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Top 5 side businesses for a Nigerian Student in school

Nigerian Student dormitory

Why should a Nigerian student do business?

As a Nigerian student in a Nigerian University or Polytechnic, there is no worse way to be in school than being dependent only on money from your parents or relatives. This is due to the difficult standard of living and the rate at which the money comes. Unless your parents are very rich or you have wealthy elder siblings, buying an impromptu textbook, handout, provision or any necessity can be very difficult.

However, you must have noticed fellow students with humble backgrounds who still live well. The key to this is to earn even while in school. This piece is meant for students who are willing to get their financial freedom already. If you are one of such students, then you should keep reading. In this piece, we highlight the top 5 businesses you can do and earn significant profit as a Nigerian student.

What kind of businesses can a Nigerian student do?

1. Selling Footwear and clothes

This is a very profitable business to indulge in as a Nigerian student, especially if you live in the student hostel/dormitory. Students these days are mostly teenagers and young adults and what they both share in common is the need to dress good. Students, especially the males, are lovers of shoes, sandals, slippers and any other footwear you can think of. Clothes are often preferred by Nigerian females meanwhile.
Depending on the rules of your school (university or polytechnic), selling these materials may not need a shop. You can sell from your room and deliver to individual students’ rooms or you can get a spot outdoors at the dormitory where you display these clothes and footwear in the evenings. Tell your course mates what you do and have them patronize you.

To set up this business, you can start with between N20,000 & N50,000. It depends on how buoyant you are. If properly handled, you can make above N25,000 monthly.

2. Bag production and sales

Some research showed that 8 out of 10 students in a Nigerian institution go with bags to classes and about the school. Think of it: have you ever seen a female student without a handbag? Your answer is most likely no. This is a goldmine for students who can take advantage of this business opportunity. The production and sales of bags, either backpacks or handbags are fantastic ways to earn adequate cash in school.

As you may have seen, you can produce your bags and sell. You don’t need to produce if you can’t though. You can buy from a wholesaler who sells at cheaper prices. Your bags should be displayed where they can be easily noticed and you should make efforts to let friends and course mates know what you sell.

To start, N30,000 is enough to buy you 20 bags. If all goes fine, then you should be making up to N10,000 every month.

3. Laundry Services

If you school in a modern environment, enjoy washing and ironing and don’t think it is ridiculous, you can make big profits by offering dry-cleaning services. In my opinion, this is one business that students can do effortlessly in Nigeria and make good money. Certain students are well-to-do while some don’t just have the time to do their laundry, particularly those in their final years. It is up to you to decide if to make money or not.

You don’t need a shop for your services if your lodge or hostel has a fair supply of electricity and water. Find a good iron, spread the word, share fliers and start ironing. Within months, you are guaranteed of making more than you’ve ever thought even if you charge just N50 per cloth. Price depends on what is obtainable in your school.

To establish this business, you don’t need much: just an iron, pressing table, starch, and a fair supply of water and electricity. You can begin with just N10,000 and at the end of every month, realize N10,000 or even more monthly.

4. Cafe/Computer centre Services

This is a business almost every student should indulge in due to its simplicity. If you’ve adequately studied how to succeed in our schools these days, you would have realized that it all comes down to the computer. Students can’t do without cafe services in a day.

Almost always, lecturers give handouts that you have to photocopy or sometimes assignments that you’re required to type, print and bind. You may also need to help students make payments on online platforms or help them with registration. Whatever it may be, keep in mind that you’re earning.

The capital for starting up a cafe / computer centre is quite high and so you may consider partnering with one in your school. All it would take you to earn monthly is to qualified and diligent. Depending on agreement, you may receive commissions on works completed or rather be paid a fixed amount monthly. You can still be able to earn over 15,000 monthly.

5. Organizing Tutorials

Of course paid tutorials! This is impossible to miss, many thanks to the type of lecturers we have in our schools. Several students have problems with certain subjects or do not understand the lecturers’ impatient teachings. Having identified this need, it is your choice as a Nigerian student to choose to satisfy it and make money in the process.

This business is absolutely free to start and pays in several thousands monthly. And contrary to your belief that only the ‘best scholars’ are eligible for this, anyone can, guru or not. The key here is to be hardworking and determined. This is because you’ll likely be taking your course mates or first year students in your field. With enough dedication to study, you are sure to assimilate whatever course it is and be able to impart on others. An added benefit of this business is that you barely forget what you teach. This business thrives most during tests or just before exams commence.


There are several other businesses you can engage in as a Nigerian student but the five above are sure to make you enough cash to sustain yourself. However, the expected profits for each business may be unrealistic due to many factors, most notably your saving habit. If you can save as you should and follow appropriate measures, any of the businesses above is sure to keep you financially stable. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

You may also like: How to setup a car wash business in NigeriaHow To Start A Small Scale Business With Little Or No Money10 Top Businesses You Can Start Anywhere Without Money.

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