Starting a business as a student

Starting a business as a student

There are two sides to every story. Staying on top of your student finances involves a massive amount of budgeting. In fact the DisCUss blog mentions 97 ways you can save money as a student and there are ways you can grab an extra couple of pounds here and there. But there comes a time when you simply need to get out there and earn more money.

Not enough hours in the day

Hourly paid jobs at your local supermarket are great. However, you are limited to the number of hours you can spend away from your studies; the time of day you can work and the amount you can earn per hour. This significantly limits the amount you can earn and restricts the impact it has on your finances. It also means you might be doing a job you don’t enjoy for long periods of time.

Get paid for what you love

Instead of flipping burgers, flip the job market on its head and start your own business. Allow your passion to make you money. Then you’ll love what you do as well as the money it brings you!

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Sell your creativity with an Etsy account

Selling via Etsy is a quick and easy way for creative types to enjoy earning money. You never know, your creations might be spotted by a large retailer.

Got an eye for a picture? Earn from photography

Take photos at key events and sell them to the event’s organiser. Never give them any for free. Once you get a reputation for working for free, you’ll never get paid! Turn your best photos or artwork into posters and sell at the start of term when everyone moves into a bare room.

Got a lot to say? Blog or YouTube your university experience

Once you have a good following, you can start hosting ads on your site for payment, or even write advertorials for brands. Think about reviews or guides related to your course subject, or pick any topic that really fascinates you – games, comedy and music do particularly well. You can run some ads and often blag freebies, and further down the line you could even stream pay-per-view vids if you get enough subscribers.

Paying for space you’re not using? Rent your home or garage

Rent out your student room or house over the summer months on Airbnb – great for students at CU Scarborough or CU London where there are plenty of tourists! Check your contract first – sub-letting might be an issue for some.

Provide the essentials – target parents of Freshers

Create food hampers that parents can order and have delivered to their kids – think student essentials in long-life eats or healthy stuff they’re probably not getting enough of. Parents will be grateful.

Set-up as a Freelance

Whether it’s related to your current course or your dream career, offer your skills to anyone who needs web design, illustration, writing or admin support. This will also help boost your CV.

License to print money

Produce a campus magazine and take paid advertising from local businesses. You could do readers offers, discounts and competitions.  Create a local guide that helps students make the most of your town. This opens opportunities for cafés, music listings, cheap deals and hidden gems. You can sell discounts on or even ask businesses to pay a small fee to be included.

Running your own business can boost a whole host of skills as well as getting your foot in the door to the world of work. Do you have any good ideas for a start-up or are you already juggling being the next Alan Sugar with your studies? Let us know below!