In a developing country like Nigeria, money for the upkeep of millions of undergraduates isn’t enough. Some of them are seriously in need of other sources of income to support what they are given by their parents and guidance.
A lot of them are impeded in their entrepreneurial drive by the lack of funds for a startup. Do you know that you can be a student entrepreneur and start making legitimate money?
If you are seeing this for the first time, we’ve already shared some tips on how the businesses you can lay your hands on with small capital, you can find them at: https://infomediang.com/13-businesses-you-can-start-with-n50k-or-less
What challenges are students facing in starting a business?
On a Facebook page of one of Nigeria’s popular motivational speakers, Pastor Sam Adeyemi in a question and answer section, a student shared what was holding her down in starting his business:
“I’m student and I have a business plan, but I only rely only on the ‘pocket money’ I get from my parents. How can a student like me raise funds to start a business,” the goal-driven student stated.
We have millions of them out there whose dream of starting their own business is being delayed. The fact is you are not alone. Some of the successful businessmen and women today had their challenges and it’s common to every startup.
So, how can an undergraduate overcome the challenges of raising funds to get started? In this post, we look at the 30 effective ways for students to raise capital to support their business
- Use personal funds
- Start an outdoor fitness trail
- Your personal network
- Consider angel investors
- Write assignment for fellow students
- Become a YouTuber
- Upcycle and sell for a profit
- Offer a study survival pack
- Collect other students’ dirty laundry
- Start a website
- Publish a magazine or blog
- Make money from social media
- Sell on creative marketplaces
- Run a delivery service
- Sell clothes on Depop
- Start a tutoring service
- Set up online language course
- Sell a university essentials welcome package
- School loans
- Sell original work on Etsy
- Become a model for stock photographs
- Offer a CV design or review service
- Sell eBook
- Apply for government loans
- Offer a transcription service for lectures
- Apply for bank loans
- Become a freelancer
- Become a survey enumerator
- Provide LinkedIn Optimization Service
Fund it Yourself
Most times, it’s best to have something to start with. Even when friends and family members are ready to support your business idea with finances, they want to see what you’ve put in place.
And you know what?
Starting a T-shirt business on campus is one of the easy-to-start ventures because it doesn’t require huge capital. There are beautifully designed and simple T-shirt eCommerce portals you can subscribe to.
You can get started with as little as $100 USD. Download photos of t-shirts to start marketing them on social media. The safest way to start this is by placing an order based on requests from your colleagues.
Start an outdoor fitness exercise
Hundreds of your colleagues are always looking for ways to keep fit without paying for a gym membership, starting an outdoor fitness exercise will be a good start for you.
To make the training fees flexible, you can go for daily, weekly or monthly charges. For instance, if the monthly fee for the training is N6,000 per participant, you can allow students who can’t bear the monthly cost at once to subscribe for the daily payment, say N200.
For instance, if you have 50 students on your train who make a daily payment, you could make N10, 000 per day. Students like to catch fun and keep fit, most especially when it’s group training.
The beauty of this is that you don’t need gym equipment, jugging and other aerobic exercises can be done on the school field.
To make this more effective, start marketing the outdoor training exercise at the beginning of the session.
If you are a student in the United Kingdom, you can set up a trail on MeetUp.com and lead groups of people to fabulous locations.
Explore Personal Network
One of the ways you can raise capital for your business idea as a student is to pitch your idea to your colleagues who share in your dream.
You should know those who are business-minded among your colleagues, talk to them, and seek their financial support. If they are interested they can make provision for capital to kick start your business.
Pitch your idea to angel investors
If you have a great business idea but lack the capital, angel investors should be on top of your list of sources of funds. They are investors who are interested in making provisions for funds in exchange for a stake in the business.
Angel investors do not only provide the capital, they also have a mentorship course for their partners, most especially if your business ideas have great potential.
As a student entrepreneur, you can start attending workshops, seminars, and conventions for entrepreneurs, most times, where business investors are always on the look for a great business idea they pump in some money into for a stake.
Set Up YouTube Channel
As a student, you can raise good money on YouTube which you can use to kick start your business on campus by setting up a channel.
Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to your channel, tell new students about it, and share useful videos that will help students solve problems. Turn your YouTube channel to a solution centre.
You can start to generate revenue when Google Adsense places Ads on your channel, you can publish videos in exchange for profit (sponsored videos).
Pick an area of interest, it could be ‘how to succeed as a newcomer to the University of Lagos’, ‘how to pass MTH113’, etc
Let your topic be what poses challenges to your fellow students and newcomers. Solve problem. It’s a great way to start.
Sell old clothes for a profit
Selling old clothes is a great way to raise funds for students. The clothes do not have to be your own, could be what is popularly known in Nigeria as ‘bend down and select’ You can have great savings from this system and even set up a large connection of clothes for sale.
