31 Most Profitable Side Hustles for Students in Kenya in 2022 (Basic Ideas)

Campus is an exciting time for any youth. It’s a time most people get to experience freedom, much free unsupervised time. While it’s all fun and all, the lack of money part is not all that fun. Most people just complain that they have no money but few people act on it. As you enjoy this newfound freedom, why not also try to achieve financial freedom too. For this to happen, there are some side hustles you can take up and grow your business early. Below are some of the most profitable side hustles for students in Kenya that you can try and start earning.

Food Business

Food is a basic need. In this line of business, the advantage is that you’ll never lack a market for your products. Some of the food businesses that you can start in Kenya are:

Baking cakes.

For this, you don’t have to have a huge capital to start. You can start baking in your room or at home if you still live there. You can sell to your fellow students, locals in the area you live, and the shops around. As you build your clientele, save up, and rent a tuck shop where you’ll be selling your products among other things. Later on, you can open your bakery and eventually a baking school. Isn’t that an awesome end goal?

Cereal Sales

Most students have no time to start boiling cereals and you know they can’t sacrifice their small gas to boil them.  That’s why you find many locals around where students live selling boiled cereals along the road or in kibandas. You can also get into this business. Invest in a jiko or if you live in an area where you can set up and light firewood you can do that too. Trust me, more people will trust someone they know, even those who fear to buy cereals along the road will buy from you. Ensure high standards of hygiene and see your business grow. Not many people can take this up as a business. Be among the few and smile all the way to the bank.

Selling eggs and smokies.

There is something about buying these, that’s different from cooking them at home, and people know this. The market will always be there. You can easily start this by taking them around the hostels or standing at your campus’ gate strategically. This kind of business is also one that most campus students would not want to get into, but the profit should make you think twice. Here is proof that this is one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya.

Popcorn business.

You can request an already established enterprise to give you some space outside for you to sell your popcorn.


Though this is not directly a food business, the products are, right? You can get into poultry farming and sell the eggs and the chicken or parts of the chicken to your schoolmates, school cafes and hotels. You can also opt to cook and sell your products. Dairy farming can also be profitable as you sell the dairy products to shops.

Catering business.

If you’re a student studying catering, hospitality, and such, you can team up with your classmates and start a catering business. Make your business known around the school and offer these services at a fee during school events. Even if you don’t see the profits immediately, with time and topnotch quality your business will grow tremendously.

Beauty Business

Start a salon/ barbershop.

This will require some skills to get and maintain customers. If you have the skill, start by plaiting your friends’ hair and ask them to recommend you to others or let your work do the talking.But, in case you don’t have the skills, you can still open the business and outsource skills from the locals or your fellow students. With this, you’ll be creating employment as well as earning from it. Eventually, with some savings, you can start your hair salon. What you need to know before you start your salon in Kenya.

Sell second-hand clothes.  

Mitumba business is quite big in Kenya. This is one of the most common side hustles for students in Kenya.With the different styles coming up and people wanting to wear unique pieces, this could be the best business yet. You can buy second-hand clothes from gikomba market, toi market or any market near you at a cheaper price then resell them with a profit. You don’t have to be the most stylish person to start this business. Just be observant to identify what is in style currently, how people are styling different pieces of clothing, and go for it. You can start by buying a mannequin, dress it up in different styles, take pics with your phone, and post on your WhatsApp status. As the business grows, you can set up your shop.

Start a boutique.

You can start as small as selling stylish accessories to your friends and schoolmates. Buy earrings, necklaces, hairpieces, rings at a wholesale price and sell them on retail and get your profit. You can get them at a wholesale price along Dubois street in Nairobi. Create posters around school informing people of where to find you. Provide quality for your clients such that you’re the go-to person in school for accessories.

Health and Fitness:

Start your gym.

Are you a fitness enthusiast? Is going to the gym an easy task for you? Start your journey of being a gym instructor with no capital needed. You can start some aerobic classes at your school which can be free as you grow your skill. Since you’re not paying for space or equipment, research on different routines that don’t require equipment and start. With the practice and the following, you can start charging, buy equipment, and build your empire/gym.

Nutrition Services.

If you’re studying nutrition, or you have an interest in diets, you can write diet regimens for your friends for as low as 100 shillings. Regimens especially on weight loss will always sell. Make sure you do thorough research and give your clients value for their money.


You don’t have to be a teacher to pass any knowledge you have. Here are some of the things you can teach.

Tuition teaching.

Offer weekend tuition services to people with children around where you live. You can teach the subjects you were good at in school. With some more research on the current curriculum, you’re good to go. Holiday tuition was banned in Kenya but there are still some children who need extra coaching. You can approach some parents to offer individualized tuition at home and earn some extra income.

Teach about your hobbies.

A hobby such as skating, swimming, baking, crocheting, playing instruments can be taught. Approach schools around your area and ask for an opportunity to teach the young ones about these skills. This you can also do in church after the Sunday school service.

