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17 small business ideas to start at university 2023

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If you’re a university student, the thought of starting your own business might seem a little daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of small businesses you can start while you’re still studying. In this blog post, we will explore 17 small business ideas to start at university. From online businesses to brick-and-mortar stores, there’s sure to be an idea on this list that resonates with you. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your entrepreneurial journey today!

1. Start an accommodation reviews website

If you’re a student looking for a way to make some extra money, why not start an accommodation reviews website? There are countless students searching for places to live, and your site can help them make informed decisions.

To get started, all you need is a domain name and hosting. Once you have those setup, you can start creating content. Write reviews of the places you’ve lived, or ask others to contribute their own reviews. Be sure to include information about the location, price, amenities, and anything else that would be useful to know.

If you build up a large enough following, you could even start charging for access to your site. But even if you don’t, simply running a successful website can be a great way to earn some extra cash while still in school.

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2. Set up a Skype language course

When it comes to language learning, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, one popular option is to set up a Skype language course. This can be an effective way to learn a new language or to brush up on your skills if you are already proficient in a foreign language.

There are a few things you will need to do in order to set up a Skype language course. First, you will need to find a tutor. You can search online for language tutors, or ask around at your local university or college. Once you have found a tutor, you will need to agree on a schedule and price.

Next, you will need to set up a Skype account and make sure that both you and your tutor have the latest version of Skype installed. Once that is done, you are ready to start your lessons!

Some tips for getting the most out of your Skype language course:

  • Make sure you have a good internet connection. A stable connection is essential for effective Skype lessons.
  • Find a quiet place to take your lessons so that you can concentrate fully on what your tutor is saying.
  • Take advantage of the features that Skype offers, such as screen sharing and video call recording. These can be helpful for reviewing previous lessons and practising outside of class time.

3. Grow and sell your own fresh fruit and vegetables

If you’re looking to start your own business while at university, then why not consider growing and selling your own fresh fruit and vegetables? This is a great way to get started in the world of entrepreneurship, and it’s a business that can be easily scaled up as you gain more experience.

To get started, all you need is some space to grow your produce, and a little bit of knowledge about how to best grow fruits and vegetables. Once you’ve got your crops started, you can begin selling them at local farmer’s markets or online. With a bit of hard work and dedication, you can turn this small business into a thriving enterprise!

4. Sell original work on Etsy

If you’re creative and enjoy making things, then selling your original work on Etsy is a great small business idea to start at university. You can make and sell anything from jewellery to art, homewares, and more. To get started, all you need is a computer and an internet connection.

There are no setup costs or monthly fees to sell on Etsy, so it’s very affordable to get started. Plus, you’ll have complete control over your pricing and can set your own shipping rates. And since Etsy is a global marketplace, you’ll be able to reach buyers from all over the world.

To get started selling on Etsy, simply create a seller account and set up your shop. Then list your products for sale and start promoting your shop to drive traffic and make sales.

5. Sell audio or eBook versions of out-of-copyright works

If you’re a university student with an interest in books, then why not start a small business selling audio or eBook versions of out-of-copyright works? This is a great way to make some extra money while studying, and it’s also a great way to get your name out there as an author or narrator.

There are a few things you’ll need to get started. Firstly, you’ll need to find some public domain books that you can record or convert into an eBook. You can find a list of public domain books here: Once you’ve found some books that you’d like to sell, the next step is to create your audio recordings or eBook files.

If you’re selling audio recordings, you’ll need to create high-quality MP3 files of your readings. If you’re selling eBooks, you’ll need to format your book into a popular eBook format such as Kindle or ePub. Once you’ve created your files, the next step is to set up a sales platform.

There are various ways you can sell your audio recordings or eBooks online. One popular option is to set up your own website and use PayPal or another payment processor to take payments. Another option is to sell your books through a third-party platform such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Smashwords. Whichever route you choose, make sure you promote your books

6. Become a professional finder

There are many ways to become a professional finder. One way is to start your own business. Another way is to join a professional organization, such as the National Association of Professional Finders (NAPF).

