How a side hustle can help you to study further

A young woman celebrating.
A young woman celebrating.

Tertiary education is not affordable for everyone and at times some people have to take up jobs while studying to make ends meet.

Although the former president announced there would be free higher education for poor and working class students starting this year, it means there would still be students who didn't qualify and would have to find other ways to pay for their tuition. 

I found this inspiring tweet from two students who despite their hardships found a way to pay off their tuition by starting a business.

So we found other students who are doing the same. They spoke to us about the challenges they face. 

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Amina Deka Amsa

Amina is studying towards a journalism degree at Rhodes University. While her degree may be challenging and time-consuming Amina runs two business B'Unique and ThryftShoppe. B'Unique is a hair business where she braids fellow students' hair in her spare time. She shares hair advice on her Facebook page which she learned growing up in her mother's salon. 

The ThryftShoppe is an online business were she sells second hand clothes. At the moment she mainly sells jackets which she buys from various places .

Amina started her two businesses as a student because she needed the extra money. Running them and coping with her studies can be difficult. She says, "I cope really well with selling the clothes, but doing hair can sometimes become challenging because of all the time and energy that it takes out of me in a day."

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Her hair business poses even more challenges because sometimes clients don't want to pay the full price for her services. "I think it is because I am a student that people, mainly other students, try and take advantage of me by asking for a discount, because 'student life', which is ironic because that is the exact reason why I started these businesses."

Her biggest challenge when it comes to ThryftShoppe is finding people who are willing to participate in photo shoots wearing the clothes she is selling. She finds that people usually have hectic schedules or they want to get something out from the photo shoots, "and being a student, I honestly have nothing to offer them besides free publicity," she says. 

Amina however gives back where she can. Earlier this year she offered to braid three graduates' hair for free, recognising that her business exists because of students. 

Lesedi Mmotong and Mosibudi Mashasha

These young students studying civil engineering at the University of Johannesburg are doing the best they can to find time to run their business SNL Beauty while managing their practicals and attending late classes. 

They make wigs at an affordable price and offer make up application for students at a much lower price than your average make up artist. Self-taught wig maker Lesedi says when she was living at home, her sister used to do her hair and when she moved to Joburg she realised that she now had to start paying someone else to do her hair. She believed that spending that much money was not an option for her.

Lesedi started by making one wig and posted it on social media. She then had a few people ask her to make wigs for them and the business has since taken off. 

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Their business is time consuming because they now find themselves making wigs at odd hours of the night and mornings - sometimes before classes. Especially when customers ask for their products to be delivered urgently. 

Their biggest challenge has been raising capital for their business. A lot of the money they've spent had to come out of their own pockets.

Do you have a side business that is helping you with your tuition? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter or mail us.

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