Computer lessons tutor.

It’s a common Kenyan culture that after form four you go for computer classes. Unfortunately, not everyone can pay for these classes. You can identify such students who are eager to learn and teach them on your laptop at a fee they can afford.



Nowadays photo sessions are the norm among campus students to create memories of events. Most look for professional photographers to capture these moments. If you have the skill but have no camera, you can rent one from someone, make some cash, save up and buy yours. Take photos in school events or on-demand and make your cash. If you have no skill yet, but can purchase a camera, do so and hire it out at a small fee as you also learn how to use it. You can also make money by selling photos you’ve taken, online. Websites that pay more than $100 for one image. Make sure you improve your skill, learn professional photo editing to keep up with the times and be a pro in your field.


This is quite similar to photography. Shoot school events and post them on the school website as you practice and grow your portfolio. You could even qualify to be the school’s official videographer. A job right there! You can also help out upcoming Youtubers to have the best quality videos at a fee as you build your clientele as a freelancer.

Graphic design, web design

With basic skills in this, you can start a t-shirt printing business. Sell them to school clubs, churches groups among others.

 Software development

You can start as a software developer freelancer as you seek to find a job.

DIY Projects

Everybody loves to own unique stuff. If you are creative in drawing or aspire to be a portrait artist, offer to draw portraits of your schoolmates at a very affordable cost. Even if at first you won’t make any profit, you’ll have built a client base and learnt some marketing skills along the way.

Creating items from waste products. Are you always present at any fashion event in school, making costumes out of cans,papers, plastics? You can find a way of monetizing your creativity. Be like this creative Kenyan who creates tiles from plastic.

Online Side Hustles for Students in Kenya

online side hustles for students in Kenya

All information now can be accessed through the internet. Working online is one of the most common side hustles for students in Kenya. I know you’ve heard of an online writer in campus. You can also use your online platforms to market your other businesses. Like those listed above.

Here are some other ways you can earn online: 


Are you a pro at something and would like to earn from it? Write about it. People will always look for information online. Start your blog and learn how to monetize it. Read this guide on how you can start a blog that makes money in Kenya.

YouTube channel.

This media channel has grown over the years. With good,quality content, you can attract a good following and start earning from your YouTube channel. Lessons from Kenyan Youtubers on how to grow your audience on YouTube.


This is a growing platform where you can share your thoughts on different topics through audio. There are several ways in which you can monetize your podcast.

Online Writing

You can freelance as a writer on sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and writers.co.ke (a Kenyan based site)

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is a person who offers services to an enterprise from any location. Sort of a secretary or an administrative person for the business but working from a remote location. You can get these jobs on People per hour, Remote co, Upwork among others.

Learn how to make money online in Kenya as a Virtual Assistant.


Transcription is conversion of speech to writing. This requires a lot of practice before you master the skill but is very profitable. You can get transcription jobs on sites such as GoTranscript, TranscribeMe, QAworld among others.

If you decide to freelance online, join different groups on Facebook and other social media platforms to network with others in the same field. You’ll get to learn A LOT from these.

Others side hustles for students in Kenya

Cyber cafe/printing services.

This is also another business venture where you’ll always have a market, with students printing and photocopying their assignments, handouts. It is one of the most profitable side hustles for students in Kenya. You can start by buying a printer or a photocopy machine and operate it from your room. Charge a comrade fee and you’ll make a fortune. 

Laundry services.

With some students being too busy or lazy to wash their clothes, you can offer to do so at a fee. You can also start your laundry company by outsourcing the job to other students or villagers around your school and build your business a step at a time. In the process, you’ll also be creating employment for others.

Carwash services.

You could team up with your friends and start a carwash business. You could even approach lectures and offer to wash their cars as they go for their lectures.

Day Care.

This you can start as easily as inside your parents’ house, of course with their permission. You can set up a spare room where they can play. Team up with your friends in such a way when one has classes, the rest can keep the business going.

Open an M-Pesa outlet. 

Here are some steps you can follow to open your M-Pesa business.

Sales and marketing/promotions

This is one of the most common side hustles for students in Kenya. Most big companies such as Blueband, Dettol, Nivea, Safaricom search for sale representatives where you can sell their products and get a commission.

There are so many part time jobs you can engage, make your money and gain your financial independence.

Are you stressed about what business you should start? Are you in a quarter-life crisis wondering what you should do with your life? Utilize a basic skill you have or learn a simple skill and grow your empire.

Some of these businesses may require some capital. Some huge, some not so much. Instead of throwing off your HELB money and later asking yourself, where did all that money go? Save some little money from that and start your business as soon as possible.

JUST START. The rest will work out as you go.

If you have more business ideas, comment below and help someone.

About the author

Peggy Kimotho

Peggy is a Virtual Assistant, Digital Marketer and Virtual Assistant Trainer (You can check out her course here).
Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more.

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