NAPF is the largest organization of its kind in the United States. It is dedicated to advancing the profession of finding and connecting people with opportunities. NAPF provides members with resources, networking opportunities, and educational resources.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional finder, there are many things you can do to get started. You can start by doing some research on the internet, or by talking to people who are already in the profession. Once you have an idea of what it takes to be a professional finder, you can begin taking steps to get started in the field.

7. Become a freelancer

There are many benefits to freelancing, including the ability to choose your own projects, set your own rates, and work from anywhere in the world. If you’re a student considering freelancing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Do your research: Not all fields are equal when it comes to freelancing. Some industries, like web design or copywriting, have more opportunities for freelance work than others. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking for freelance jobs on job boards or online directories.
  2. Consider your skillset: What do you have to offer potential clients? Are you a whiz with Photoshop? A whiz with words? Think about the kinds of services you could offer and begin honing your skills in those areas.
  3. Build a portfolio: Once you’ve figured out what services you can offer and honed your skills accordingly, it’s time to start building a portfolio of your work. This will be key in attracting clients and landing jobs. Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and showcases your best work.
  4. Network, network, network: Get connected with other freelancers in your field and start networking! Attend events, join online communities, and put yourself out there so that potential clients can find you easily. business ideas for students at home


8. Create food hampers

If you have a passion for food and enjoy putting together creative gift baskets, then starting a food hamper business could be the perfect small business idea for you.

There are all sorts of occasions where people would love to receive a beautiful hamper filled with delicious goodies, from birthdays and anniversaries to Christmas and Easter. And with so many different types of food hampers to choose from, you can really get creative with your offerings.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Gourmet food hampers: Fill a hamper with high-end, gourmet foods such as fine cheeses, smoked meats, artisan bread and olives.
  2. Chocolate lovers’ hamper: For the ultimate indulgence, put together a hamper filled with all sorts of sumptuous chocolate treats.
  3. Wine and cheese hamper: A classic combination that is always well-received, put together a selection of cheeses, crackers and a bottle or two of wine.
  4. Fruit and vegetable hamper: Perfect for health-conscious foodies, fill a hamper with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, along with some healthy snacks like nuts or seeds.

9. Make bespoke photo albums

One of the great things about being a student is that you have plenty of time to start a small business. And what better way to use your creativity and passion for photography than by starting your own bespoke photo album business?

There are a few key things you’ll need to get started:

  1. A good quality camera:  This doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest model, but it should be able to take clear, sharp photos.
  2. A photo editing program: You’ll need this to crop and edit your photos before you print them.
  3. A printer: A high-quality home printer will do the trick, or you can use an online printing service.
  4. Photo paper: Make sure you get photo paper that’s compatible with your printer.
  5. Albums or scrapbooks: These can be purchased online or at most craft stores.

To start promoting your business, why not create a social media profile and post some samples of your work? You could also put up flyers around campus or in local

10. Offer a transcription service for lectures

If you’re a whiz with a transcription machine, this is the perfect small business idea for you! Start by offering your services to professors and students for their lectures. You can advertise your services online or through word-of-mouth. Once you get some clients, you can start charging a fee for your services.

11. Create a swapping site to match owners with borrowers

In order to start this small business, you will need to create a swapping site that matches owners with borrowers. This can be done by creating a database of items that are available for borrowing and then allowing people to search for items they need. You can also allow people to list items they need to borrow, and then match them up with people who have those items.

This business can be run entirely online, or you can choose to set up physical locations where people can drop off and pick up items. You will need to carefully screen borrowers to make sure they are responsible and will return the items in good condition. You may want to charge a small fee for using the service, and you can also offer insurance for high-value items.

