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Campus Side Hustles Students Earn Income From

  • Let’s face it, a student’s life on campus is quite expensive, save for those who access government-funded loans or side hustles. 

    One may spend most of their time studying, but as a college student, you can never have enough pocket money to cater for needs such as tuition, textbooks, housing, food, transportation, social events, and much more.

    To avert this challenge, most students engage in business activities to enable them to stay afloat. 

    Side hustles, also known as side gigs or side jobs, are extra jobs that you take on in addition to your primary job. 

    An image of the inside view of a movie shop.

    An image of the inside view of a movie shop.



    On campus, classes and studying are equivalent to a full-time job, this is when side hustles can be super convenient, as they are typically freelance roles. 

    But what are some of these hustles that get students going while in school? Kenyans.co.ke delves into some of them. 

    Academic writing

    This is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications.

    Here, academic writers mostly write texts intended for publication, such as journal articles, reports, books, and chapters in edited collections then get paid. One can make up to Ksh 1,000 -1500 per day.

    For this hustle to materialize, the writer first has to identify and establish their personal brand and identity, set up a website (register your domain name, get a hosting account), and Develop clarity around what they are offering – what difference do you want to make, to whom, how and why?

    Movie Shops

    The high demand for streaming and watching movies is a wave that engulfed campus life. It is a downtime quick fix to boredom.

    Students struggle to access movies and TV shows, primarily due to a lack of a good internet connection for streaming from various entertainment websites or funds to attend a movie cinema.

    A woman using a laptop to study

    A woman using a laptop to study


    Google photo

    Thus, setting up a movie shop is one of the most brilliant business ideas at the university. The capital required to set up the business is quite affordable. You only need a shop in a good location with a flow of people.

    To achieve this, one needs to purchase at least one computer. Then, you can acquire movies to sell and “burn” Compact disks (CDs) or download digital copies from various entertainment websites.

    Most of these retail at Ksh 50 if the movie is burned on a CD and Ksh40 if the movie is copied on a flash disk.

    Play Station Gaming Centres

    This requires a small space, two television sets, a gaming console, and reliable electricity.

    Students who like playing games like FIFA will always spend most of their time there as they rake in money.

    Games are charged at Ksh30 or Ksh40 per game and cumulatively Ksh100 for an hour to play.

    Second-hand clothes store 

    Students can hardly afford to purchase brand-new clothes from shops, they thus resort to buying second-hand clothes, which are cheaper and sometimes attractive to the eye.

    The good thing about the business is that there are several places where you can source clothes.

    One can start a mitumba business with as low as little as Ksh1,000.

    With Ksh500, you can visit markets such as Gikomba in Nairobi and Kongowea in Mombasa and hand-pick outfits one by one.

    A file image of traders at Gikomba market.

    A file image of traders at Gikomba market.


    Early morning visits are preferred as most suppliers open a bale to get the good stuff.

    Mayai Pasua/Chapo Smokie(Smocha)/ Smokie Kachumbari

    To start this business, one will need a vending cart or trolley that costs between Ksh.5,000 to Ksh10,000, an umbrella, packaging materials, knives, jiko, Dustin for litter, a jerry can for water, and so on.

    One packet of smokies has 22 pieces. The buying price is around Ksh.343 per packet. That is ksh.15 per piece of smokie.

    If you sell at least 5 packets a day at ksh.25 per piece, you’ll be making a profit of ksh.10 per piece.

    You can make a profit of Ksh1,000 when you sell 5 packets of smokies, each with 110 pieces.

    Equally, a tray has 30 eggs. One can buy the tray at Ksh300 in specific areas, with the eggs later sold at a profit of Ksh10 per product. 

    If you sell at least 5 trays daily, you’ll profit from Ksh. 1,500. 

    Hustler Fund

    Students can take advantage of the fund by borrowing between Ksh500 to Ksh50,000, depending on their limits to finance their projects. 

    For a start, individuals have been given different loan limits based on their creditworthiness.

    Thus, borrowers who repay their loans on time will increase their loan limits gradually up to the maximum of Ksh50,000.

    The loan limit will be adjusted depending on how the borrower services his loans.

    Individuals dial *254# from any of the three mobile phone network providers to borrow the credit.

    The loans are to be repaid within 14 days and are charged an interest of 8 per cent per annum or 0.02 per cent daily.

    You can also use the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) credit to start a business. 

    President William Ruto interacts with traders during the launch of the Hustler Fund at the Green Park terminus on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

    President William Ruto interacts with traders during the launch of the Hustler Fund at the Green Park terminus on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.


    Ivy Nyawira

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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