September is with us again, this marks the dawn of a new semester. For most comrades, the onset of the semester translates into loaded bank accounts, overflowing pockets and ‘fat’ wallets. However, a comfortable campus lifestyle is synonymous with money. Two weeks into the semester, comrades are already broke, the banks and ATMs become ghost towns and the wallets are slimmer. Desperation sets in as phones are checked every five minutes in the hope of the all too common M-Pesa message, ‘Confirmed you have received…’ Only to realize the only confirmation you have is a loan repayment message from M-Shwari. So how can you make extra money in campus to avoid such broke situations?



This is one of the easiest money making schemes for any campus student. If you write as a hobby and think it’s worth the short, go for it. Freelance writing could be your formulae to achieving a comfortable campus lifestyle. Online Freelance sites such as Elance and Odesk provide multiple opportunities for freelance writers. However, you will also need a Skype and Paypal account for client communication and money transactions. You can also take the initiative to approach an online content generating site, provide some written samples and express your interest in writing for them. You should also consider academic writing which offers relatively good pay. All you need is 24-hour internet access and a trusted company to work for. Writing competitions also provide you with an opportunity to advance your art and win cash prizes. However, one should be careful as there are fraudsters who take advantage of freelance writers.


Baking and cooking

If you have received endless complements about your culinary skills, then its time it become your money-maker. People are always holding parties and events that require tasty food and drinks. You can take advantage and provide cakes, food or homemade cocktail juices at a fair price. Customer referrals and marketing through Facebook and other online platforms can increase your client base and expand your services.


Modeling and acting

Media expansion in Kenya both online and offline has increased the need for models and actors. Model and actress Brenda Wairimu started her outstanding acting career while still in campus. If you have the talent, then you should begin your career now. There are agencies that often advertise for opportunities on their websites and Facebook pages. In addition, you can take advantage of film and theatre auditions, even if it is a role as an extra. and Auditions Kenya are a good place to start as they often post auditions for modeling and acting jobs. Standup comedy and emceeing is also another platform to consider. If you can engage people in interesting conversations, then radio is also something you should consider. So, what are you waiting for?


Event services

Kenyans love a good party, whether it’s a ‘bash’ or a mainstream event. If you have attended a few events and thought the organizers could do better, then you should put some thought into event services and management. You can start small with hosting a friend’s party or buying some equipment for hire. One can also take advantage of student club activities and take over the mantle of managing the events. You can also participate in campus gigs that offer an opportunity for you to market your services to celebrities and larger companies. If you can Deejay, you should also market your craft at the events. With this approach you can be sure to be smiling all the way to the bank.


Internship and volunteering

Internships offer opportunities for students to practice the theory taught in class. Take advantage of organizations that offer internships and volunteer opportunities even if they do not pay at first. If you exhibit outstanding qualities and make considerable contributions, you might start receiving payment. Many students have also acquired jobs while still in campus through internships and volunteering. Lillian Muli owes her exemplary media career to an internship career at Standard Media Group which landed her a job before graduating from campus. This opportunity gives you an edge over fellow students as you improve your skills and financial base concurrently.


Part-time student jobs

There are organizations that take consideration of your busy student schedule and offer opportunities to work part-time. The jobs may include sales and marketing, data entry, transcription, waitressing and stewarding. You can opt to work during weekends or free time after classes. These jobs provide an opportunity to advance your skills and understand how to work in an organizational setting.


Chamas/ table banking

This one may seem like something that is exclusively for our mothers. However, students can also use this mode to pool financial resources together and make investments. You can form a Chama with close friends who share similar financial interests. Chamas can be used to save money or generate the initial starting capital for your business.


Selling clothes

Campus students love the allure of trendy clothes and classy designs. If you have a flair for fashion or receive constant complements about your outfits then you should consider selling clothes. All you need is to identify a place where you can access cheap clothes and sell them to make a profit. In addition, if you have design skills, you can market your outfits among students and social sites such as Facebook or Twitter. You can also start a fashion blog, ask a few friends to model your clothes and sell! Sell! Sell!


Printing, typesetting and photocopy business

Students constantly complain of working on large sums of assignments and projects. This creates a market for the printing and photocopy business. All you need is to buy a printer, printing paper and photocopy machine to start your business.


Graphic, art and web design

If you have honed your design skills to impeccable standards you cannot pass on this opportunity. You can identify organizations or individuals who might require your services and offer them at a fee. If you are artistic, you can also grow your talent by selling your crafts to students, lecturers and expand your market. I have a friend who is making a killing off of handmade mats.

It is important to note that all these money-making schemes require time, dedication, patience, persistence and even discipline for a student to achieve financial independence.


By Watiri Mwangi