12. Babysitting

Babysitting is a great way to earn some extra money while you’re at university. It can be a bit of a juggling act to fit it in around your studies, but if you’re organised and have a good network of babysitters, you can make it work.

To start up your babysitting business, the first thing you need to do is create a website or social media page where you can promote your services. Then, start reaching out to families in your area who might need a babysitter.

Once you get some clients on board, it’s important to be reliable and professional. Keep communication lines open with parents so they always know what’s going on, and be sure to arrive on time for each job.

If you provide high-quality babysitting services, you’ll quickly build up a good reputation – and before long, you’ll have more work than you can handle!

13. Organise student trips

Organising student trips can be a great way to get involved in your university community and make some extra money. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Talk to your university’s student union or travel office about partnering on trips. They may have already organised trips that you can help with, or be able to give you advice on organising your own.
  2. Research popular destinations and attractions that students would be interested in visiting. Make sure to factor in cost, travel time, and whether there are any special requirements (e.g. vaccinations).
  3. Create a promotional plan to market the trip to students. This could include social media, flyers around campus, and word-of-mouth marketing.
  4. Once you have enough interest, start working on the logistics of the trip, such as booking accommodation and transport, and arranging any necessary visas or travel insurance.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to promote any discounts or deals that you’ve been able to secure for your group!12 unique business ideas for students


14. Help friends and family with matched betting

Matched betting is a great way to make some extra money, and it’s also a great way to help out your friends and family. If you know someone who is interested in matched betting, offer to help them get started. You can show them how to find the best offers, how to place their bets, and how to manage their bankroll.

If you’re not familiar with matched betting, it’s basically a way to bet on both sides of an event so that no matter what the outcome, you’ll always come out ahead. For example, let’s say you’re betting on a football game. You might bet $100 on the team you think will win, and then bet $100 on the team you think will lose. If the team you bet on wins, you’ll make money. If the team you bet on loses, you’ll still make money.

Matched betting is a great way to make some extra cash without having to risk any of your own money. And if you can help your friends and family get started, they’ll be able to start making some extra money too!

Also Read: 23 Great Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

15۔ Become a model for stock photographs

Stock photography is a great way to make money as a student. You can become a model for stock photographs and earn money by selling your photos online. There are many stock photography websites that you can sign up for, and you can also sell your photos on sites like

To become a model for stock photographs, you will need to have a good portfolio of photos that you can show to potential clients. You should try to take a variety of different types of photos, including close-ups, wide shots, and action shots. It is also important to have a good quality camera so that your photos are high resolution and look professional.

If you are interested in becoming a model for stock photographs, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, you need to be comfortable with being photographed. Second, you need to be able to take direction from the photographer and follow their instructions. Third, you need to be punctual and reliable so that the photographer can count on you to show up on time and deliver the photos they need.

Being a model for stock photographs is a great way to make money as a student. If you have a good portfolio of photos and are comfortable being photographed, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

16۔ Produce a campus newsletter

Assuming you want tips for starting a campus newsletter:

  1. Figure out what kind of newsletter you want to produce. Do you want it to be serious and informative, or light and entertaining? Once you know what kind of tone you want to set, you can start thinking about content.
  2. Find a group of passionate students who are willing to help with the grunt work of putting the newsletter together. This team can be responsible for things like layout, design, and writing articles.
  3. Reach out to campus clubs and organizations who might be interested in advertising in your newsletter. This is a great way to generate some revenue to offset the costs of printing and distribution.
  4. Decide on a frequency for your newsletter – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? – and make sure you stick to it! Consistency is key when it comes to publishing any kind of print publication.
  5. Promote, promote, promote! Get the word out about your new campus newsletter by hanging up posters around the school, passing out flyers at club meetings, and involving yourself in as many on-campus activities as possible.

17۔ Start an annual gift or card service

If you love giving gifts or sending cards, why not start a small business around it? You can offer a gift wrapping and card writing service to your classmates and fellow students. This is a great way to make some extra money during the holiday season or any other time of year.

