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JR Kanu: Hey University Students, Here Are 8 Business Ideas to Consider

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Business ideas for studentsOne’s time as a university student is a magical time in life. You’re figuring out who you are. You’re meeting exciting new people. You’re building the foundation that will launch you into the career of your dreams.

But you’re also constantly broke.

Fun, school supplies, personal growth, and rich life experiences often require some amount of money in your pocket. So, before you resign yourself to an ordinary student life, here are some ideas of how we made money as students:

Buy Low, Sell High
This is the basic principle of trading. If you’ve got an eye for what your peers value, figure out how to sell it to them. Temitope Olagbegi will tell you her story of selling clothes and yogurt while she was a student at the University of Lagos.

Today, she points to that experience as her launchpad for a successful entrepreneurial career. Whether it’s clothes, toiletries, cologne, or accessories, you just might have what your peers are looking for. Also, certain companies seek student ambassadors to sell their products on campus.

Put Your Writing and Editing Skills to Use
I found an internship during the school year with a magazine. By the holidays, I was being paid per word. I made more money in three months than I’d made all year in some of my other jobs. Yes, I worked like a crazy person, but it was all worth it for the life I was able to enjoy when school was back in session.

Digital Marketing is Power
Did you know that simply being a millennial makes you more tech savvy than the average human? To you, it’s no big deal creating a website, managing a social media page, or writing a bit of code here and there. To the average human, social media is an enigma, websites are for wizzes, and they will need someone to show them the way. Enter: you. That’s right, you could set up a service in school to help companies connect with the young audience they so desperately seek.

Write Code; Get Paid
It’s simple. If you can write small code sef, you’ve set yourself up to make some serious cash during and after school. The gig economy is a thing; and students, more than anyone, are in a prime spot. Whether in your local business community, or online, there are always people and firms needing to write some kind of software. If you’ve got even a few friends, you could get together to offer these services. Even if you don’t write code, you might be the business and marketing mind that organizes the gigs for your coding friends.

Make Hair
This is especially true if you’re a student in Europe or North America. If you know how to give haircuts, braids, weaves, and the whole menu of black hair, you’re in great shape to make bank. In the US, braiding can be as much as $600. The average black haircut costs $20. You do the math, you could be buying land before you know it.

But even if you live in a black country, where hair costs aren’t as high, you can still rely on the regularity of your customers to create a delicious income stream.

Organize Parties
Yup, students love a good time. You’ve got a great eye for cool locations, great music, and some finger foods? Just like that, you could charge people to attend your parties. The upside for them: they can have fun in a clean non-club environment. The upside for you: cha-ching!

Organize Cleaning Services
One thing is true: people are lazy. They will pay someone to do their dirty work. Ergo – money to be made. From washing cars, offering laundry services, cleaning homes, or cleaning offices, there’s money in doing dirty work. One of my friends is driving his SUV from the laundry business he started. The guy who’s been washing my car for three years just started his office cleaning business. He graduated university last year. You’re welcome.

Organize Assistant Services
One of the beauties of student life is how sometimes you find mounds of unstructured free time on your hands. Yes, you’re meant to study – but we both know you aren’t always studying. So, why not aggregate that time among you and your friends, and rent out assistant services to local businesses in your area?

Trust me, people want personal assistants – if they can afford them. You could make that possible. It’s preferable if it’s a desk job that lets you study while getting paid. That’s what I did in college. I made bank and literally paid my college tuition that way. Of course, I had scholarship too o. Don’t think you can do all this work and not crush it in your studies. After all, that’s the reason you are a student.

Have you crushed student brokeness in some other ways? Please share your story with us and we’ll feature it too! Just email [email protected]

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

JR Kanu is both the CEO and founder of REACH Technologies (http://www.reach.africa) and managing partner at The Design Institute, Lagos (http://www.lagos.design). He holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from Calvin College; an M.A. in Journalism from New York University; and an MBA from Stanford University. When he's not helping people manage and maximize their money at REACH, or helping companies innovate their products at The Design Institute, you'll find him at the gym, at a gallery, on the guitar, or plumbing the depths of great TV shows. He lives in Lagos with his wife, Nicole, where they regularly host friends to sumptuous and affordably healthy meals. Check them out on Instagram - @DinnerWithTheKanus.

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