Starting a business can be a great way to solve a customer problem and create value for others.
Starting a business while still in college can be a great way for university undergraduates in Sri Lanka to earn money and gain valuable experience. Here are a few potential startup ideas that might be well-suited for university students:
1 – Tuition/teaching:
Many university students have a strong understanding of certain subjects you study at the Universities and could offer their expertise as tutors or teachers. This could be particularly useful for students who are studying subjects that are in high demand, such as A/L science subjects (physics, chemistry, biology), Combined mathematics, Commerce, Arts or technology subjects, and O/L math, science, or sinhala. In fact, many popular tuition teachers in Sri Lanka have started their careers while studying in University.
2 – Freelance services:
If you have a particular skill or talent, such as writing, design, video editing, or programming, you could offer your services as a freelancer. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr can help you find clients and manage your business. If you do not have a skill you can follow an online course and get a micro-credential which will be useful in freelance work.
If you have a passion for photography and a good eye for capturing interesting shots, you could start a business offering your services as a photographer. This could include taking portraits, shooting events, weddings, or selling prints of your work.
4- Event planning or party rentals:
If you have a knack for organization and a creative eye, you might consider starting a business that helps people plan events or parties. This could include everything from finding venues and vendors to decorating and coordinating logistics.
5 – Social media marketing:
With the proliferation of social media platforms, there is a huge demand for businesses to promote their products and services online. If you have a strong social media presence and an understanding of marketing, you could offer your services as a social media marketer.
6 – Start a YouTube channel:
Another idea for Sri Lankan students is to start a YouTube channel that covers a particular topic or genre of interest. This could be anything from cooking and politics, entertainment, food, to travel, to personal finance, to gaming, or to any other topic that you are passionate about. By creating content that is informative, entertaining, or both, you can build a loyal following and potentially monetize your channel through ads, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
7- Web design:
If you have a knack for design and an understanding of web development, you could start a business offering web design services. This could include everything from creating websites for small businesses to designing e-commerce platforms.
8- Graphic design:
If you have a talent for visual design and an eye for aesthetics, you could start a business offering graphic design services. This could include creating logos, brochures, and other marketing materials for businesses.
If you have a way with words and an interest in writing, you could start a business offering copywriting services. This could include writing marketing materials, blog posts, or even website content for businesses.
10- On-demand home maintenance/ Repairing service:
Many people struggle to find the time or know-how to take care of basic home maintenance tasks, such as changing air filters, cleaning gutters, or replacing light bulbs. You could start a business offering on-demand home maintenance services to help people keep their homes in top shape.
11- Mobile phone repair:
With the widespread use of smartphones, there is a constant need for phone repair services. If you are interested in technology and skilled at fixing electronic devices, you could start a business offering mobile phone repair services.
12- Food delivery or catering (Personalized meal delivery):
Many college students are always on the go and may not have time to prepare their own meals. Starting a food delivery or catering business could be a great way to meet this need and earn some extra money. You could also start a business offering personalized meal delivery services, including options for people with dietary restrictions or specific health goals.
13 – Open mobile restaurant:
This could involve setting up a food truck or trailer that serves a variety of dishes, such as traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, street food, or a fusion of different types of food. To make this idea successful, it may be helpful to focus on a niche market or offer dishes that are not commonly found in traditional restaurants.
14- Mobile laundry service:
Many college students are busy and may not have the time or facilities to do their own laundry. You could start a business offering a mobile laundry service, picking up dirty clothes and delivering them back clean and ready to wear.
15- Fitness and yoga instructor:
If you have a passion for health and wellness, you could start a business offering fitness or yoga instruction. This could include offering group or private classes or even creating online workouts that people can do at home.
16- Mushroom cultivation:
Mushroom cultivation can be a lucrative business and can be done on a small scale. If you have an interest in agriculture and are willing to do research and experimentation, you could start a business growing and selling mushrooms.
17- Recycled paper products:
If you are interested in sustainability and environmental issues, you could start a business creating recycled paper products. This could include everything from notebooks and journals to greeting cards and invitations.
18- Renting a house for students and foreign visitors:
If you have a spare room or two in your home, you could start a business renting out your space to students or foreign visitors. This could be a great way to earn extra money and meet new people from different cultures.
19- Home garden:
If you are interested in gardening and sustainability, you could start a home garden business that helps people grow their own food in small spaces, such as balconies, rooftops, or backyard plots. This could involve offering consulting services, designing and installing home garden systems, and providing ongoing support and maintenance.
20- Elderly care:
Elderly care services involve companionship, transportation, and assistance with daily tasks. This could be especially important in a country where many elderly people live alone and may have limited mobility or access to resources. To make this idea successful, it may be helpful to specialize in a particular type of care, such as dementia care or hospice care, and to build relationships with local hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities.
21- Child care service:
Childcare services will provide supervision, education, and support for young children while their parents are at work or otherwise unavailable. This could involve setting up a daycare center, offering in-home care, or providing after-school programs. To make this idea successful, it may be helpful to focus on a particular age group or type of care, such as infant care or tutoring, and to build relationships with local schools and families.
22- Building a bio-gas system:
For Sri Lankan undergraduates interested in renewable energy and sustainability, one potential startup idea is to design and install bio-gas systems that convert organic waste into methane gas, which can be used for cooking, heating, or generating electricity. This could involve working with local businesses, households, or institutions to assess their waste generation and energy needs, and then designing and installing a custom bio-gas system that meets their needs.
23- Building off-grid solar systems:
Another idea for students interested in renewable energy is to design and install off-grid solar systems that provide electricity to homes or businesses that are not connected to the grid. This could involve working with customers to assess their energy needs, designing a custom solar system, and providing ongoing maintenance and support. To make this idea successful, it may be helpful to focus on a particular market, such as rural areas or areas with limited access to the grid, and to build relationships with local contractors and suppliers.
24- On-demand pet care:
Pet owners often struggle to find reliable and convenient care for their animals when they are away from home. You could start a business offering on-demand pet care services, including dog walking, pet sitting, and grooming.
25- Mobile car washing and detailing:
Many people don’t have the time or resources to give their cars the care and attention they deserve. You could start a business offering mobile car washing and detailing services, bringing the necessary equipment and supplies to customers’ homes or workplaces.
- Invest in the stock market (Sri Lanka stock exchange)
- BPO/ KPO jobs while studying
- Ten ways to earn online money
Overall, the key to success with any startup idea is to find a need in the market and offer a unique solution. As a university student, you have a unique perspective and skillset that you can leverage to create a successful business.