There are plenty of business opportunities that students in South Africa can capitalise on and make extra income.  Also, there is no better time to explore entrepreneurship but in college. Considering the fact that it can be difficult for students to balance work and school, below are some business ideas that allow for flexibility and require little or no investment worth considering.

Tutoring services

A suitable business perfect for students in South Africa is offering tutoring services. As a student you can help your peers with a subject or course you understand well. Whether you are in university or high school, offering tutoring services is a great way to earn extra money. The great thing about becoming a tutor is that it doesn’t require a lot of capital, just your knowledge and skills. Also, tutoring is not limited to school courses, you can also teach a language that you are fluent in, teach people how to play a certain instrument or a craft making. Plus, you can either tutor in person or online.

Sewing and tailoring

The second business idea for students in South Africa is sewing and tailoring services. If you are skilled at garment making and enjoy designing and mending clothes you can offer these services to your peers or anyone interested in getting their clothes fixed. The investment for this kind of business is relatively low and you can generate income in a short space of time. Offering garment alterations can be a great way to earn extra income on campus.


Becoming a photographer is also another business idea perfect for South African students. If you enjoy taking pictures and capturing moments this may be the right gig for you. There are a lot of ways to earn money as a photographer. Some of them include selling your images online, providing photography services at parties, sports and at various other activities. Just like the business ideas mentioned above this type of business does not require a lot of capital. A good camera and the love for taking photos  is all you need.

Become a Proof-reader

Students will always need help with assignments and writing in general and as a student you can help by being a proof-reader. If you are the kind of person who is attentive to detail and who is thorough when it comes to schoolwork, becoming a proof reader is the ideal business for you. Proofreading is flexible and will even help improve you writing skills as a student. It offers flexibility and it is not as demanding as other businesses mentioned above. In addition, becoming a proof-reader is not that difficult, there are a lot of proofreading and editing short courses you can choose from to increase your confidence. Also, the earning potential of a proof-reader is high thus, it is a side business worth considering.

Become A Freelancer

Freelancing is another business opportunity to explore as a student. Whether it is good writing skills you possess, or highly sought-after technical skills such as web development or designing, freelancing could be your perfect side business as a student in South Africa. As a freelancer your market is not limited especially if you advertise your services online.  You can provide your services to anyone all over the world with their projects and even make a living out of it. A freelancing business is inexpensive and fairly easy to set up. Also, freelancing is a perfect way to build your professional portfolio as a student.

Start A Blog

Another business idea worth considering is becoming a blogger. A blog can be a profitable online business if managed and done well. There are many ways of making money through blogging. Some of them include sponsored posts, third party advertisements and simply selling your own products. If you create engaging quality content and build a loyal audience making money through blogging will not be difficult. Also, the potential for income growth when it comes to blogging is unlimited. Some bloggers have expanded into affiliate marketing, online courses, and ecommerce. Whilst other have implemented a paid subscription model to earn more income on their blogs. Blogging can create online business opportunities in the long run so as a student this is a business idea worth considering.

Cleaning Services

No-one likes doing chores especially students so providing cleaning services is a lucrative business idea. Cleaning student apartments as well as people’s homes is another great way of earning extra income as a student. Also, cleaning services are easy to balance with schoolwork so this is definitely something to consider. You can easily start small by cleaning student hostels at first and expand into cleaning apartment and even employ other people to assist you.

Event Planner

It is obvious that South African students love the social scene, so you can capitalise on that and become an event planner. There are a lot of events many South African students would never want to miss from festivals, concerts, parties and academic ceremonies. Becoming an event organiser as a student helps you develop communication skills, organizational skills as well as a grasp on the fundamentals of business, marketing, and finance all of which are crucial in any professional field. Thus, an event planning business is worth pursuing as a student.


Another business idea that students can consider is becoming a bookkeeper. You do not necessarily have to be a finance or accounting major to become one, although that would be an added advantage. If you have a basic understanding of accounting and know how to handle real world problems providing bookkeeping services is something you could do during your free time. Most small businesses prefer hiring college students because they are much cheaper that professionals for their bookkeeping needs. You can even become a virtual bookkeeper and work from anywhere. If you are a diligent and organised person with an understanding of figures you can earn a lot of money from this gig. There are a lot of free and paid online courses that can train you to become bookkeeper if you have no knowledge of accounting.