Business Ideas for Campus Students in Kenya

Many Kenyan university students rely on loans from the government for their survival. You can live a productive life in the university by doing small businesses during your free time. There is always a ready market due to many students, especially when you are social and have many friends. Think of things to sell to university students in Kenya and then get started. This article will provide you with profitable business ideas for students in university.  

1. Cyber Café

A cyber café is among the best small business ideas you can start at the campus. Many times students require internet connection, photocopying and printing services. You can rent a small store within the university premises or operate the business from your hostel. Let your course mates and friends know you are offering the services and within a few days, you will have many customers.

2. Selling Vegetables

Selling vegetables is among the best business ideas for university students. Students don't like eating in hotels since it is cheaper to cook. You can start selling kales, tomatoes and spinach door to door in campus hostels. Leave your contacts to your customers and anytime they need some, they can call you. You can also opt to rent a stall within or outside the university premises.

3. Selling Cakes and Mandazis

Most university students prefer preparing breakfast from their hostels instead of buying from hotels. As such, you can be waking up early and distributing snacks like mandazi and chapatis in the hostels. If you can prepare them, you can make more profit, unlike buying snacks in wholesale and distributing them. Students will refer more customers to you if they like your snacks. 

4. Freelance Writing and Blogging 

With free Wi-Fi in most universities, you can take advantage and start freelance writing. You only need to have a computer, internet connectivity and freelance skills. Many campus students participate in freelance writing and you can learn from them if you don't have the skills.

Sign up on some of the best freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr. Freelance writing is one of the small business ideas that will you get you an extra coin while in campus. 

Read more: How to start blogging and make money.

5. Forex Trading

Trading in currencies can be a risky business, especially with limited finances. You need to have good analytics skills and be knowledgeable about how it works. You can get tutorials online and learn how the business works. You can also get training from your peers. Make sure you are knowledgeable enough before you can start Forex trading.

Read more: How to start online forex trading in Kenya. 

6. Selling Beauty Products

Many university students want to look smart and stay up to date with what is trending. This makes the cosmetics and beauty business one of the most profitable businesses at the campus.

You can sell cosmetics like mascaras, hair treatment products, skincare products, weaves, manicure and pedicure products. Carry them whenever you are going for a lecture. After lectures, show them to your course mates and many of them will buy. After some time, you will have made a name for yourself in this cosmetics business.  After some time, you will have customer referrals if students like your products.

7. Start M-Pesa Shop

Although an M-Pesa shop is expensive to start for a university student, it is something you can make huge profits from if you can raise startup capital. The M-Pesa business thrives well in densely populated areas.

Students transact a lot when they receive money from their parents, creating an opportunity for Mpesa business. With around Ksh 150,000, you can start the business. It is one business that you won't lack customers in university.

8. Barber and Salon Business

A salon business can be time-consuming, but it is something worth venturing into. You can employ a person while you attend your lectures. For a barbershop, it is easy to start and operate when you don't have lectures. You can also employ a person to leave in your business when you have classes. Your fellow students will be willing to try your service and if they like them, they will refer their friends.

9. Fast Food Café

During the day, most university students usually have lectures and many prefer buying fast foods. You can start a fast-food café to sell foods like chips, snacks and soft drinks like sodas and yogurts. Get a location near lecture halls like within the student center. You can sell other items lie airtime and sweets. It is one of the best business ideas in Kenya. 

10. Video Games like PS4

PS4 is one of the most played video game in Kenya making it one of the best small business startup ideas for students. You can start a business within your hostel without having to hire premises.

Students like playing PS4 and within no time, you will have many customers through referrals. You need a screen, gaming pads, PS4 console. If you have a laptop, you can start with it and raise capital to buy a PS4 console.

Read more: How to start a video game business in Kenya. 

11. Selling Second Hand Clothes (Mitumba)

Selling mitumba clothes is also among the best business ideas for students. You can buy mitumba clothes in wholesale from markets within Nairobi and Mombasa and start selling them to your peers. 

If you are around Nairobi, you can source mitumba clothes from the Gikomba market, if around Mombasa, there is the Kongowea market. Those around Eldoret can source them from West Market. It is a profitable business, especially when you have a large customer base. It is time-consuming and you need to balance it with academics.

12. Start a Pool Center

The pool center business is probably one of the easiest business ideas for students in Kenya. You do not have to be there since whenever students want to play, they will need to unlock the pool using coins.

Your work will be to collect the money that has been credited into the pool in the evening. It is addictive and you can grab this opportunity and make profits from it.

13. Laundry Business

With most students busy with their course work, most do not have the time to clan their clothes. You can help them to clean their clothes at a fee. You can do the cleaning manually, or you can start a dry cleaning business.

It all depends on what works better for you and your financial capability. It is one of the most lucrative business ideas for university students since it does not require startup capital. 

For business consultancy, strategic planning, organizational development, market research, financial management & accounting, risk management and business plan writing at an affordable fee, please reach out to us through a phone call +254728 621 138 or WhatsApp, or email:

14. Movie Shop 

A movie shop is also among the best small business ideas for students. During free time, most university students spend their time watching movies. You can start a shop to sell movies. You only need to have a computer or a laptop with a large storage capacity.

Even without a stall, you can operate the business from your hostel. Once you have many customers, you can then open a stall. Let your friends know that you are selling movies at discounted prices.

15. Bike Rental Business

The bike rental business is a great business idea near universities. Many young people like riding bikes but they don’t have access to one. You can start with two bikes and keep adding more as the demand increases.

You can also start training people how to ride a bike at a fee. Normally, renting a bike for an hour costs Ksh 100. You can be making at least Ksh 500 daily by renting one bike for at least 5 hours.  

Summary of Business Ideas for College Students in Kenya

You can find the best business to start near a university in Kenya. Investing in the above business ideas for college students in Kenya will help you raise pocket money for your personal needs. You can make extra income by doing small businesses in the university during your free time. Luckily most of the businesses do not require substantial capital startups and there is a ready market. However, you need to balance between academics and your business.

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