12 Most Profitable Business Ideas for Students: Start Your Side Hustle Today

12 Most Profitable Business Ideas for Students: Start Your Side Hustle Today

Are you a college or university student who would like to start a side hustle? In this case, this is the best time to come up with something new that would start giving you profitable results. While there are plenty of business ideas and part-time jobs that you can do, some would yield better profit than others.

To help you, we have come up with some of the best business ideas for students that you can easily implement or expand in the long run.

1. Open an Online Dropshipping Store

Do you know that the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the growth of eCommerce by around 44% in the United States?

The trillion-dollar industry is going to expand even more, and you should certainly make the most of it with your dropshipping business. The best thing about dropshipping is that it needs minimum investment with no unwanted hassle.

DSers dropshipping

Get Started Now to Grow Your Online Business with the Best AliExpress Dropshipping Tool - DSers!


You can simply take the assistance of DSers, which is the official dropshipping tool for AliExpress. It will let you browse thousands of sellers and millions of products so that you can come up with an ideal eCommerce store of your choice. That’s it! After setting up your eCommerce store, you just have to take care of its marketing and don’t have to worry about things like inventory or shipment.

business ideas for students - AliExpress Dropshipping App
Source: AliExpress

This has to be one of the best business ideas for students and you can keep working on it as a side hustle after your college as well. A lot of students start dropshipping and later expand it into a functioning business.

2. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Apart from dropshipping, you can also utilize the rise in eCommerce by being an affiliate marketer. There are all kinds of platforms such as blogs, YouTube videos, Telegram channels, online forums, etc. that you can utilize to share your affiliate marketing links.

Though, we would recommend picking up a specific niche so that you can target a preferred domain in a better way. From Amazon to Adobe and CJ Affiliate to Share a Sale, there are tons of affiliate networks that you can explore for this.

business ideas for students - become an affiliate marketer
Source: AMZScout

3. Offer Freelance Services

It might sound surprising, but more than 35% of people in the US are a part of the gig economy, which is projected to cross over $1.8 trillion.

What makes freelancing one of the best business ideas for students is that it needs zero investment. Just identify what you are good at, set up your portfolio, and start applying for online freelance gigs.

Furthermore, there are several freelancing networks like Upwork, Fiverr, People Per Hour, Freelancer, etc. that you can explore. These days, domains like content writing, app development, graphic designing, website development, and data analysis are in high demand in the gig economy landscape.

business ideas for students - be a freelancer
Source: The Writer Life

4. Start Your YouTube Channel

With over 2 billion users, YouTube is one of the biggest social video-sharing platforms of the present time. The good news is that anyone can start their own YouTube channel and start earning from it.

For this, you can explore the inbuilt YouTube Monetization feature that has pretty lenient eligibility criteria. Later, you can start earning from in-video ads or by collaborating with different brands.

business ideas for students - do youtube channel
Source: YouTube

5. Become an Online Influencer

Do you think you have a voice that needs to be heard? Well, then becoming an influencer would be one of the best ideas for students that can even lead to a full-time career.

To become an influencer, you need to find a niche and come up with the kind of content that your audience would love. The more you grow, the more scope you would get for brand collaboration and monetization options. Some of the popular platforms that you can consider exploring for influencer marketing are Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

business ideas for students - online influencer
Source: HubSpot

6. Start a Blog/Website

This is another creative way to earn big that can give you profitable results in the long run. From movie reviews to recipes and personal blogs to travel stories, you can start a website based on anything you like.

The goal should be to reach out to your target audience by delivering high-quality content. With the help of search engine optimization and social media channels, you can further reach out to more people. Later, you can take the assistance of affiliate marketing, Google AdSense, brand collaboration, etc. to earn from your blog.

business ideas for students - blog
Source: Google

7. House/Pet Sitting

This is one of the best business ideas for students who want to get instant cash without any investment. You can simply explore the local classified boards and ads to find options for pet or house sitting.

For instance, if someone is traveling for a while and can’t take their pet with them, you can take care of it instead. Not just that, there are also several lucrative options to manage people’s houses in their absence. It won’t need any formal training and will only demand a good attitude.

business ideas for students - pet sitting
Source: Thimble

8. Prepare Online Lectures and Courses

If you are a college student, then chances are that you would already have enough knowledge in a particular domain. Therefore, you can easily earn some extra cash by sharing this knowledge with others.

There are multiple ways to follow this approach. If you want, you can come up with dedicated modules or classes for a subject that anyone can take remotely. Apart from that, you can also become an online tutor to provide one-on-one assistance to your students. Not only will it be a satisfying job, but you can also expand it into a profitable business later on.

business ideas for students - online lectures
Source: FlexJobs

9. Delivery or Cleaning Services

We all know how messy college dorms can be, right? Then why not start a business from your college campus and charge others for cleaning their dorms. You can do it whenever you want and don’t have to put any commitment to this as well.

Besides that, running a delivery service can also be one of the best business ideas for students. You can look for a delivery partner in your area (like UPS, DHL, or FedEx) and become an official delivery person for your university.

business ideas for students - delivery service
Source: The Hustle

10. Become a Virtual Assistant

In the last few years, the demand for professional virtual assistants has increased a lot. If you want, you can also apply for jobs related to virtual assistants in your domain. Not only for earning money, but the job would also help you grow in your industry and learn from your experience.

It has been observed that compared to full-time employees, virtual assistants can save up to 78% of a company’s cost. Since it is a win-win situation for everyone, you can easily get a decent virtual job with just the right skills.

business ideas for students - virtual assistant
Source: US Chamber

11. Organize or Promote Events

Apart from looking for jobs or business ideas for students online, you can also get involved in the local community. For instance, you can organize or promote all kinds of events like speed dating nights, birthday parties, fundraisers, outdoor picnics, weddings, and so on.

Ideally, you can start by organizing small events for your university and can later expand your business. If you want, you can also collaborate with other event planners in your city to promote their upcoming events in your college.

business ideas for students - organize events
Source: Pinterest

12. Create a Mobile App

Lastly, if you have a business plan related to a mobile app or an idea that can go big, then why not take a chance on it? Since app development doesn’t cost much, you can easily come up with a functioning product with minimum investment.

You can even create just a prototype of your app and use it to pitch some investors. This is one of the best business ideas for students as you can easily expand it in the long run after completing your studies. You never know, a single app might end up changing your career forever.

business ideas for students - create app
Source: Udacity

Other Options to Consider

Besides that, you can also work on some other ideas like writing an e-book, running a rental business, reviewing accommodations, uploading podcasts, website testing, and so on. You can also become an online personal trainer or start a dedicated service to help the seniors in your community. Needless to say, when it comes to business ideas for students, the sky is the limit.

Final Words

There you go! I’m sure that after going through this post, you would know more about some of the most profitable business ideas for students. Though, the most scalable and long-term plan would be working on a dropshipping business.

After all, it will let you own your eCommerce store, and that too without the hassle of worrying about inventory, shipping, and other background details. You can simply take the assistance of a reliable AliExpress dropshipping tool like DSers that would automate the entire process and let you focus on expanding your business like a pro.

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