Student Startup Ideas

1. Tutoring

Are you proficient in a specific subject or do you have a unique skill? If yes, you can help other students by starting your own tutoring business. Any subject in which you excel — like math, English, or science — can provide a potential tutoring opportunity.

Tutoring businesses can charge by the session or the hour. You can easily market this type of business within your school, at the public library, or in community centers. In addition, communicating with other people on campus can help you grow your business because your classmates or younger students may need a helping hand with their academics.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Startup Ideas for Education Entrepreneurs.

2. App Development

While it might seem like there’s already an app for everything, the potential to create millions of apps for entertainment purposes or to solve everyday problems still exists. This startup idea can ideally suit tech-savvy students, but anyone can create a popular app with the right support during production and a great idea.

If you don’t currently have an app idea, don’t worry. Start brainstorming ideas by conducting an audit of daily tasks or problems an app could simplify or solve. Many of the most popular apps solve a common problem, making them more likely to have widespread appeal.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Tech Startup Ideas.

3. Blogging

If you love sharing your interests, experiences, and ideas with others, starting a blog may be a great startup idea for you. Blogs can focus on a variety of topics, including your own life. The goal of a blog is to convey information about a subject to interested readers in an engaging way.

To get started, you’ll need basic writing skills. You also should consider including photography or other visuals on your site. When choosing your blog’s topic, be true to yourself and your interests or experiences. The most successful blogs have a genuine and authentic voice, allowing the authors to truly connect with their audience and build a stronger following.

4. Freelance Writing

If you’re a skilled or talented writer, freelance writing might provide a great way for you to make money as you pursue your education. Freelance writers of all kinds are in demand by businesses and publications looking for temporary employees to write blog posts, articles, and other content.

One of the biggest benefits of freelance writing at a younger age is that you’ll gain experience that can help you later on as you establish a career. Sites like Upwork® and Writer Access® provide a secure platform for businesses and freelancers to connect.

5. Podcasting

As the popularity of podcasts continues to grow, it’s an ideal time to start a podcast of your own. The most successful podcasts feature engaging hosts and a specific topic that can attract interested listeners. You also must feel comfortable with interviewing and public speaking before you start a podcast.

Moreover, it’s best to choose a topic for which you have a passion and can see yourself dedicating a good amount of time to researching. For example, if you’re passionate about sustainability, your podcast could focus on interviewing other entrepreneurs who currently work to fight climate change.

6. Tech Support

Do you have a knack for solving technical problems? If so, you may want to consider launching a tech support startup. You can run this type of business entirely from your home and market it by posting flyers at schools, coffee shops, and libraries. You just need a phone, a website, and some technical experience. You also can charge by the job, the hour, or the type of device.

In this type of business, customers typically call or email with a technical issue and you, the tech support person, walk them through how to fix that issue. Alternatively, you can request your customers drop their computers off so you can take a first-hand look.

7. Digital Textbook

Digital textbooks are educational ebooks that provide a much-needed alternative to traditional textbooks in terms of both price and sustainability. With the introduction of ereaders and other devices, the market for digital alternatives to educational materials continues to grow. Whether you plan to write a digital textbook or start a website that’ll house popular digital textbooks, this startup idea can enable you to earn a profit while you provide a service to students and the educational system.

8. EdTech

Online learning continued to gain popularity in the past year. Providing additional tools for students — or people who just want to brush up on a subject — by developing an educational technology (edtech) startup can make education more accessible to a larger fraction of society.

Whether you plan to develop an app or create an online tutoring resource for students, you must first identify your target subject and platform. Additionally, successful edtech startups tend to offer a product that’s both effective and intuitive. Remember to consider those criteria during your product development process.

9. Meal Delivery Service

Faced with fewer dine-in options, people increasingly turned to food delivery services in the past year. Starting your own meal delivery service can help small businesses meet delivery demand, enable customers to enjoy their favorite restaurants, and provide a business opportunity that’ll work with your busy schedule.

To compete with the big names in meal delivery, connect with your local restaurant owners. Many popular food delivery apps and websites charge a substantial fee to deliver for restaurants. Your business can gain a competitive edge by offering quick delivery times and lower fees.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Startup Ideas for Food Lovers.

10. Food Truck

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to start a successful food truck business. If you have moderate cooking skills, you can start a food truck or cart that serves basic foods at markets, parties, and school or community events. Or, you can take your food truck to the street and serve the public.

Importantly, you’ll either need food service experience or a partner who does to ensure you can safely operate your own food truck. If you’re unsure you’re ready to commit to a truck, consider a food cart or stall at event centers first.

11. College Care Package Business

Going away to college often represents an exciting adventure. For families and friends seeking to support their favorite college students, a college care package business can take the guesswork out of what to send them with thoughtfully curated packages.

One benefit of starting this type of business is that you can operate it completely online. That’ll reduce your overhead costs and give you more freedom for your busy schedule. Offering a variety of packages for different types of students with customizable options will set your college care package business apart from the competition.

12. Bookmobile

Who says bookstores have to remain stationary? A bookmobile is a traveling bookstore you can rent and set up at events, farmers markets, or schools. If your startup budget won’t extend to using a vehicle, you could start a bookmobile business using a bike and simply tow a small collection of books.

The best part of bookmobile businesses is that they give a variety of communities access to reading materials in a fun way. With more people staying home, a bookmobile can bring the joy of reading directly to the customer.

13. Ebook Writing

Today, you can accomplish almost everything virtually — even publishing a book. Ebooks provide an alternative to traditional publishing, making them cheaper for both authors and readers. Moreover, ebooks are far more sustainable than paper books.