For foreign students in the UK, sites like Freecycle and Gumtree will be a perfect match for selling your upcycled goods.
Provide laundry service to your colleagues
If you’re a big boy on campus, this isn’t for you. This is one of the easiest ways to raise money on campus to complement the insufficient upkeep you get from your parents.
The beauty of this is that there are lazy students who are ready to pay you for washing and ironing their clothes.
The profit from your laundry business can be used to expand your business or even employ more people to do the job.
Start a blog
Do you write on the campus’ board? Why not start a blog. Pick a topic you are passionate about.
The few data bundle you use per day on social media like Instagram, and Facebook can be channelled to develop content for your blog.
As your viewership grows, you can apply for Adsense to earn revenue from your content. You can also partner with brands whose businesses align with your content.
Publish an e-learning tutorial
To get started, speak to colleagues who are experts in a specific field. Paste banners of your e-learning tutorial on departmental boards with your contact details.
Make money from social media
Today, hundreds of college students have turned social media into a money-making machine.
You could choose to be an Instagram model, or a TikTok model, in no time you will see your followers grow, and companies will reach out to you for ad placement.
You could be signed up as a product Ambassador in a multi-million dollar contract most especially if you are lucky to find companies that are relevant to your brand.
How to be a brand ambassador:
Pick a niche, it could be food, it could be by showcasing your athletic body, it could be your sexy lips or your dark natural hair.
The bottom line is that as an undergraduate, you can raise money while on campus on social media and become a brand influencer.
Explore and sell on creative marketplaces
If you are creative and ready to turn your skills into money, then sign up on Fiverr and Gumroad to cash in on your talents.
Run a delivery service on campus
Some campuses occupy millions of square meters, the distance between department A to department ZX may take up to 30 minutes of trekking. Someone is somewhere looking for someone to run an errand for them, the good part, they are ready to pay for your service.
You can use your bicycle if you have one to start a mini-campus delivery business.
Start a tutoring service
There are parents in the host community of your institutions who are in need of private tutors for their kids.
For instance, if you’re studying Statistics, organise mathematics classes for your counterparts in the faculty of Social Sciences who may be taking maths as one of their mandatory courses.
You can start charging N200 per session. Imagine you have 50 students per session, that’s N10, 000. If you have three sessions in a week, that’s N30, 000 per week.
In Nigeria, most times, you could have 100 students per session (3 per week), which will translate to N240,000 per month. After all expenses, you can save the rest to set up your business or employ more hands.
Set up a language course
Do you know that bilingual students can turn their language skills into money? Yes, you got that right. Most especially language like French, Mandarin, and German is increasingly becoming high in demand.
You would be surprised by the positive response you will get if you try this out. Why not start making money from something that probably seems completely natural to you?
To go global, you can post your language skills on Fiverr and also set up a language class on Skype to enable you sell your services to people all around in the comfort of your room.
Crowdfunding involves soliciting funds through donations from the general public, this is another source of capital for students who want to set up their businesses on campus.
Apart from school loans for academic expenses, there are some countries where students can apply and get business loans..
Most times, only students who have a job with a salary have the highest chances of obtaining credit facilities.
Sell original work on Etsy
Etsy is the best place to sell your original works. The money you earn from Etsy can be deployed to set up your business.
Become a survey enumerator
During the TraderMoni programme in Nigeria, the official company that was in charge of the disbursement of the soft loan needed an enumerator on the field.
Students who enrolled as enumerators made cool cash. The payment was based on the number of market women and beneficiaries each enumerator was able to register.
In the end, some enumerators made as much as N100, 000 and above, depending on their location.
You can also enrol as an enumerator for a survey company that needs the opinions of people who use their products.
Become a model for stock photographs
If you didn’t know you could make money off stock photos, it’s time to get in front camera and get paid for your realistic shots. You can raise funds for your business by selling photos online.
Offer a CV design or review service
You make money by reviewing or writing CVs online, being a résumé reviewer is another great way to complement your parents’ financial support as an undergraduate.
Get government-supported loan
Government-backed loans is a great way to support your startup. Interest on government loans is usually more friendly than the conventional banks.
Offer a transcription service for lecture absentees
Are you a good listener and good at transcribing? Start turning lectures into a readable format and sell them to absentees.
Become a freelancer
Upwork and Fiverr are some of the platforms where there are hundreds of freelancing jobs in several skills. Pick the one you’re good at and start pitching to get paid.
Provide LinkedIn Optimization Service
Writing LinkedIn profile and SEO optimization using keywords on the professional platform is another great way for student who has perfectly mastered how LinkedIn works can make good money by providing this service.
LinkedIn is mostly used by job recruiters, most times, job seekers want a professional LinkedIn optimization expert to help them tailor their profile to appear on relevant searches.
Did we miss anything?
What other ways have been turning in money for you on campus? Share your thoughts with us