show you 20 lucrative small business ideas
that are guaranteed to earn you regular
income as a student.
There are three excuses students usually give
when the issue of running a side business in
school is raised: “I don’t have time”, “I don’t
have money” and “what’s the point? I don’t
lack anything.” Before we go ahead to the 20
lucrative small business ideas, I feel it’s
important that I address these excuses and rid
your mind of them.
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Time: The ideas discussed in this article are
all side businesses. You only need a few
hours every day to effectively execute them.
Most of them you can work on during the
weekends. These are times you normally
spend on trivial stuff. Why not invest that time
and create a beautiful and profitable future for
Money : You don’t need a lot of money to start
any of these lucrative small business ideas;
for some of them, you don’t need money at
all. They are small business ideas – at the
most, N10,000 to N15,000 should be enough
to get you started.
Why? What’s the point :
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Here are 4 important reasons to consider starting a side business while in school
- You prepare yourself for life after school.
The labor market is usually not pretty;
nothing is guaranteed. The only way to
make sure you don’t go through the
painful process of job search is to start
your own business and the school is the perfect place to prepare yourself for that.
- You set up contacts, client base and
networks that you can draw from when
you need them.
- You gain vital experience: this is usually
the time you harness your skills and
gather experience that takes you further
- With each success you increase in
confidence and with each failure you
increase in learning.
While most of the business ideas discussed in
this article need little or no capital to start,
they require a certain level of mastery in some
skills such as speed-typing, writing, graphics
The slogan for your success is simple:
whatever you do, do it very well! If you don’t
possess the necessary skills to start any of
these businesses, I urge you to invest the
time and money to acquire them. Consider any
of these lucrative small business ideas to
start. Let’s get to it then!
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Top 20 lucrative small business ideas for students
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method
where a store doesn’t keep the products it
sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a
product, it purchases the item from a third-
party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
Dropshipping is a booming business model now and will continue to see success in the
near future. Thanks to the internet, you can conduct every phase of this business right
from your room, with surprising ease.
The biggest difference between dropshipping
and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third-party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders.
To start this business, you need a personal
computer and internet access. You will need to know how to create a Facebook page
and set up an online shop on your Facebook
You will also need to know how to create an
online shop on websites like shopify.com and
how to drive traffic to your shop.
2. Typing and Editing Business
Most students have need to type their
assignments, projects and thesis. If you have
a personal computer, you can start up a
How this works is you collect the handwritten
assignments and type in the evening, after school. If you lack speed-typing skills, install
a typing tutorial software like Mavis Beacon and start practicing.
After typing, you take it to a computer center
to print out at N20 per page. You can charge
between N50 to N100 per page for each
typing job. This gives you a profit margin of
between N30 to N80 per page. If you can type
20 pages per day, that gives you 800 – 1,600
daily and 4,800 – 9,600 weekly in extra
3. Recharge Card Business
There are 2 ways to run the recharge voucher
business. Either you deal in bulk recharge
card printing, which is still very lucrative
although costlier to start, or you sell as a retailer.
You can buy bulk units of N100 and N200
recharge cards and sell at a higher prize. Most
wholesalers sell at the 10 units of N100
recharge card for N920, this gives you an N80 profit after sales. You can easily start up this
business with as low as N5,000.
4. Organize Tutorial Classes
You can organize tutorial classes for students in lower classes in your department. There are courses that are usually tough and difficult to
understand, and students taking that course will not mind paying someone to teach them the course. To organize a tutorial, you need to find a place
inside the school, and then inform the course representative to tell the class of an upcoming
5. Sell Compiled Past Questions
Nothing sells fast in school like past question papers, especially as exam date approaches.
You can get past questions from your
department and other departments, solve the
questions with the help of your text books,then convert it to short handout and sell to
students during exams. You can sell the
handouts for N200 or less depending on your
6. Used Clothes Business
This is usually known as the Okirika clothes
business. It involves buying used clothes and
reselling to students. N10,000 can get you
started on a small scale okirika clothe
business. You should focus on Jeans, shirts,
shoes and tops.
