The Franchise King®

5 Great Business Ideas For College Students To Make Money In 2021

(Guest Post: 5 Business Ideas For College Students In 2021)

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

Setting up a business and becoming self-employed is simultaneously one of the most challenging and also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. On the one hand, it will be challenging, uncertain, risky, and take a lot of hard work and determination, not to mention a willingness to put yourself out there and risk failing. On the other hand, you might actually find something profitable to do, become independent, learn leadership skills, and probably find your passion.

The challenge for most students usually isn’t even about finding the courage to start, but rather figuring out what to start in the first place. The world of business is awash with options. That’s a good thing, but it’s also precisely what makes it so intimidating. When faced with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and refrain from choosing at all.

As a student, you probably want to consider business ideas that are not only easy and cheap to start, but that also fit seamlessly into your student life, either by offering goods and services that your fellow students actually want, or by fitting in well with your life and schedule as a student.

In this article, I collected 5 of the most viable startup ideas that you can implement in 2021 and beyond to make money as a student.


Business Ideas For College Students For 2021

1. Trading on eBay

When I was in university, I watched my roommate build a small fortune by trading on eBay. All he did was buy tablet computers from China, where they were sold dirt cheap, and then sell them on eBay for high profits. There was this one time when we specialized in buying white, iPhone style headphones at wholesale prices (and in wholesale quantities) and selling them individually.

Another friend of mine likes to purchase kits for making jewellery. She then makes the jewellery herself, usually bracelets and necklaces, and sells them individually. She sustains herself this way, and is looking to expand to other kinds of merchandise soon.

The trick here is to pick something that is not only very popular, but also has potential for very high markup. You can then buy it enmasse, invest in simple packaging, such as parcels or even envelopes, and start selling.

2. Photography

If you have a decent camera, such as a DSLR, then you have everything you need to start a business as a photographer. Of course you might need to work on your photography and editing skills a bit, so people actually want to work with you, but that can all be done for free using tutorials on YouTube and elsewhere on the World Wide Web.

Once you’re feeling confident in your skills, you can partner up with a promotions company, becoming their official photographer for specific nights or venues, or partner up with the venues directly. The idea is to become the ‘official photographer’ with absolute certainty so no one else can get the opportunity to photograph at the given events or venues. All you have to do after that is turn up early and start taking those photos. Venues love to post such photos on their social media, giving you free marketing in the process.


Get Your Free Franchise Buying Checklist!
Get Your Free Franchise Buying Checklist!
Invalid email address
You'll also get my latest blog posts and my free VIP Franchise Newsletter!

Use This Photo Studio Hack!

You can also consider building your own photo booth using a shower curtain and a rail, and throwing in some props for good measure. You can then sell it as a service at your venues.


More College Student Business Ideas For 2021

3. GPS Tracking

The GPS tracking industry is a billion dollar industry, and it’s growing every year, rather than shrinking. There’s a lot of room for new people to enter. There’s also very low competition, as the industry gives anyone an opportunity to carve out their own niche. You can, for example, offer to track pets, expensive items, consumer vehicles, or market yourself to NGOs and government departments.

Another great thing about this business is that you don’t need to build your own hardware or software. You can dropship GPS trackers or, again, buy them in bulk on eBay.

4. Tutoring

Tutoring is yet another lucrative business you can consider starting in university. You’re in college, which means you get to spend a lot of your time learning new things, and leveraging your specific intellectual strengths to specialize in certain areas of knowledge. You can use that to market yourself as a part time tutor for your fellow students, having them buy a dissertation or get help preparing for exams from you, or even for high school students. It’s a simple business model with low barriers to entry and good money making potential. All you have to do is start!

5. Nightlife Promotion

If you love going out a lot, why not go into nightlife promotions and make money off of it? If you have a large following on social media, access to a network, and a capacity to brand yourself well, you can sell your own events. All you have to do is approach a large venue for the quietest night of the week. You can even do this with zero upfront fees to hire the venue if you have a solid plan. Once you have a few successful events, you will build a name for yourself and start running all the events in the town!


Starting a business takes some boldness, but often the reward is worth it. Try one or more of the business ideas suggested above and you just might strike gold. You’ll never know if you never try.

This guest post was written by Michael Turner. He’s is a writer and editor with a focus on business, finance, education, and technology. He loves to write entertaining articles on these subjects for his loyal audience. When not writing, he enjoys going out to the cinema or watching plays at the theater.

Images courtesy of Unsplash.

Please Share This Article!
follow us in feedly
franchise article written by joel libava
Note: When you buy through links on this website, we may earn an affiliate commission. In addition, I've started to use AI to help me craft better article titles and headings.
The Franchise King® Blog
Get proven franchise research and buying tips, helpful franchising resources, plus the latest franchise news updates and more.
Recommended Reading
Introduction To Franchising
How Much Is A Franchise?
Pros And Cons Of A Franchise What Is The Franchise Fee? How To Buy A Franchise
Best Franchises To Own

Top 33 Business Ideas
Starbucks Franchise Facts
Featured Franchises!
10 Best Franchise Websites
About Franchise Consultants
How To Read A FDD
Questions To Ask Franchisors
Questions To Ask Franchisees Franchise Discovery Day Franchise Reviews
Top 10 Franchise Buying Tips

Free Franchise Tools Franchise Compatibility Quiz Net Worth Calculator
joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel is Highly Principled
There are many people in the franchise business who claim to to be experts in the field. Unfortunately many of them lack both knowledge and integrity. Joel, however, is without question one of the most qualified and principled people I know, in or out of his industry."
- Greg Reynolds, Retired Outplacement Counselor
"Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it."
- Harper Lee

Setup Your Franchise Business