40 start-up ideas for university students

As a fresher, it’s likely starting a business isn’t on your mind. However, if you start early, you could fund your University life and potentially make money full-time when you graduate. There are so many examples of young entrepreneurs who started it all at university-You could do the same. So, check out our 40 start-up ideas. Don’t miss an idea, the last side hustle could be for you!

1. Browse sites like Gumtree and Freecycle and acquire free stuff to up-cycle and sell on for a profit. 

Tell anyone who asks that you run an import/export business.

2. Start a blog

Write engaging content about something you are passionate about- find your niche! Once you get a good following you can host ads on your site for payment. Even better you can sell ads to local and national brands. This takes commitment and can be a time-consuming concept to nail but once you do the rewards can be great.

3. Start a Youtube channel

40 start-up ideas for university students
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Are you a budding vlogger? Pick a topic you are passionate about or a niche in the market. Once you get a good following you can get money from ad revenue or pay-per-view vids if you get enough subscribers. If you are looking for inspiration Here are some of the best student youtubers for you to check out!

4. Start a book business

Buy second-hand books from your year and sell them on at the start of the new term to students the year below. They will need the same textbooks and would much rather buy them second hard at a fraction of the price. Plus most students don’t think to get rid of their books that they are unlikely to need in their new year of study.

5. Sell your skills

If you’re creative or have a skill then cash in on it! Sell your skills through Fiver or people per hour or task rabbit (only in certain locations in the UK currently). They are always looking for computer geniuses. Read our list of Surprising Side Hustles for Students to learn more.

6.  Become a key holder

Looking for easy start-up ideas? Well, we’ve all had an experience where we have lost a key or left it somewhere. Fix the problem by being an emergency key holder and charge a fee for doing so.

7. Start a magazine about something you are passionate about

40 start-up ideas for university students
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Get local and national businesses to advertise, although this will take a bit of time getting used to selling and reaching the right people.

8. Use Airbnb and rent out your room for the summer months

Don’t just let it sit there; make money from it!

9. Help others

Look at running an ‘anything you want service’. At weekends or evenings deliver anything people want. This could be beers, newspapers, coffee, anything!

10. Create a yearbook

You could create a unique yearbook using a publisher and print on demand – get it out there to your classmates!

11. Hire a projector and start a film screening club

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Charge for entry. You could even offer pizza and popcorn to increase profits

12. Start a review website

This could be for anything you can see is needed in the market; maybe reviews for student accommodation blocks, private and public

13. Plant up plants from seeds and sell them once grown

You don’t need tons of equipment to do this – just an outdoor area and some green hands.

14. Help the elderly by offering to do their online shop for them

In exchange claim cashback! You’ll get some extra money and some seriously good karma.

15. Make audios or e-book versions of out-of-copyright texts

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Use anything old and hard to find.

16. Be a personal shopper for the rich

You can help source hard to find items. Find your clients via social media and grow your network.

17. Create a website via Shopify 

This only costs £21 a month and is free for 3 weeks! Create food hampers and advertise via social media letting people purchase through your Shopify store

18. Become a match-maker

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Like setting people up? Loved Indian Matchmaking on Netflix? Then we have the side-hustle for you. Set up a matchmaking event and charge a small amount for the entry fee. Partner up with a venue, most will let you do it for free and get the profits from people buying drinks

19. Produce a transcript service

Simply type up lecture recordings and sell them to fellow students- Profit from your peers,

20. Organise a student club night

Think all the club nights you have been to recently are lame? Then collaborate with a local club and hold your own night. Agree on a percentage of the takings for yourself! Think about what you love about a night out and create that

21. Become a driver

Get a good quote from a coach company and charge to transport students to other cities or popular festivals.

22. Sell your photos

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Picfair allows you to upload stock photos that you’ve taken. Grab a camera or use your phone to take some epic pictures and set your own price up on Picfair

23. Create an online newsletter

Sell ads to local and national businesses. Offer discounts and competitions to entice reader volume

24. Start a yearly gift or card service

Get people to sign up for you to send (dependant on criteria) gifts are cards to their friends and family. That way they never forget an important birthday! This could be the perfect start-up idea for you.

25. Sell Web graphics

GraphicRiver allows you to sell web graphics or icons. If you’re not skilled in this area hire a graphic designer and sell the designs on Graphic River.

26. Offer to wait or collect deliveries for a fee

This is one of our favourite start-up ideas. People hate to miss parcels now you can be their solution!

27. Organise a bootcamp

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You could run this every week in your local park and get friends and friends of friends to sign up! Charge for your class.

28. Set up a stall

See if you have any local markets near you and hire a stall to sell smoothies or sandwiches

29. Start a cleaning business

Start by offering to clean peoples houses or offices. Try your luck with 2nd and 3rd years who have moved into houses. When it gets big hire more cleaners to work for you.

30. Offer gardening services

Create flyers offering your gardening skills and post to local residents

31. Proofread

If you are good at writing, then start a proofreading service for your fellow students! You’ll have customers in no time and it’s one of our favourite start-up ideas to do alongside uni.

32. Create ‘a guide to your city’

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This could be a magazine, website or ebook. Get local businesses to pay to be featured.

33. Create a shopify store and sell essential kits to freshers

This could include stationery kits, kitchen kits, dress up kits ect. Source it from wholesalers online and make a profit.

34. Run a social site

You can create a tutoring platform to connect Uni students with school students. Charge a few for the connection. Alternatively, tutor yourself.

35. Monetize your beauty skills

Learn how to do eyebrow tattoos, micro blading, balayage or lip liner and offer out your services. Although courses can be expensive, you can charge up to £300 for an eyebrow appointment.

36. Put together budget flights and holiday packages by browsing the internet

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Put together your very own travel exchange. You can even offer package events for hens, stags or celebrations once they get to their destination

37. Run a subscription service

Think about what people need on a monthly basis, perhaps a hangover survival kit. This is a good website to start one – Cratejoy

38. Collect students laundry

This is one of the easiest start-up ideas. Simply collect students laundry and then take it to the launderettes for a fee. (Why not get some extra cash if you were going there anyway.)

39. Offer an ironing service to students and local residence

40. Bake or cook

40 start-up ideas for university students
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If you’re are a foodie open a small restaurant in your living room offering unique dishes with a great environment – check what licences you need first

We hope this was helping and got you thinking of some great start-up ideas for university students. Let us know below if you have started a business. We would love to share it with our readers!

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