27 business ideas to start at uni

business ideas uni

Money makes the world go round. Well, not quite - but, you need it, regardless. And there’s not many groups of people who need money more than students. Seriously. A recent study by Save the Student found 80% of pupils worry about having enough money for living expenses. However, in the words of Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” So, here’s 27 business ideas that you can start at university, which hopefully, will make you a bit of extra money, and even prepare you for being Lord Sugar’s next apprentice. Here’s some tax advice from Studential too on the implications of being self-employed. If not, it’s beans on toast for the next few semesters. Yummy. I recommend Heinz.

Launch your own blog and earn money through advertising

make money from blog

Businesses such as Google will pay you advertising revenue earned through your blog via its AdSense scheme. Beware, you won’t earn much unless you receive a lot of views. But, it’s good for your CV, if you intend to pursue a career in the media and it should be fun. Read our full guide to making money with a blog.

Offer a launderette service to your friends and other students

You could charge customers for carrying out their washing chores and provide an ironing service too. Most students are used to their parents washing and ironing their clothes, so you should receive a lot of business and you can charge more during peak periods such as Christmas and New Year.

Buy cheap goods from charity shops and sell them on

charity shop entrepreneurs

Buy second hand items and sell them online on sites like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. We have a guide on the best ways to make money on eBay - including how to avoid scammers!

Start a supermarket delivery service

Pupils are usually busy working on exams and socialising. So, you can take their order and the money needed to pay and go to collect their food for them. Just make sure you can carry it all.

Provide assessment advice and support for other students

If you’re a high-performing pupil and are willing to help others, you could charge per

session or hour. But, make sure you understand your university’s plagiarism policy. It’s not worth risking your degree, obviously.

Host a monthly gaming competition

Find out what game is most popular at your campus and hold a monthly contest. You could host the challenge at your place and charge a small fee to enter and use some of the money collected to arrange a prize.

Start your own sandwich bar from your residence

Create some attractive business cards and hand them out to local builders, offices and fellow students. Organise a business contact telephone and begin taking orders. As long as you take care, you should build a modest clientele.

Launch a YouTube channel and earn money from advertising revenue

You could use your channel to further your hobbies and interests. It doesn’t matter what your channel is about, as long as you’re passionate about it. You’ll be paid depending on your view count if you allow adverts on your video as a Youtube Partner. Once you get a following it’s likely brands will begin contacting you and sending you free products, and you might even get paid to make sponsored content. Read our full guide to making money on Youtube.

Become a car boot pro

car boot pro - business idea

Find out where the nearest car boot sale is, gather as many goods as you can and go and flog them. You should meet some interesting people too.

Start your own tuck shop

If you’re living on campus you could start your own tuck shop. Stock all of the products which you know will sell, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate etc and spread the word. Students crave these sorts of foods when they’re stressed and many haven’t got the time or can’t be bothered to go to the shops, you could even deliver direct to the library.

Essay proofreading

Got an eye for detail? Offer to proofread students’ work for them and charge a fee depending on the word count.

Rent out some of your space for storage purposes

You could rent out some of your student room or house as a storage spot for people and businesses. You could advertise your space on Gumtree, or on noticeboards at uni, as often students will go home over the summer after their lease ends, and can’t take everything with them.

Rent your student room out or house over the summer

People are always looking for places to stay throughout the UK. So, if you’re living in a popular tourist destination such as London, you could rent your accommodation out over the summer through sites like Airbnb. However, you will need to notify your landlord that you’re doing this unless you own the property.

Teach languages

If you can speak another language or even multiple, languages, why not teach others? You could charge per the hour and it will improve your leadership skills too.


If you like kids, you could become a babysitter. You can concentrate on your studies while the kids sleep, as long as you bring your laptop.

Design/make items and put them on Etsy

Use your art or graphic design skills to make money by creating cards, posters, logos and other types of designs and selling them on Etsy. You can see our guide to making money with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Pop-up restaurant

Know how to cook a mean spag bol? Or maybe you have a few recipes you would like to show off? Well, you could make a bit of extra money by turning your flat into a pop-up restaurant and charging people to dine.

Music lessons

music lessons business idea

If you’re a talented musician you could charge for music lessons. You can earn good money as lessons are usually expensive and you can improve your craft at the same time.

Become an event promoter

Try hiring a venue and hosting your own party, especially, during Freshers. You could even host a film screening and charge for tickets on the door or in advance through a site like EventBrite.

Start a band

Got some musical talent which you’d like to show off - why not charge to perform at events like parties or weddings? It will increase your public exposure, performing skills and earn you money in the process.

Become an online shopkeeper

You could purchase products in bulk on websites like AliExpress or iOffer and sell them at a marked up price via BigCartel, eBay or Shopify. People don’t like waiting for delivery from China and will pay extra to avoid it.

Sell Avon/The Body Shop at Home/Younique

Have a passion for skincare or beauty? How about selling some of your favourite cosmetics? You could even host your own party nights at your place to have fun while you make a bit of extra cash.

House/pet sitting

You could look after someone’s house, pet or both, while they’re away. You can charge a modest fee and even use it as an opportunity to focus on your coursework if you have access to a computer.

Sell stuff on eBay for people

Let’s be honest. People are lazy. It’s unfortunate. But, true. So, why not offer to sell your friends’ and family’s stuff for them and you take a cut of the profits?

Freelance on sites like Fiverr or Upwork

freelancing business idea

Sell your services online via sites like Upwork and Fiverr. It will improve your pitching skills and help you build up a portfolio.

Sell stock photos

If you have a large back catalogue of images or you’re a keen photographer try selling your images to image companies. See our guide to make money with your own creativity for more information on doing this.

Be a tour guide

Live in a particularly touristy or historic town? You could create your own guided tour and take bookings for it on Vayable. Maybe you could take people around all the notable locations of a TV programme set in your city, or do a ghost walk if you’re into all things spooky.