Top 20+ Small Business Ideas for Students [2024]


Many students work part-time or full-time jobs while studying, and others even start their businesses with the dream of becoming rich.

Before investing in any venture, you have to research the market to define target customers and consider the resources they have to choose suitable small business ideas for students. With careful consideration, you can reduce risks and take advantage of more opportunities.

To help you start your small business, in this blog, we explore 20+ best business ideas for students like you to build a career.

1. Comparative overview of small business ideas for students 

Let’s take a look at this table to review and compare the costs and benefits of 15+ best business ideas for students you can start:

Business Ideas for StudentsEstimated Startup CostsPotential Profitability
Content and writing freelancerLowLow
Handmade soaps and scented candlesMediumMedium-high
Website and app development servicesLowMedium-high
Drop shippingMediumMedium-high
Print on demandMediumMedium-high
Pet sittingLowLow
Online courseLowMedium-high
Freelance designerLowMedium-high
Freelance translatorLowMedium-high
Content creatorLowMedium-high
Online clothing and accessories storeMediumMedium-high
Moving serviceLowLow

2. Best small business ideas for students

2.1. Tutor


If you have profound knowledge of your major or one subject, you can become a tutor. As a tutor, you have to teach other students and ensure that they can get higher scores on their exams.

Schools and instructors are often willing to assist students in launching their tutoring businesses. Some schools even maintain a database of tutor students, so check to see if yours has one. The monetization approach would be per hour; you could charge anything from $10 to $100 based on the subject, ideas taught, and so on.

2.2. Re-selling

Re-selling is one of the great small business ideas for students who want to start a business at a low cost. You can choose some unique and limited items, buy them at a low cost, implement some types of marketing strategies, or just wait for the trend of these products and sell them at a high one. 

To be successful in this sector, you have to understand the market and predict which things people will be more ready to pay for after they run out are critical when reselling. Without careful calculating, you can face up with risks and lose money. 

2.3. Content and writing freelancer


If you have writing skills and creative ideas, becoming a content and writing freelancer is one of the good business ideas for students like you. Based on your knowledge and experience, you can write different types of content, from social media posts, and video scripts to SEO content, essay writing, and academic papers. 

2.4. Handmade soaps and scented candles

Selling handmade soaps and scented candles is one of the best ideas for small businesses for students who love crafting jobs. 

Instead of selling in a physical store, you should start an online business with stores on digital marketplaces or a website that displays what you sell. To be successful in this industry, you have to try and find out the best digital marketing strategies. Creating visually appealing social accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok is essential. 

2.5. Website and app development services


Becoming a freelance developer is one of the most unique business ideas for students who have experience in website and app development. You can leverage your alumni network or professor relationship to have the opportunity to join some technology projects. 

After having outstanding experience, professional certificates, and impressive credentials, you should develop an image on social media and create a personal website to advertise your development services. 

2.6. Babysitting

Becoming a part-time babysitter is a great idea for children lovers like you. Since more and more parents struggle with work and family life, they need a babysitter who can support them in taking care of their babies whether they are home or not. 

To have more customers, you can join some third-party companies that offer babysitting services and build up a network with your old customers to leverage word-of-mouth marketing methods. 

2.7. Pet sitting

Pet-sitting services are one of the best startup ideas for students who love animals like you. There are two basic approaches to this business concept. The most usual is to take pets for a walk every day or every other day. The second would be to look after the pets of people who are on vacation for one to four weeks.

 In any case, to have more income, you have to build great relationships with your customers and provide similar business services such as mobile pet spas. 

2.8. Freelance designer


If you excel at producing eye-catching graphics and don’t have a large budget, becoming a freelance graphic designer is one of the greatest business ideas for students without investment

As a freelance designer, you have to control the results of the project and work with different customers, thus you need self-discipline and exceptional communication skills. To be successful, you must first build a good portfolio, remain current with design trends, and offer high-quality work. 

2.9. Cleaning service

Offering cleaning services is one of the small business ideas for students who want to earn extra money. To reach more customers, you need to publish online ads on social media, distribute flyers, and attend job centers. 

When you have customers, don’t forget to use your excellent communication skills and create a good relationship with them. They can hire you again in the future and recommend you to their acquaintance. 

2.10. Freelance photographer


If you love taking photographs and have superb skills, becoming a freelance photographer is a good choice. When you start your business, you can offer any type of photo service to attract more customers. After a few months or years, your business grows and you need to narrow and focus on one market or specific photographic service to stand out.

