Home » 20 Small Business Ideas And Opportunities For Students

20 Small Business Ideas And Opportunities For Students

Finding it hard to enjoy college life with your little pocket money? Don’t wait until graduation to have fun. You can instead start earning now and enjoy the best of your college times.

If you put in consistent efforts, you never know how it can earn you a massive fortune. Take, for instance, how the founder of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar, started a website in college and sold it for a million dollars a couple of years later!

Cool Business Ideas for Students in India

Wondering which business is best for students? Try finding the idea that suits you and your skill. Don’t delve into learning an entirely new craft. Use what you already have and develop on it using these 20 brilliant business ideas for students.

  1. Photography
  2. Tuition
  3. Party Promotions
  4. Designing
  5. Fitness Instructor
  6. Become a Nutritionist
  7. Grocery Delivery
  8. Create a Review Website
  9. Start a Blog
  10. Start Freelancing
  11. Write CVs and Resumes
  12. Offer Proofreading Services
  13. Fast Food Delivery
  14. Sell Upcycled Clothing
  15. Sell Notes
  16. Resell Items
  17. Youtube Videos
  18. Create Decorations and Crafts
  19. Start DJing
  20. Make Money From Social Media

1. Photography


Being a student, photography is a skill you probably already love. Clicking intriguing pictures might seem just like a hobby for you. But did you ever think of treating it as a part-time business idea? You can surely do that with a good camera and a little bit of skill.

How to Start a Photography Business?

  • Buy a camera and some printing equipment. Even second-hand items work fine in most cases.
  • Start small by pitching for small-scale events like parties in clubs.
  • Research on Google or take an online course to learn unique skills.
  • Keep practicing in events around you like weddings, fairs, college events, etc.
  • Prepare a portfolio to show off to new clients.
  • Do excellent networking. Use social media for promoting your pictures too.

2. Tuition


Offering tuition is one of the best business ideas for students. You can even transform it into a full-time business if you’re good at it. If you’ve enough interest in studies, transfer that knowledge to students below your class. This way, you can earn well.

How to start a tutoring business?

  • This is a zero-investment business idea where you don’t need any equipment or office space.
  • Start by marketing on online portals like Upwork. You can even try services like Chegg.
  • Do some offline marketing using pamphlets and banners. An attractive advertisement in local magazines or newspapers can also land you your first students.
  • Word of mouth marketing works well in this field.
  • Create your own free tutoring website if you can.

3. Party Promotions

party promotion

While this one may seem tricky, it’s a really lucrative business idea. Have a good following on social media? It’s time for you to leverage that to promote parties. You can be a promoter for an event and earn commissions through your contacts. But the real profit lies in both organizing your events and promoting them.

How to start a party planning/promoting business?

  • Begin by making connections to friends, planners, caterers, decorators, etc. This is how you’ll get both clients and employees.
  • Try to find cheap venues. Most college towns have affordable hangout spots that are perfect for small parties.
  • Start by planning small events like birthdays.
  • Charge less at the beginning. That’s how you’ll become approachable.
  • Pick a quiet day of the week for events whenever possible.
  • Manage investments and spending well. Keep track of payments too, and do not avail debt.
  • Use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and word of mouth for marketing. You may not be able to afford newspaper ads. Plus, when you aren’t well-established, newspaper ads might not help much.

4. Designing


It’s pretty vague to just speak of designing. But indeed, you can do any type of design and earn from it. Do you excel in creating digital arts and designs? Then create business cards, invitations, portraits, and more online. If you’re good at creating designs on paper, you can design offline portraits, cards, paintings, etc. This one is an excellent business for creative students.

How to start a designing business?

  • Decide where you want to design – digitally or physically. Depending on your medium, your marketing channels will differ.
  • You might need a laptop and some designing software. But you probably already have those as a student.
  • For physical art, buy art supplies. They aren’t very expensive.
  • Etsy is best for promoting physical designs. Social media, too, works well in this scenario.
  • For digital designing, websites, Google ads, and social media pages work best.

5. Fitness Instructor

fitness trainer

A lot of us want to become fit and muscular right from school or college times. You are probably trying to be the same too. But do you know you can earn a good fortune from it even while continuing your studies?  A fitness instructor can earn more than a thousand bucks an hour, and that’s just the start.

How to start a fitness training business?

  • Dish out your fitness plans on social media. Spread word of mouth around your gym too. One customer can translate into another, and so on.
  • Don’t forget to focus on your portfolio and fitness.
  • Recruit friends to grow your business further.

6. Become a Nutritionist

become a nutritionist

This business for students may seem like a long shot. Why would people believe in you? But students love to save costs on everything. So if people can get a budget nutritionist around, they will surely opt for it. A bit of research and experimenting on cost-effective yet healthy diet meals can help you become a freelance nutritionist.

How to become a nutritionist?

