There comes a point during the middle of a semester where your pockets are empty and your assignments are full to the brim. Being broke essentially means three things: You will have to survive on bread until your parents send a paltry amount of money which will be just enough for toiletries and printing, no going out on weekends and yes of course bad grades. Well the last point as we all know is really exaggerated. Bad grades are caused by a number of things.
So here is a tale about a resident-mate of mine called Mzesh. Mzesh was a bloke all the way from Shiselweni. Came to UNISWA with a large konza-ekhaya bag with all his belongs and a head full of dreams of becoming an electrical engineer. Mzesh’s underprivileged background is not the interesting aspect of his life. His entrepreneurial chops is. Mzesh was never broke. He always had a few pennies to spare for a brother in need to buy bread. (Bread is the celebrated staple food of the University of Swaziland).
So how did he make the “mulla. Firstly, Mzesh had a supernatural gift of fixing anything electrical. Be it a laptop or iron or kettle or a toaster that would freeze bread. He placed a couple posters around campus advertising his services to fellow students and lecturers. Balancing school and his side hustle was a challenging feat but he was able to manage both with time. With time he ended up hiring a friend to handle the excessive demand. By the time he was in third year it was a fat cash cow. I won’t mention numbers, but the lad wore Jordans. He so happens he ended up starting an electrical company after graduating.
The above anecdote is a common one in most tertiary institutions. Hence here are a couple of business ideas that you can start in your dorm-room to generate a little side income.
- Repairing PC’s– if you are like Mzesh above and you have a knack for fixing things. You can fix PC’s and Laptops for other students. Some people simply have a phobia for computers capitalize on this by offering windows upgrades, anti-virus updates and software updates at a fee.
- Tutoring– you might be in your senior years and covered much of your degree’s course work. You can offer to assist students in first or second year with tough courses which might trouble some students.
- Food staff– think archar, chillies, bakes items and even whole meals. If done well this idea could rake in a lot of money. Try to make and sell these items through a canteen or partner with someone who can deliver on demand. Again a flyer with your contact details and menu is a good way to advertise your products. Place them at your block first and the rest of the campus and send broadcast messages to your classmates about your munchies. People who know you are most likely to support you.
- Start a clothing brand-this is a common money making hobby for those who are into fashion. Creating a brand usually means selling printed t-shirts with catchy names that appeal to the masses. If you have an extensive social circle of likeminded fashionistas, you are sure to make money.
- Social media consultant- nowadays businesses reach their customers through social media. You can offer services to small businesses in order to market and boast their market share through social media.
- Hairstylist or barber-Needless to say there we all have to do some grooming every now and then. There comes times in a student’s life where leaving campus is a bit of a stretch so having their hair done in their dorm room or by someone close by is a better option.
- Resell clothing and sneakers- despite this idea being a pretty worn our cvery common idea it can make money. Trick here is hunting for good bargains from places that sell at relatively cheap prices, select the right labels (Yes. Varsity students love Labels) think Adidas, Nike, Le Coq sportif and the like. This idea might involve travelling to South Africa or Moz.
- Online clothing shop-related to the above idea you can also explore having an online shop through facebook or create an e-commerce shop where people from all over the country can buy your wares.
- Graphic design services-notice boards are filled with flyers about upcoming gigs, church services or general adverts. If you good at desktop publishing or Adobe Photoshop sell your skills to others.Create a partnership with societies within your school to become their full-time design
- Become an MC-if your the social butter-fly who can hold a crowd with your oratory abilities then this can be a good way of getting side income. be an exciting MC for weddings, bashes, formal functions etc.
- Get A Part Time Job – Finally, if you don’t want to work for yourself, go spend your time hustling for someone else at a part time job. While not ideal for some, it can be a great way to earn some extra money in your spare time.
You need not limit yourself to these ideas only. They are based selected based on what I have seen working for others. Be creative, and come up with something new that addresses a need or want or pain at your school.
P.S toasters do not freeze bread!