The search for how to make money while in school seems to be never-ending for the average Nigerian student. Although business ideas are found flying all over the internet, they are hardly student-friendly.

Students use one familiar phrase all the time; “I’m broke”. Pocket money seems to be never enough; there’s always a need for a refill.

Whether this money is provided monthly, or as the need arises, students will always have a need for back up. Some even resort to unhealthy food formulas to get body and soul moving for some extra days.

The tertiary institution in Nigeria is one where one should come prepared for many miscellaneous expenses. There’s a payment to make for virtually everything ranging from textbooks, handouts, departmental dues, send forth dues, etc. There’s always something to pay for.

The number of photocopying machines found in and around the school environment will also go to show the heavy-duty on the rate of photocopied materials moving round the school. Asides it, studying consumes a lot of mental energy and so, a large percentage of this never-enough pocket money is largely dedicated to feeding,


For the rich and bourgeois, this might not be a problem, but for a large majority of Nigerian students, a survival technique has to be in place. Sadly, a number of such students resort to rather illegal and seemingly fast ways of coping with the financial demands of being in school. Some take up fraudulent businesses like duping people online or armed robbery while some others find transactional sex otherwise known as “runs” an easy way out.


Build a sustainable and yet flexible source of income. It gets better these days with the internet. A lot of students have not dived into various fields of business that allows them time for studies as well. Very popular business ideas currently include; makeup artistry, human hair retailing, airtime retailing and so many others. With the tumultuous rise in awareness concerning the importation of foreign goods, many more students have been availed the opportunity of becoming entrepreneurs, however, not all of these businesses are good for students.

What business do I do?

First off, before venturing into any business as a student, you should consider settling for something you’ve got a natural flair for. This is because it makes you deliver output effortlessly. For example, you cannot be a sales representative for a company on campus, if you lack in-depth communication skills. To be able to convince a student to buy your product, you have to be extremely convincing and at the same time, very friendly.

Be sure to put the time factor into consideration…

While making your decision on how to garner extra income for support, don’t forget to consider time. Some businesses require a lot more time than others do. For example, opening a tuck shop and running it singlehandedly, is a complete no-no, because those things require full-time attention in order to gain properly from them. Business ventures like makeup artistry, graphic designing and a lot more others, will give the student an opportunity to be flexible with their time. If you must have a tuck shop, be sure to employ an assistant.

In addition, try to be creative while making a decision on what business to venture into. You could decide to provide a service of value in exchange for some payment. Study your school environment, find out a major problem or challenge, provide a solution to it and boom! Business begins.

Settle for what is obtainable within the school environment.

I’d make a huge emphasis on this; you do not want to become an absent student because of your side hustle. For example, you cannot be job hunting openings for a personal assistant, or the likes of it, as these jobs will constantly keep you out of school, even at inconvenient hours. You should not rob Peter to pay Paul.

Do not commit to an energy-consuming or highly stressful job

Your state of mind and body is very important for optimum study output. Therefore, it is not advisable to settle for strenuous jobs such as brick layering, masonry, and cheap labor jobs. Conserve energy.

How do I raise the capital for what I want to do?

Starting up a small business enterprise as a student is definitely one of the most challenging but rewarding thing ever. Most times, you may not be able to access the necessary funding required to start off, so how do you make it happen?

SAVE: before anything! This is the most reliable and efficient method of raising capital for your proposed business. It could cost a skipped meal or some snack binging sacrifice, but it is definitely a sure banker. Cut down on rather unnecessary expenditure consciously until you are able to raise the capital required.

 Leave balling! If you no ball today, tomorrow still dey!

APPLY FOR STUDENT LOANS AND GRANTS: Recently, big business enterprises have started giving back to society particularly through tertiary institutions. A lot of them organize competitions, presentations, etc., in order to encourage students with brilliant entrepreneurial ideas.

Sadly, most Nigerian students prefer to overlook such opportunities going on, with the notion that, “this is Nigeria, it cannot be genuine”. So many corporations including the likes of KOPETECH, WIMBIZ (Women in business) and many other youth-friendly organizations give out grants and loans to students with innovative ideas. Most of them are quite transparent and if you really do have an innovative idea, then why not.

SEEK SPONSORS/PARTNERS: Use your versatility to the maximum. Get a proposal ready and during your holidays, reach out to larger firms that could be interested in your business idea. Be specific and as professional as you can be. Who knows; yours could be the next big thing.

ASK FOR SUPPORT: If you have parents or relations who are willing and able to support your business idea, you could give it a shot. Some parents/guardians would totally appreciate the effort you want to put into lessening their burden.

Surviving school as a student is not an entirely sweet experience. Hence, it is quite understandable why you would want to make extra money at this point. It is something you should give a deep thought to. Try it out, there’s a lot to gain than lose.

You would not only gain entrepreneurial experiences; you would also be able to learn financial discipline,realizing the value of every kobo.

Some other time, let’s talk about the various things you could do while in school. For the time being, peruse on this and take a bold step today. who knows, you could be the next ‘Otedola’.

Got reactions or questions? Leave me a comment down here…

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