  • Research well. You don’t want to sell wrong info when it comes to people’s health.
  • Use the internet, books, etc.
  • If you have a gym freak or a fitness instructor around, partner with them to sell diet and fitness routine packages.
  • Opt for the array of nutrition courses available on the internet to gain certification and, hence, public trust.

7. Grocery Delivery

Grocery - delivery

If you live in a hostel or so, a grocery delivery business could work wonders. Students need food and stuff around the campus in PGs, flats, and hostels. The regular grocery delivery service can cost a lot. Plus, no one has time to regularly visit stores. Take the opportunity to open a grocery delivery service. Charge less than your competitors.

How to Start a Grocery Delivery Business

  • Get a bike or a scooter to start delivering stuff yourself.
  • If buying a bike isn’t possible, contact local store owners with at least one extra staff. You bring them orders and keep some commission. They handle the packaging and delivery part.
  • You can also expand your service to sell snacks, lunch, dinner, and more over time.

8. Create a Review Website

Review website

While there are many websites around that rate and review larger businesses, very few market smaller ones. Starting a review business is a cool way to make a little money. Target the small businesses around your school and college. Start reviewing them on a custom-created website.

How to Start a Reviewing Website?

  • Create an engaging review website.
  • Invite your friends and peers to review the various places they’ve been.
  • Begin with restaurant reviews. Proceed to small shops and hangout spots next.
  • Get more people to join your review network. Once the website grows, use advertising to earn more.

9. Start a Blog

Start a blog

Do you have a flair for writing? Why not consider starting a blog then? It’s an excellent online business idea that can help you reap great dividends. You can blog on any topic and start posting on your website.

How to Start a Blogging Business?

  • Create a budget-friendly website on WordPress or Wix. Although you may opt for the free versions, the paid versions are always more reliable.
  • If you write articles of over 500 words consistently and take advantage of SEO, you may register for Google Adsense. This will help you start making money soon.
  • Advertise well on your blog to earn more.
  • Invite influencers and local celebrities to contribute to your blog if it becomes famous.

10. Start Freelancing


One of the most profitable businesses for students, freelancing can be any particular skill. Are you good at website design? Start finding internships or part-time jobs for designing. You write well? Start content writing and ghostwriting.

How to Become a Freelancer?

  • Start with internships. Build a solid portfolio first. Then, you can start getting a lot of high-paying freelance opportunities.
  • If you have a good experience, you can try high-paying projects on Upwork and develop them into a full-time business.
  • Start your own freelancing agency once you develop the base.

11. Write CVs and Resumes

writing cv

Most people suck at writing resumes. So start researching how to write resumes. You just need perfect grammar and some learning. Tally with sample resumes. Soon you can become an expert at it.

How to Start a CV Writing Business?

  • Begin by helping last year’s students. Create punchy lines and format their resumes well at a charge.
  • Create a separate website for the services you offer.
  • If someone lands a job with your resume, ask for a testimonial and build up from thereon.

12. Offer Proofreading Services

proof reading services

Proofreading may seem a nominal task but is hectic for most people. If you’re good at it writing, you can proofread well too. Ask your friends or seniors with high workloads if they need assignments to proofread. This will get you quick money and regular orders.

How to Start a Proofreading Business?

  • Begin by proofreading friends’ works. Don’t charge them rates they can’t afford.
  • Use your Facebook or Instagram page to advertise your proofreading venture.
  • Try freelancing platforms if you’re having issues finding work.
  • If you can, start building up a team of proofreaders. Take a commission for every order you get them.

13. Fast Food Delivery

fast food delivery

Students are always hungry for fast food. Food delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy charge a lot of delivery price. Moreover, they charge extra taxes too. And what if your nearby panipuri stall isn’t even listed on either app? Sounds horrible, right? Not for you, because you have a chance to make money here. Start a local delivery service on your campus and ask your friends to support your small business by ordering from you.

How to start a food-delivery business?

  • It sounds complicated, but you can begin by taking orders over Facebook and WhatsApp. Tell roommates and friends about your services. The next time they get hungry, offer to get them food at a cheaper delivery cost than Zomato or Swiggy.
  • Create a website and promote it around campus. This way, you’ll soon start getting orders from people who don’t know you.
  • Get in touch with restaurant owners to avail of special discounts. They might charge you less if you frequently buy from them. This way, your profit margin will increase.
  • Employ other trustworthy yet low-earning college staff like peons to help you out.

14. Sell Upcycled Clothing

selling clothes

Do you have a way with the sewing machine? Love waiving the paintbrush around? Have a knack for embroidery? Then start upcycling shoes and clothes and sell them about on a budget. If you have been wondering what to do with very little in the bank, this might be the perfect opportunity for you.

How to Start the Upcycling Business?

