Let’s be honest. A small percentage of comrades utilize HELB loans for their actual purpose.
That percentage, dare I say, is close to none. HELB loans are one of the most misused loans in Kenya.
You’d expect the education loan to be the most misused of all loans. Typical Gen Z.
Most comrades spend it buying things like expensive clothes, phones and clubbing.
Once they complete their studies, these same students return to their hometowns and often complain about unemployment challenges in Kenya.
This is after missing their chance to become an entrepreneur by blowing their HELB money. Nothing is entirely wrong with partying, and treating yourself, just set a limit and a budget.
But what if I tell you there’s a way to change the ‘broke campus comrade’ narrative?
If you have ever listened to success stories, then you know that most successful people in the world are either school dropouts (pause) or those that started businesses with student loans while still on campus.
The list is endless if you start a compilation. With this in mind, why don’t you take initiative?
Here is a list of 5 businesses that you can start with your HELB loan.
1. Selling second-hand clothes/Mitumba
Selling mitumba is one of the most common businesses in the country. This is due to the ease of getting in and the demand as well.
Whenever you are in big towns like Nairobi, you will see hawkers running away from the County council, laughing. Ever wondered why they run laughing?
This is because of one sole reason, THESE GUYS MAKE GOOD MONEY.
I’m not suggesting that you hawk clothes; set up shop somewhere and plan yourself accordingly.
The only requirements to start this business are stock and a location to sell. You can start with as low as Sh. 50 per piece and sell at Sh. 200.
This translates to a profit margin of over 100%.
Other selling avenues include online channels such as Facebook marketplace and even Instagram.
I’m not trying to be your motivational speaker of the day, but with the unemployment rates in Kenya, I’m offering to light your mind bulb.
Blogging is becoming common in the country as access to the internet and computers deepens.
To become a blogger, you must get a domain name and web hosting services.
These come at a cost depending on where you buy them. However, you can get them for as little as free.
The best thing about blogging is that you don’t have to work every day, you can publish an article today and that article can make you money the whole of that month or even months, which is a good way to make passive income.
It is hard to go wrong with the food business as long as you target the right market.
There is an increasing demand for baked products in schools and towns.
This business idea could be more capital-intensive than earlier if you don’t have the right equipment, such as an oven.
However, for students with access to this equipment, most likely at home, this is an ideal idea to pursue.
You can market yourself in school through the use of social media, word of mouth, and posters.
Alternatively, you can start a home-baking business selling cakes and other pastries.
You can market your cakes and pastries to your classmates and friends and ask them to place an order with you for their birthday cakes.
READ: Businesses you can start with little capital
4. Freelance Jobs
This is an ideal side hustle for a student. With the increase in the uptake of the internet and computers, there is a growing demand for freelancers.
This involves doing short-term writing jobs through websites that connect writers and jobs.
Some of the top freelance platforms that you can use are Fiverr and Upwork. To startup, you are only required to register with the platform and then bid for work.
There are jobs available across many categories. Hence, you should bid on jobs based on your capabilities and competencies.
Creating a freelancer account on these websites is free, making it ideal for most students.
Getting the first client is usually the hardest part of this business model. in some cases, securing the first job could take weeks and months.
When creating your profile on these websites, ensure you only list the skills that you are good at.
Taking up a job with skills you do not possess is not advisable. Doing a poor job will have the client to leave bad reviews affecting future jobs.
The money you earn from these freelancing websites depends on the budget listed by the hirer.
However, you must pay a small commission to the freelancing website. Hence your earnings will slightly decrease.
Success in freelancing depends on how well you create and maintain customer relations with your client’s relationships.
Once you deliver good results, you increase the chances of the client selecting you for another job.
Nobody loves taking pictures more than the millennials and Gen Z.
Even though mobile phones nowadays come with front and back cameras, some people still prefer traditional photo shoots.
You can turn this hobby into a profitable venture for a student who loves photography.
To get started, you only need a good camera. However, you can borrow or hire one if you don’t have one.
This business also requires consistent marketing at the starting stage. However, it gets better after getting a steady supply of customers.
You also need to establish the photoshoot charges for your clients by factoring in the costs and profit margin.
An example of this is charging Sh. 200 for 10 photos.
The best thing about this skill is that you can end up commercializing it once you are done with school.
Once you have the right equipment and experience, you can then expand into social events such as weddings.