Categories > Guides and Tips

15 Business Ideas for Students in South Africa

15 Business Ideas for Students in South Africa

The challenges of student life go far beyond academics. For a lot of students, it’s financially stressful, adding an emotional toll to their already-heavy loads.

If you’re a student in South Africa, we have great news for you. There are a lot of ways for you to earn even while you’re labouring for that university degree!

Here is a list of business ideas you can consider. Read on to learn more!

What are business ideas for a student in South Africa?

1. Tutoring

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Potential income rangeR12,200 to R42,200 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 4 hours

Tutoring’s one of the best ways to earn a little extra income while you’re studying in South Africa, especially for those in university.

It’s easier to manage since you can determine how many students you can accommodate, depending on your schedule and academic load. You can even choose to do your sessions virtually or in person.

If you know any foreign language like English or French, you can capitalise on that since many are interested in studying them.

2. App Development

App Development
Photo by Kevin Ku from Pexels
Potential income rangeR40,000 to R45,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day4 to 5 hours

If you have a knack for developing mobile applications or software – or are even studying it right now in university – you can use this skill for your first start-up business. 

App development’s one of the most lucrative income streams currently, especially with the tech boom. Plus, you can help solve different social problems while you’re at it.

Ultimately, you can either sell it to a legitimate company or run it to possibly gain revenue in the long term – whichever you choose, it can potentially offer good returns.

3. Baking

Photo by Maxi Gagliano from Pexels
Potential income rangeR4,500 to R20,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

We all know that no South African could resist delicious treats like cookies and brownies because we love munching on each one whenever possible. With that said, you can use this to your advantage and start a small bakery of your own.

You don’t need to build a physical shop to make this possible. You can simply prepare the goods at home and then sell them to your friends or classmates at school.

4. Writing and Editing

Writing and Editing
Photo by Peter Olexa from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R35,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

As we shift into a more digital world, offering writing and editing services are now considered a good income stream, even for students. You don’t need professional experience to get started on your own website and showcase your current skills.

It’s a big plus if you’re knowledgeable about SEO and copywriting since clients are more interested in these as it helps market their businesses better.

But apart from that, you can even create your own blog and share your experiences through the online platform. Once you gain a bigger audience, you’ll be able to monetise it as you put paid ads on your site.

5. Hairdressing

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Potential income rangeR5,000 to R10,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

As you can probably observe from your surroundings, people are more conscious of their appearance. Of course, everyone wants to look good wherever they go, especially on special occasions like weddings and birthdays.

You can use this opportunity to establish a small hairdressing business where you can physically visit your clients at their preferred venues. Learn how to properly cut hair and experiment with different styles while you’re at it.

But most importantly, you should be honest with your clients and listen to their needs because as the famous saying goes, the customer is always right. 

You would want them to be satisfied with your services so they want to try it again or better, recommend it to other people they know.

6. Pet Training

Pet Training
Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R15,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

If you love animals, you should consider making a pet training business since it only requires a small capital to get you started and few working hours to keep it going.

But of course, you have to ensure that you have the necessary skills to do this job. It’s better if you have certificates to present so you can appear more credible to your prospective clients.

Pro tip: get testimonials from your previous clients to show future customers what you can do and how you work.

7. Marketing

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R15,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

Marketing’s one of the most popular sectors today so making a business out of it is a good idea, especially if you’re well-versed in this field. Even if you’re still a student, the skills required for this can be learned online or from school.

All you have to ensure is to market a certain product or service efficiently so that it could boost the sales and visibility of your client’s businesses.

You can get this started at home with only a laptop and nothing else. Then with the power of social media, you can apply different tactics to achieve your small agency’s goals like making your client satisfied and earning a good income for yourself.  

8. Graphic Designing

Graphic Designing
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R20,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day3 to 4 hours

Graphic designing is another lucrative business idea in South Africa because it’s essential in all kinds of industries. There are now many people who need help creating their websites and logos – and you can be that person who comes to save the day!