  • Buy old shoes and clothes from the local market or get cheap newer ones.
  • Create a digital design and print or paint them on these articles.
  • Printing will require investment. So start with painting, sewing, or embroidery instead.
  • If you do have the money, buy a sewing machine. Or collaborate with a printing shop nearby.
  • Do not invest in a printer if you don’t plan on turning this business into a long-term venture.
  • You can earn high profits if you bring in good quality but unbranded items and remodel them.

15. Sell Notes

sell notes

You create notes working hard through the nights, and someone uses them for free. Sounds unfair? Why not sell these to those who miss the class? Of course, people would share around once you sell your notes. So keep a one-time cost substantial enough to cover. Soon, you can start sharing notes of almost all subjects and make good money.

How to Start Selling Notes?

  • Focus on specific and essential topics that will be tested in the exams.
  • You can also sell your notes on Stuvia and DocMerit to earn higher profits. These online portals will expand your market to students of other colleges too.
  • On your own social media page, offer people notes.
  • Expand by diversifying your offerings. Enroll more people who hold expertise in different subjects. Also, offer customized problem solutions sometimes.

16. Resell Items

reselling items

Do you know when the next ticket to an Arijit Singh or Marshmellow concert comes out? What’s the latest lightning deal on Amazon? Are you a keyboard warrior who grabs every single limited-time deal? Or are you just excellent at finding offers and discounts? Then why not buy the show tickets or limited edition products and resell them?  You may doubt this business idea’s viability because your stuff may not sell. Don’t worry! Try doing some research on what’s the hype around and what will sell.

How to Start a Reselling Business

  • As stated before, do your research on what sells. You can’t afford to be stuck with items that won’t interest anyone.
  • Buy them as cheaply as possible. Then, advertise them around at a higher price. For this, use social media and word-of-mouth.
  • Use the university’s Facebook pages as well as your local connections to resell tickets. Websites like Stubhub and Tickettransfer also help when you’re uncertain about getting the tickets sold.
  • If nothing works, try reselling apps like Meesho at first.

17. Youtube Videos


This one may sound like a cliché. But it is also very competitive. The reason? A good Youtuber earns excellently and requires little investment. If you have any unique talents that could use a video platform, don’t shy away anymore. You can even make cool videos of your campus, student life, and more. These might be an instant hit or take some time to be popular. But in either case, you should be able to make some money.

How to Become a YouTuber?

  • Start by recording videos on your phone. Cameras are expensive. Unless you have the budget, you won’t need them to begin.
  • Plan videos based on what people around you find interesting and funny. You can just ask friends what they like. Also, check out popular YouTubers to see what they’re doing.
  • Making some videos because PewDiePie makes similar ones? Big mistake! Find a small niche that’s not well worked upon. Make videos that show something unique to you and your environment. They’ll gain popularity much sooner because of the little competition.
  • Become creative with your editing.
  • Promote your videos through social media.

18. Create Decorations and Crafts

craft business

Do you always end up making something out of scraps? Use your talent to earn. Design everything from wall hangings to creative coasters. Homeowners don’t want to pay too much for decorations. If you offer décor items for cheap, locals will soon start buying frequently from you. You can even turn it into a permanent venture if you continue with your craft after college.

How to Start a Craft-Making Business?

  • Identify different types of things you can make.
  • Source craft supplies from wholesale markets.
  • Use Etsy and Instagram for marketing. Amazon works well too.
  • Offer some of your crafts as gifts just to spread the word.
  • Expand by offering customized decorative items to clients.

19. Start DJing


If you have a genuine bassy sound system and a catchy playlist, you can start offering DJ services. People would take your services for birthdays, farewell parties, house parties, and other functions that require a good sound system and DJ.

How to Start a DJing Business?

  • Use your connections on social media and word-of-mouth marketing to sell the service.
  • Upload short videos of you playing DJ. This may even open the opportunity for event companies to hire you.

20. Make Money From Social Media

social media marketing

If you have a good reach on social media, start earning from it instead of treating it as a pastime. Market brands depending upon the target audience you have. If you’re fashionable, start pitching to fashion brands and try becoming an influencer. Similarly, a food blogger will be able to market some kitchenware and cooking accessories.

How to Start Earning from Social Media?

  • Identify what your followers love about your page.
  • Work around their preferences to find a niche like fashion, food, tech, etc.
  • Pitch to brands, promote them as creatively as possible.
  • Enroll in an affiliate marketing program for making quick bucks.


These were some of the practical ideas for business for students. No matter the idea, take help from friends and think innovatively before setting up a business. Feel free to shoot your business-related queries in the comments section, and tell us about some amazing ideas of your own.

Sadiq Iqbal

Sadiq Iqbal is the Lead Author, Editor and Head of Operations at Business Definer. Sadiq has a Masters in Business Management as well as years of experience, working in various business management roles at multiple organizations. Since joining Business Definer, Sadiq has helped numerous founders and business aspirants solve their most difficult problems and get their entrepreneurship dreams kickstarted.

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