Starting a Business While in College? Why Not!?

how to starting a business while in college student startup company

Everyone who is aspiring to be an entrepreneur knows that dedication of energy and time to any business venture can be overwhelming. To start a business at any age already takes a huge amount of willpower, but lifting your first enterprise off the ground while you’re still in college is a challenge of its own. 

Nevertheless, it’s far from being impossible. There is a number of super successful businesses created by college students to prove that - just remember Michael Dell or Mark Zuckerberg. It is natural that many young entrepreneurs wish to match or even surpass these successes before they graduate college. 

Balancing the entrepreneurial dream and schoolwork can be troublesome for students, but that doesn’t mean the schooling will hinder your career goals. Quite the opposite - it can influence and help define them. 

Why Is It A Good Idea? 

The real question is what is there to lose? You have fewer commitments compared to later in life, and you don’t really own anything yet. The worst that could happen is to go back to what you’re were doing before. On the other hand, the sooner you test your ideas, the greater the chances are for success. 

There is a boundary to how much you can learn inside the classroom, while the startup world is like a bridge between the things they’ve taught you and applied concepts. Building a company is a lot harder compared to everything that happens inside the classroom, but the value of it surpasses any textbook lesson. 

Furthermore, there is a number of free resources that come with college tuition, all of which you’re able to utilize while starting your business. Then there are your fellow students - university is the ideal startup platform precisely because it provides numerous opportunities to meet well-rounded individuals full of diverse ideas, able to produce innovative and intersecting concepts. Students are also extremely accessible customers, and therefore a valuable resource when it comes to testing out business ideas. There is no better sign that a product or service is viable than getting a student to pay for it. 

Since college is a vast network which enables you to expand upon ideas by meeting seasoned professionals, there is no doubt there’s a lot to learn for an inspiring entrepreneur. Most people are usually willing to help you as a student, so it’s quite easy to find mentors who are able to introduce you to some experts in the field or local business development offices. 

And let’s not forget a crucial factor in the early stages of any business - funding options. College can help you find funding resources through scholarship and finance offices by helping you secure student financial assistance - fellowships, scholarships, federal grants, loans. Due to these specific funding options, just holding an email address which ends with ʽ.eduʼ is lucrative on its own. Crowdsourcing can also be taken on a whole different level when you have a unique and large community to reach. 

Now that we’ve made our point of the advantages, let’s see how to approach the task at hand. 

Setting Up The Office 

We’ve already mentioned there are several free resources that come with college tuition, which make this first step a lot easier. Just the library materials are already indispensable tools, plus there are online resources, high-speed internet access that comes completely free, print and copy services, etc. On top of that, there are discounts on student software which is not a small thing since more than 60% of small businesses spend at least a quarter of their budget on technology. You can also book conference rooms and turn them into a meeting space. That means that all that’s left to have is a computer, monitor, desk, and a chair, which every student already has. Of course, you also need internet access, but it doesn’t need to be that fast, and sometimes you need to print out materials at home, but there are many good and affordable printers for students out there so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits your budget and needs

Picking Classes 

This is the step where you’ll bridge the gap between work and school, so neither your startup nor your grades will suffer. The trick is to choose elective or major that will help you strategize and benefit your business model. When picking classes, search for ones where you’ll meet like-minded individuals and expert professors in the field. By attending courses which are related to your venture you’ll get more practice with your business endeavors and save time in the process. If you take a for- credit independent study course for a quarter or a semester, you’ll be able to focus on research concerning your business. You can also gain a lot of experience in marketing development and creating prototype designs if you take a project-based entrepreneurship class during another semester. 

Make Connections & Ask Questions 

Since there is still a lot of spare time in college, this is the best period to make connections with fellow students and develop recruitment opportunities while you’re building your business. All you need to do is to pitch the idea of collaboration in a way that it becomes a learning opportunity for everyone. If you’re afraid that this approach is not professional enough, remember the fact that many students are regularly employed by startups for onboard. Once you’ve surrounded yourself with like-minded collaborators, it’s time to start asking questions. You need to test everything if your goal is to produce a high-quality business product, so never stop asking them what they would improve, what they think makes a business desirable, and would they use this service or business themselves. Teamwork holds many valuable lessons in both the realms of education and business, so always ask for opinions and pose hypothetical business questions during team projects and relevant lesson plans. This will not only result in better time management, but it will greatly develop your business plan. 


As you can see, there are many good reasons to start a business in college, and really none against it. Your office is practically set up, so all that’s left to do is to pick your classes with care, connect, and nurture sharing opinions and asking questions.

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