You can now offer your artistic skills for a fair price. Not only would this help fill your portfolio but also improve your skills. 

But of course, you can earn a good amount of money while studying without compromising anything — it’s definitely a win-win for everyone!

9. Vlogging

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich
Potential income rangeR180,000 to R1,000,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 4 hours

You might have heard of vlogging at least once in your life or even seen your own classmates doing it and you might wonder, is it worth it? The answer is a huge yes because this can help you rake in good profit as you get a bigger audience.

Although it’s not easy at first since you need a certain amount of subscribers to monetise your content, especially on Youtube, it becomes worth the effort as you eventually gain paid sponsorships and ads through it.

Plus, you can easily adjust your filming and editing schedule to your daily life as a student without having to feel too overwhelmed by everything.

Pro tip: post at least once a week to earn better visibility on Youtube and to keep your subscribers interested.

10. Babysitting

Photo by nappy from Pexels
Potential income rangeR5,000 to R8,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 3 hours

If you love taking care of kids, you can consider a babysitting business as a new source of income. Since there are lots of busy parents nowadays, you can offer assistance at a fair rate.

You don’t even need to work full hours to completely gain good profit because having at least an hour of babysitting daily is enough to add a little to your savings. Or you can choose to only do it over the weekends, whichever you think it’s best.

Since this is not as labour-intensive, it’s worth a try and you can even have fun with little kiddos while you’re at it.

By the way, make sure to build a good relationship with the parents and children so you can continue to work with them – letting them see that you are a worthy choice.

11. Translating

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R20,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 4 hours

Learning more than one language has lots of benefits, particularly improving your memory and brain function. But more than that, it also gives you a better edge over other people since it’s a difficult skill to master.

In fact, you can make a business out of this by translating written works. You don’t even need to spend anything to get started and you can build it in the comfort of your home.

Isn’t that amazing? Because we think that it’s one heck of a good idea to not miss, especially for students like you.

12. Trading

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R40,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 4 hours

Making money out of trading is not for the weak since it requires a high level of skill and a good amount of knowledge to pull off. But it’s now accessible to even students like you since you can learn more about the field online.

Searching for tutorials on how to get started is only a few clicks away in Google and there’s nothing to lose if you try. But a little head’s up, it could be challenging if it’s your first time so tread carefully.

You can try trading in small amounts first as you open your first Forex account. Analyse and read up on different market stocks to rake in good profits.

13. Tour Guiding

Tour Guiding
Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R30,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day4 to 6 hours

If you love to travel and share your experiences with people, maybe being a tour guide is a right fit for you. You can even make a business out of it as you help navigate tourists in different parts of South Africa.

There are lots of places to visit in the country and it’d be great to enjoy the journey with new people as you impart your local knowledge to them.

Your fees can depend on the length of the tour and the different sites that you’re going to visit with them.

14. Personal Driving

Personal Driving
Photo by Sindre Fs from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R20,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day5 to 8 hours

Personal driving’s not common among students but you can bank on that and make yourself stand out from the rest. As long as you have a good driving record, this could be a good business idea.

You can start with famous taxi service providers, particularly Uber, and earn as much as possible within your chosen time frame. Ideally, this is perfect if you have a personal car and live in urban areas where there is a bigger clientele.

15. Recycling

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels
Potential income rangeR10,000 to R15,000 per month
Hours of work needed per day2 to 3 hours

Believe it or not, there is money in trash or recyclables, as we should call it. This is especially true in urban areas where different kinds of waste from plastic bottles to white paper are being thrown all over the place.

You can now collect all of these recyclables and sell them to different organisations for a certain price. They usually base the rate on kilograms so get as much as you can.

But apart from the monetary aspect of it, this business idea is also a great way to save Mother Earth.

You can potentially help lessen unnecessary waste in the country and lend a hand to lessen the damaging effects of climate change (what is the relationship between climate change and the regularity of droughts in South Africa?) which is felt everywhere in the world.


Related topics