2.11. Bookkeeping

It is not necessary to have a financial degree to maintain a local business’s bookkeeping records. To begin, an online course or even just a few YouTube videos are enough. Because every business requires such services, you will easily get your first customers.

Since you may ask the business’s owner to provide you with the necessary equipment, your initial costs are minimal. In terms of income, the majority of bookkeepers bill by the hour, with the sum varying according to the difficulty of the work.

2.12. Moving services


Offering moving services is a great idea if you have free time and want to earn extra money. You can gather some friends to create a team and help customers move their stuff from old homes to new ones. 

Publishing online ads on social media, joining some renting groups advertising your service, and building a network with people in your neighborhood are key strategies that help you attract more customers and retain old ones. 

2.13. Travel planning service

In recent years, demand for travel planning services has risen. If you have profound knowledge and practical experience in travel, you can help customers plan memorable trips with reasonable costs.

You should join some travel forums and groups on social media channels and post valuable experiences and tips to attract customers. Besides, you should spend money on running digital ads. 

2.14. Freelance graphic artist


If you have an aesthetic eye and love drawing, becoming a freelance graphic artist is one of the best business ideas for you.

As any graphic artist, you need to create an appealing portfolio that showcases your great work. Creating social media profiles on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok will also help you develop and improve your branding image by publishing engaging content.

2.15. Freelance translator

Becoming a freelance translator is one of the best small business ideas for students who know at least two languages. You can leverage your network with professors and alumni to have a project.

Translating documents, books, and lectures for academics might be a good place to start. Professors have tons of papers that need to be translated, so you can assist them and increase your income and experience.

3. Great business ideas for students at home 

3.1. Affiliate marketing programs

Joining an affiliate program is one of the most unique business ideas for students. You don’t have to worry about logistics, customer service, inventory, or budgeting for purchasing things to sell when you run this sort of business. As a result, you may lower both the budget and the risks.

As an affiliate, you will promote items from numerous businesses through your marketing channels such as websites, social accounts, and customer networks. You will be paid a commission if a consumer clicks on a product link and purchases products. 

3.2. Online clothing and accessories store


Opening a fashion online store is one of the greatest ideas for students who want to step into the clothing and accessories industry. 

You can start an online boutique by developing a clothing Shopify website and creating stores on digital marketplaces, like Etsy. If you want to be outstanding among competitors, you should sell unique and trending clothing styles and provide styling services such as virtual consultations or customization.

3.3. Online blogger

With the rise of digital, you may make more money as an online blogger. You may produce diverse material on your blog website based on your experience and interests to give useful knowledge and thoughts. 

Instead of investing money in renting space or paying personnel to get started, you simply need to invest in branding and marketing to attract target consumers to your website and connect with them.

3.4. Content creator


If you are creative and talented, becoming a content creator is the greatest business idea for you. As a content creator, you may set up your social media profiles and distribute your amazing material through these channels, or you can work directly with businesses to develop content for their platforms. 

Whatever you decide, you must first identify the market and target consumers before developing any content. As a result, you will understand how to properly approach the audience.

3.5. Online courses

When launching an online course business, you must select one or two relevant areas to focus on depending on your knowledge.

To succeed in this industry, you need to create outstanding portfolios and credentials to demonstrate your talents and expertise, develop your image on social media, and collaborate with other influencers.

3.6. Print on demand (POD)


You can now turn creative ideas, images, and quotations into clothing and accessories to earn money. With this business type, offering customized services like designing and drawing unique images as customers require to print into products is a great idea to level up your business. 

Instead of wasting money on purchasing or manufacturing, you discover dependable partners that handle everything from sourcing apparel and accessories to printing and delivering to clients.

3.7. Dropshipping 

Dropshipping is one of the cool business ideas for students who don’t have much money to begin with. You can collaborate with suppliers who complete orders, from produce to sending items to your clients, instead of handling inventory or shipping operations. 

To win in this competitive industry, you must invest in efficient marketing techniques, carefully choose trustworthy suppliers, and provide a superb customer experience. 

4. Conclusion

We hope you are satisfied with our list of the greatest small business ideas for students. Starting a business as a student is difficult because you lack experience and funds. That is why, to reduce risk, you have to consider crucial elements, including the market, your resources, and your goals, to choose a suitable business idea to start.

After that, you can collaborate with some friends, ask for help from professors to create an effective business plan, and start your business.

If you want to know how to start your business, gain more valuable knowledge and strategies from experts, or just seek out some beneficial opportunities, subscribe to eComStart and check out our blogs on the topic of business ideas! With profound knowledge and insightful practice, eComStart will help people succeed in the world of business.

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