To get started, all you need is a little creativity and some basic supplies. Once you have your materials, set up a table or desk in a high traffic area on campus. Advertise your services with flyers or posters. You can even create an online presence for your business by setting up a simple website or social media page.

18۔ Become a market research consultant

If you have an interest in market research and enjoy working with numbers and data, then becoming a market research consultant could be the perfect small business idea for you. As a market research consultant, you would help businesses to understand their target markets, gather customer feedback and analyze data to help them make better marketing and product decisions.

To become a successful market research consultant, you will need strong analytical skills and be able to present your findings in a clear and concise way. You will also need to be comfortable working with clients, as much of your job will involve giving presentations and briefings. If you think you have what it takes to succeed in this field, then read on for more information on how to get started.

19۔ Publish yearbooks – small business ideas to start at university

If you’re looking for a small business idea to start at university, why not consider publishing yearbooks? This is a great way to get involved with your fellow students and capture all the special memories of your time at college or university.

To get started, you’ll need to find a printer that can produce high-quality yearbooks at a reasonable price. Then, it’s simply a matter of collecting photos and stories from your fellow students and putting everything together into a cohesive design. Of course, you’ll also need to promote your yearbooks and sell them to your classmates, but that’s all part of the fun!

If you’re organized and have good attention to detail, publishing yearbooks could be the perfect small business for you. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your first issue today!

20۔ Buy and sell old gym equipment

There are a few things to consider before starting this type of small business. First, research the going prices for different types of gym equipment. Next, determine whether you will be selling equipment online, through a brick-and-mortar store, or at local flea markets or garage sales. Finally, create a system for accepting payments and delivering the merchandise.

To get started, post ads online or in local print publications advertising that you buy and sell old gym equipment. Be sure to include your contact information so potential customers can reach you. When you receive inquiries, set up appointments to view the equipment and make offers. Once you’ve made a sale, arrange for payment and delivery of the merchandise.

This type of small business is relatively easy to start and can be run on a part-time basis while you’re still in university. With a little effort, it can be a lucrative way to make some extra money while decluttering your home or apartment.

21۔ Offer to collect or wait for deliveries

Assuming you don’t have a lot of money to start with, one of the best small business ideas you can start at university is offering to collect or wait for deliveries. It’s a service that not a lot of people are willing to do, but it’s essential for businesses. You can either offer your services to local businesses or advertise online.

If you choose to offer your services to local businesses, make sure you target businesses that are in need of your services. For example, if you’re studying at a university in a big city, there are bound to be businesses that would prefer to have someone collect their deliveries rather than wait for them themselves. On the other hand, if you’re studying in a smaller town, you can focus on businesses that don’t have the manpower to spare for waiting for deliveries.

If you choose to advertise your services online, there are a few different ways you can go about it. You can create a website or blog dedicated to your business, or you can sign up for freelancer platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. Whichever route you choose, make sure you put together a strong portfolio and profile so that potential clients can see what kind of work you’re capable of.

22۔ Help connect musicians with local events and businesses

As a musician, you understand the importance of networking and building relationships. One way to do this is by connecting with local businesses and events. This can be a great way to get your name out there and to meet new people who are interested in your music.

There are a few ways that you can go about connecting with local businesses and events. One is by simply reaching out and asking if they would be interested in having you perform at their event or business. Another is by attending local events and meeting people there. You can also look online for directories of local businesses and events that might be looking for musicians.

No matter how you go about it, connecting with local businesses and events can be a great way to get your music career started. It can help you make new connections, build your fanbase, and get your name out there.

Read Also: 21 Most Successful Zero Investment Business Ideas


Starting a small business at university can be a great way to make some extra money and get some real-world experience under your belt. There are plenty of options to choose from, so take your time and pick an idea that you’re passionate about. With a little hard work and dedication, you can turn your small business into a success. Thanks for reading!

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