Mkpoikana Umoette began his clothing business by making lapels and designing socks and other men’s accessories. He did this from his second year in school till he graduated.
This was how, according to him, he was able to get by with the many demands of university education.
“Whenever they tell me to buy a textbook or pay a simple departmental or faculty due, I handled it myself with the little profits I made from my business.
“It reduced the burden on my parents who had to handle other of my major needs like fees and the like,” he said.
After school, Umoette said his business grew to become a full-blown clothing house, with tailoring, designs and sales of fabrics, among others added to the menu.
“The business also taught me responsibility and how to save. I am currently not employed by any company but my business is what is keeping me going. I pay rent, feed and clothe myself,” he added.
Another student, Oge Okpara, a 26-year-old at the University of Lagos, Akoka said she was a full-town businesswoman and a full-time student.
“I divided my time evenly in a way that none of the two of my prospects suffered. I was into make-up. I learnt from YouTube and replicated it on the faces of my friends. After some months, I became really good that people started to come to me to have their make-up done. From there, people started meeting me to teach them. It became a way I also make money because as I teach people, they pay for my services,” she added.
She also noted that after a while, in addition to the make-up business, she began a thrift (also known in Nigerian par lance as okrika) business.
“I buy from established okrika (second-hand clothes) sellers and retail to students and make little profits. At a point, I was able to foot some major bills and even contributed to my school fees,” she said.
She also stated that she plans to start recharge cards and Point of Sale business in her hostel so students who need ‘quick cash’ or need to make a call can patronise her.
Experts have identified that students who create wealth for themselves while in school are two times more likely to become successful entrepreneurs after school.
Here are some ways students can make extra income while in school.
An entrepreneurship expert, Mr John Inyang, noted that freelance writing for different brands has been identified globally as an easy way to make extra money as a student.
“Most students have free periods between classes and at night or during short holidays. They can write to brands to allow them to write blog articles or create content for them and get paid.
“It is easy because they have the requisite skills needed already, and may not need to learn additional skills, except those that have to do with SEOs and the like. This business also needs zero monetary capital to start. With a smartphone, one can start,” he added.
For students of arts and design, Mrs Ayomide Yusuf, a business coach, noted that they can begin to monetise their skills even while in school.
“It is very easy to begin to make money as an arts and crafts student. Make your art with the materials you have available or ask the client to pay for the craft and use part of the money to buy the needed material. Make and sell the art,” he added.
According to Investopedia, an online resource, running errands or doing simple taxi driving or delivery services, are ways students can earn extra income.
“Jobs through the gig economy driving, dog-walking, or food and package delivery are plentiful in many places, pay fairly well, and often have achievable requirements for entry. Take advantage of your flexible schedule and help those on-campus or residents by offering your services during their workdays,” the online resource noted.
Students can begin to make money from other students who need extra classes, notes Inyang.
He said with the extra coaching, bright students can begin to monetise their knowledge.
Also, Yusuf said most students have been seen to see themselves through school by teaching.
“They can start by gathering their neighbours’ kids and charging them a token for an hour or two of extramural coaching during the weekend. That way, they can make sure they are adding extra income to their saving and can begin to invest if they have parents who take care of their every need,” she added.
“If you’re online a lot anyway and enjoy writing, consider blogging for bucks. It will take some real work to get it started, but if you can find a unique angle to draw readership, you can make money through programs like Google Adsense, and AmazonAssociate’s affiliate programme,” Investopedia noted.
Yusuf also stated that students can also identify potential advertisers through affiliate program aggregators like Affiliatescout.com and get good enough to draw the attention of advertisers who will pay to put ads on their site or give them free stuff for them to review.
Yusuf noted that regular buying and selling can be a way to boost anyone’s savings, adding that students can also take advantage of this avenue.
She said, “Students can buy from wholesalers and retail them to students. From underwear to jeans trousers and even hair; anything legal can be sold in schools to make money.”
Car, phone repairs
Investopedia noted that it was a sure bet that the majority of college students who have a car don’t know the first thing about how to maintain them or make minor repairs on their own.
“If a student has to technical know-how on car repairs, he/she is in luck. Make a small investment in tools and supplies and then advertise for reasonably-priced onsite repairs and maintenance work like oil changes,” it added.