To get started, you’ll need writing experience and a topic idea for your ebook. Whether you choose to write a novel or a cookbook, the ebook market offers a huge profit potential while requiring minimal startup and overhead costs. That makes this type of business a great choice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

14. Social Media Influencer

A successful social media influencer almost always understands how to create and effectively market a brand. If you think you’re up to the challenge, this can make a lucrative and exciting startup idea.

Influencers earn money through brand deals. Because every industry has influencers, you’re more likely to generate a large viewership and build a strong brand if you focus on a specific industry or niche for which you have a passion. In addition, you’ll need to feel comfortable with public speaking and connecting with your audience in order to attract brands that want to work with you.

15. Mobile Coffee Cart

Many students work in coffee shops and cafes while pursuing their education. A mobile coffee cart offers a flexible schedule and the opportunity to network within your community. It also provides a relatively low-cost alternative to opening a brick-and-mortar cafe.

Customers typically hire mobile coffee carts to work events like corporate retreats, school events, and even weddings. Make your business stand out by offering a customizable drink menu that can complement customers’ event themes.

16. YouTube Channel

YouTube has billions of subscribers worldwide, which means the platform offers a great opportunity for new channels and video content. Starting your own video channel can represent another form of blogging (called “vlogging”) or provide a space for you to teach a skill or share a hobby. If you have a passion for ceramics, for example, you could start an entire channel about your process from clay to kiln.

Social media platforms focus on making connections, and YouTube is no exception. Every industry or hobby has the potential to connect with thousands of YouTube subscribers, which you could parlay into a lucrative business venture.

17. Review Website

Like most people, you probably search online for reviews before you spend your money at an unfamiliar business. Review websites hold businesses accountable by giving people insights about them so potential customers can make an informed decision.

You can easily start and manage this kind of website with a minimal budget, making it perfect for student entrepreneurs. In order to run a successful review website, you’ll need to gain credibility with customers and differentiate your site from larger review sites like Yelp.

18. Social Media Platform

Many social media users seek new platforms to explore so they can connect with others. Starting your own social media platform can provide a space to foster a sense of community as well as a potentially lucrative business venture. Moreover, it offers a flexible schedule — especially during the initial stages of operating your site.

To entice users to join your social media platform, focus on developing ideas that’ll make your site feel distinct from other platforms. For example, you could opt to cater to a specific demographic like gamers or musicians.

19. Livestreaming

If you already spend a lot of time playing video games, why not make it a business venture? Livestreaming essentially involves broadcasting live footage of your game as you play, using a platform like Twitch or Smashcast. Once you obtain the minimum number of followers (e.g., 500 on TWITCH), you can become a partner of the livestreaming site and begin to make money based on the traffic your streams generate.

20. Graphic Design

Many businesses and organizations need graphic designers to create visual branding for use on everything from signage to marketing materials. Because graphic design is a fairly broad industry, having a multifaceted skill set can prove extremely beneficial. For example, proficiency in logo design as well as typography or web design can help you book more clients and build your portfolio.

21. Handcrafted Products

Handmade, artisanal goods never go out of style. Selling handcrafted products offers you the flexibility of selling your goods online, in established retailers, or at local markets. The first step involves determining the product(s) you’ll make. This could include food products, pet toys, wooden furniture, or many other items. To successfully sell handcrafted products, remember to focus on product quality and cater to the right niche market.

22. Cleaning

You can start a successful cleaning startup in several ways. For example, you could start a house-cleaning business, an office-cleaning business, or a graffiti-cleaning business, among others. This type of startup has low initial costs and flexible hours. You can schedule as many clients as you can manage based on your availability. Overhead costs include marketing materials, cleaning supplies, and vehicle expenses, which means it’ll cost very little to launch your cleaning startup.

23. Moving Company

If you ask people if they enjoy moving, most will answer with a firm “no.” That can make a moving company startup a potentially lucrative business idea. You’ll need to hire a team and purchase a vehicle large enough to move furniture so this type of business has higher startup costs than other business ideas. But, that initial investment can pay off once you start booking jobs and generating positive reviews.

24. Planner and Journal Business

The right planner or journal can help even the most disorganized people manage their time more effectively. Journals also can serve multiple purposes, making them a valuable tool for many. Starting a planner and journal business can help fulfill the demand for these products while offering you a potentially lucrative business venture.

Planner and journal businesses can sell their products online or in established retailers like bookstores and novelty shops. To make your products stand out, consider giving them distinctive features like including time-management tips inside your planners or manufacturing your journals from recycled materials.

25. Organization Service

Few people naturally possess strong organizational skills. If you’re one of those few, an organization service may represent the perfect startup idea for you. Professional organizing services not only help customers tidy up cluttered spaces, but also help them develop the organizational skills they need to maintain order going forward. One of the benefits of starting this type of business is you can operate it either in person by visiting customers’ homes and offices or virtually by conducting video consultations.

26. Errand-Running Service

Busy professionals, small businesses, and seniors typically need help running errands they can’t get to themselves. This could involve going to the post office, picking up dry cleaning, or taking a pet to a vet appointment.

To get started, you just need a vehicle, a phone, and some spare time. You can operate your errand-running business from home and market your services on bulletin boards at community centers, senior centers, or anywhere you can post a flyer with your information.

27. Event-Planning Business

Managing all the details required to host an event can feel overwhelming to some people. Event-planning businesses address this by taking care of all the tricky aspects of hosting and planning weddings, corporate events, and more. Because most events occur on weekends or during the evening, this startup idea can ideally suit entrepreneurs currently pursuing their education.

To start a successful event-planning business, you’ll need good organizational and communication skills. In addition, establishing connections within the industry with event spaces, florists, and furniture-rental companies can prove extremely beneficial.

Recommended: Read our review of the Best Business Formation Services to help form your startup today.