It is important to meet people who are already in the business for guidance before you make your purchase. This is to avoid burning your
fingers in bad business.
7. Hair Plaiting/Styling Business
You can learn to style hairs and fix weave-on,and offer the services for a fee in school. You
can charge as much as N500 to fix a weave-on and N1,500 for plaiting of hair depending
on the going rate in your location.
8. Manicure and Pedicure Services
A lot of female students fix their nails especially during weekends. You can offer a
home nail fixing service business. You can purchase the basic equipment needed for fixing nails with N3,000 and charge as low as N300 for each service rendered.
9. Barbing Salon Business
This is one of the most lucrative small
business ideas in school. It takes a lot to start of money to start on your own, though. If you
have the skill, you can look for barbing salons close to you and introduce yourself. Once any
of them accepts you, you can attach yourself there and make your money in your spare time. Naturally, you pay a stipend to your host
for accommodating you.
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11. Freelance Writing
If you have good writing skills, you are missing out on a lot of money. Apart from writing for bloggers who may not have the
time to write, you can make a fortune from freelance sites like ODesk or Fiverr .
Forums like nairaland.com are good places to
offer your writing skills for a fee. As a starter,you can offer free writing services as a way of
introducing yourself and getting positive
feedback. This review will be important when
you create your advertising pages.
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12. Graphics Design
Graphics design is another money spinner for
those who have the skills. There seems to be a shortage of competent graphics designers so the few of them are always very much in
demand. Again, you can create a portfolio for
yourself on odesk, fiverr, nairaland etc. Don’t hesitate to offer free services for people to
test your work and give you feedback.
13. Become a Jumia Agent
Jumia agents help people to place orders and buy whatever they need onJumia.com, Africa’s largest online shopping platform. As
an agent, you get commissions on every sale made through your account.
All you need to do is let people know you are a Jumia agent. You can also promote their
offers on your Facebook, bbm or Whatsapp
channels. You don’t need any money to do this and it takes very little of your time.
14. Outdoor Catering services
You can start this business yourself with nothing or join a team that offers the service to increase your confidence in cooking for
events and occasions.
15. Professional Cleaning Services
Before people move into a new house, they usually require the services of a cleaner to tidy the place up. This is money waiting to be
To start, you will need a way of letting people
know you are in the business. Facebook has made it very easy to spread the word about
any service you offer. So you create an
enticing Facebook page for your cleaning
services, promote it for a little fee and you are in business.
You can do this in your spare time and you need no money to start because when people
call you for a job, they pay you a deposit fee
which you use to buy the materials you need.
Photography, amateur or professional, is
always good business for a willing mind to
engage on the side. For a start, you can target
events and social gatherings.
If you are interested, it would provide you a springboard to move to more a professional
and rewarding career in photography.
17. Real Estate Agent
This never goes out of fashion and is always in demand. You help people find a house to live in and you get paid. You probably know a lot of people who do this.
Reliability and access to genuine information
should be your watchword if you are to
succeed in this business. You will need a
business card which you can always get for
less than 4k. Word of mouth does the rest.
18. Sports/Physical Trainer
A lot of people struggle with weight loss and
physical fitness. If you are a good athlete,
think about starting a personal sports training
service for helping fellow students. You can
use either an on-campus facility or a local
fitness facility off campus. You can also
develop training manuals and videos and sell
them at sports centers and gyms.
19. Pastries and Cake Making
Students need cakes for birthday celebrations
and other occasions. If you have the skills,
you can tap into this opportunity and make
your money in your spare time. Once they know you are good, you will never run out of
money. Word of mouth is a powerful
advertising tool especially in school and out of
20. Kerosene retail
You can set yourself up as a retailer to make your quickly. Kerosene is used by most students in school due to insufficient supply
of electricity and cost of cooking gas. This is
one of the most lucrative small business ideas
for Nigerian students.
There are other lucrative small business ideas
out there but these should get you started.
Remember the most wonderful idea that
remains in your head is basically useless. Inside OAU Media says “the time to start doing something is now!”
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