10 ways to earn extra income on the university campus

“What can I do to make money on this campus?”

If you’re student, you may have asked yourself this question at some point. I know the feeling because I once asked myself the same question.

The key to creating a profitable business on campus is the same key to creating a profitable business anywhere else: find out what people want, and supply it to them. For example, I used to have a roommate then that sold kerosene (This was a time when gas cookers were rare on campus, and everyone used kerosene stoves). My friend recognised the market and cashed In. Sadly, he had to quit when the pressure on his academics became too much. I also had other friends who were into course and scholarship registration. One even charged as high as ₦500 per scholarship registration. Again, this was back when internet penetration was low, and not everyone had internet access.

Having an extra source of income to help with minor expenses is a good reason to start up a business. An extra source of income also provides a practical experience of the real world of business, beyond what can be taught in the classroom. While student business is good, it is easy to be carried away. That being said, it is absolutely possible to have a thriving business on campus and make good grades.

Today, I will be sharing some business ideas for students on campus. Where necessary, I will also be sharing the stories of friends who did such businesses while we were in school.


  1. Course, school fees and scholarship registrations

unilag_changeofcourse_formI place this as my number 1 business idea for students on campus, why? It is still a money-spinner. One will think with the proliferation of cheap internet this business will fade but it hasn’t. Some students don’t just have the time to sit down and start registering for courses. Even those that have the time, prefer not to be frustrated by their school’s slow web portal. I had a few friends in this business and they did pretty well.

Another plus about this business is that you get to know many people. A network built from here could be of help many years after graduation. A tip in this business is to have someone working with/for you, maybe another student. This is because there are peak times when the jobs will just be too much for only one person to handle.

What you’ll need: Laptop, good internet supply, printer/scanner/photocopier, generator (optional).

  1. Typing of assignments/projects, photocopying and scanning

Image credit: Kiran Foster/Flickr

This can be done in line with the business above. However, if you don’t have the internet you can start with just typing and photocopying first. A relative of mine did this business and was able to raise money for his OND project. Apart from the money raised, his typing speed increased dramatically which is a good skill in any office setting.

What you’ll need: Laptop, printer, printer/scanner/photocopier

  1. Printing on shirts/jerseys

Image credit: EastLondonPrinters.com

Campuses have organisations that will need printed shirts from time to time. Departments and faculties may also need customised shirts. All you have to do is negotiate a price, agree on the design then meet a printer. My good friend still does this business to make extra money today. He started it in the university. As an Aba boy, he had contacts who were into shirt printing. In school, he steadily pitched his business to campus fellowships and students. It paid off.

What you’ll need: Nothing else apart from you.

  1. Tutorial services

Image credit: Chutku.com.ng

If you’re blessed with a sharp brain you may want to consider tutorial services. With tutoring, you get to make some money and sharpening your intellect as well. You can target freshers or pre-degree student. Students are willing to pay for a class if they’re confident that the tutor can add to their knowledge.

If you want to take this business to the next level, you can make your own “Past questions and answers” and sell. Some students have gone on to make big money producing and selling past questions.

What you’ll need: Your brain, chalk/markers, past examination questions.

  1. Phone repairs

5868046370_9da91ecf4d_zVirtually every student has at least one phone. Imagine the potential market for a student on campus who knows how to repair phones. To be in this business you have to know how to repair phones. Thankfully, we have just the perfect guide for someone considering starting this business.

What you’ll need: Technical know-how (Expo: You can get free guides on how to fix problems on iFixit), phone repair toolkit

  1. Barbing/Hair styling services
Female barber

Image credit: Woman.ng

I had this friend who was very good at plaiting hair. According to her, anytime she needed small money, she will actively market herself to ladies in the hostel. At the end of the day, she could go home with up to ₦2,000. This is a skill that is not that difficult to learn. Same with barbing. Also, this business does not require much capital to start. For the ladies, this business can be combined with the sale of hair attachments and other products.

What you’ll need: Skill, clippers, combs, mirror, thread, wool, attachment.

  1. Freelancing

Whether as a writer, data analyst, graphics designer etc., there are freelancing opportunities for everyone. As a student, this business idea allows flexibility with your time. You get to choose when and how long you want to work. Once you are an expert, it will not too difficult securing jobs online when you have free time.

What you’ll need: Laptop, smartphone, internet supply, generator set (optional)

  1. Researching and data analysis

As an undergraduate, there was a software I learnt that was used in data analysis for water-related projects. I didn’t hesitate to advertise this service to fellow students who might need it. I ended up making a few bucks from it.

My friend was able to pay her fees from the money she got from researching for a client’s PhD project. To do this business you have to be an expert at what you do. Most projects require the analysis of statistical data using programs like SPSS and Microsoft Excel. You can learn how to use these softwares and help students in data analysis.

What you’ll need: Laptop, necessary software, research skill

  1. Portrait sketching/painting service

Image credit: Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr

You may be blessed with the talent to create beautiful portraits for people. A good number of students will readily pay you to draw portraits of themselves or their loved ones. Charge per sketch/painting usually starts from ₦5,000.

What you’ll need: Art materials, talent.

  1. Sales

This business idea for students on campus is broad and covers a lot of items. You can identify a prevailing student need and supply it. Items to sell include but is not limited to; motivational books, hair attachments, fairly used phones, kerosene, clothes, shoes, rechargeable lamps etc.

What you’ll need: Good supply of products to be sold.


Have any business ideas not stated above or want to share your experience with us? Kindly use the comment section below.



  1. Chukulee October 18, 2016
    • Ethan Okoli October 18, 2016
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