5 Businesses Students & Graduates Can Start To Make Money While Waiting for a Job


A hustler will always find a way.

Unlike most fresh graduates, hustlers are always looking out for the next money spinning deal to venture into. No time to take the identity of “Unemployed graduate/Youth”. You get to work. And you get result.

You are probably on your next spin or looking out for the next runs to click; I respect that. And I’m sure you don’t mind a brother giving you some hints on stuffs I have or still do for some quick and steady cash flow. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Getting a job is a business on its own and hustlers are not confined to employment. I generally encourage starting your own business but it’s OK if a job is what you are looking up to.

I have done most of the businesses I shared here; some I’m still doing. If you are a student, you can start one of these businesses to earn extra income while in school. A graduate without a job? The business listed on this page can change your life.

Small Scale Importing Business – Updated

This is by far one of the most lucrative business for anyone with an entrepreneurial drive to start. I started this business in later 2012/ early 2013 and have a story to tell.

Trade Fair Trading by Commission

This one is a quickie.

Trade fair exhibitions are organized from mid-year to towards the end of the year, statewide. These exhibitions are organized by the Chamber of Commerce for companies and business owners in and out of state to showcase their products (old and new) to the public. Use this opportunity to make quick money in 10days. This is one of the businesses I did while waiting for National Youth Service (NYSC). The idea is to approach businesses and offer to market their product(s) at a Trade fair exhibition. You negotiate discount price for the product with the company, business owner or manufacturer. The responsibility of marketing the product at the trade fair then lies with you.

The outcome depends on the agreement you reach with the business owner. I did this twice (Enugu and Lagos Trade fairs) in 2007 with a Nollywood movie producer, before my youth service and made some cool bucks in the process. We negotiated a reasonable commission for every CD I sold. The producer paid for transportation. I conveyed the goods to the trade fair venue. And was responsible for getting product stand, marketing and selling the products.

Depending on the type of product you’ll be selling, you can partner with a friend to make it less stressful; that is if it makes business sense. With proper negotiation, it’ll be worth the effort.

The disadvantage is that trade fair exhibitions are not consistent. It comes once or twice in a year in each organizing state. So you’ll have to wait for the next trade fair exhibition to make some money.

Again, if you are the shy type, like me, you may have a hard time going through the process. Personally, my desire for result always wins my emotions hands down. So I focus on having a good time and the possible learning experience.

Office to Office Hawking

Don’t get attached with the hawking things. According to Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, Hawking means to offer goods for sale by going from house to house, street to street etc. In this case you move from office to office; banks, government establishment, companies, business areas etc.

Here is the concept (it’s no new stuff – you probably know about it). Employees working 8 to 5 jobs seldom have the time to buy what they want from regular market. So you take the goods to them and charge them for the goods and mobile service.

My friend, Ekron, called me on phone one evening and said, “Iyke o baba, business a gba (Iyke o baba, business opportunity just surfaced)”. Ekron was serving in Benin, Edo state at that time 2007, I was still waiting for my call-up. He told me there was high demand for jewelries among 8 to 5 company workers in Benin. So he needed me to help him find the best place to buy jewelries at cheaper rate in Lagos. I discovered Idumota. Business began for Ekron. After his first two trips to Lagos, I joined him in the biz after learning how profitable it was for him.

We buy jewelries; necklace, hand chain, wrist watches etc. from Idumota, Lagos and sell to bankers, government and private office workers in Benin, Edo State. Less than one month into the business, I met Chinyere who told me I can buy these items from Cotonou, Benin Republic at a much cheaper rate. We diverted to Cotonou.

It was an interesting venture those days and we did earn some good money in the biz. You can start this business with little capital (I remember starting with 12, 000- Naira) and increase your investment as time goes on.

Freelance Jobs Online

The internet is a world on its own, presenting enormous opportunities to anyone willing to take action. A good place to start with earning money online is doing freelance jobs. A Freelancer is someone working for different companies: a self-employed person working or available to work, for a number of employers, and usually hired for a limited period. Freelance jobs, sometime referred as ‘Gigs’, are jobs you do for this purpose. There are lots of freelancing jobs you can do with little skills required.

I hire freelancers sometimes to perform online tasks for me like fixing technical stuffs I have little or no knowledge about. I also hire writers. If you have writing, programming, bookkeeping, social media and a lot other skills, you can do freelance jobs and earn income working from home.

You can earn side income doing this part time while running other ventures. A good place to find thousands of jobs to apply is Freelancer.com. Fiverr.com is also a good online service that brings together temporary employers and freelancers for jobs worth $5 (five dollars). Think of a service you can offer for $5, you can find people who are willing to pay you on Fiverr.

Start an online business

This one go beyond earning quick extra cash. Starting and building an online business is a long term venture that can grow exponentially. It doesn’t matter whether you have the skills or not, you can earn active or passive income doing business online.

Any hustler should take advantage of the business opportunities on the internet and build online business presence that pays on the long term.

I’ve have previously written a detailed article that explains How to start an online business for beginners. Click through and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

If you have any question regarding any of the business models I mentioned here, please ask away. There are no silly questions or comments here. Well spam and hate comments is immediately deleted; and I’m sure you know why.



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