From Michael Dell to Ashley Qualls to Richard Branson, there are plenty of super successful business men and women who did not finish college or even high school. Does your child dream of being a business boy or business girl someday? No need to wait, just talk with your child and help him or her get started.
Some inspiring youth entrepreneurs:
- The youngest entrepreneur that Detroit has seen is Asia Newson, age 13. She sells candles online as Super Business Girl and she has appeared on many shows like Ellen Degeneres Show, America’s Got Talent and 20/20 ABC News. With the help of her father, she started at age 5.
- Another young entrepreneur is the owner of Cory’s Cookies in New York City. His mother helped him develop original cookie recipes and he is also an actor.
- An 11 year old girl created a line of sugar free, healthy suckers named Zollipops that are available on Amazon.
A common theme is a child with initiative and creativity. It is amazing how young minds work to solve problems. Encourage your child to find out more about a special interest or research a topic to find a new product or solution.
Shows like Shark Tank feature budding young business kids – also known as “kidpreneurs.” Ryan Kelly is a boy who appeared on Shark Tank with his dog treat idea called Ry’s Ruffery. The treats are vegetarian and come in a variety of flavors.
One key ingredient is a parent’s support and help. Also, the child focused on one idea or product. Rather than starting a clothing line, a pair of brothers designed fun socks for kids called Are You Kidding. One idea or product that is well developed has a better chance of success than a huge group of products.
It may seem that a teenager is too old to start a business. Not true and here some business ideas for teens:
- Helping out Senior Citizens: If a teen has wheels, running errands like shopping or picking up cleaning is a big help. I did this in high school to earn money for dance lessons.
- Yard Work: Use either your family’s equipment or the equipment provided by the customer. Ask neighbors first. Also, even if a neighbor has a grass cutting service, offer to weed beds or trim bushes.
- Housekeeping: Another great job to look for is to clean houses or help organize garages or junk drawers.
- Handy Person Repairs: Fixing small items, painting, or other household projects are services most people welcome.
- Social Media Consulting: Teens know at least as much, if not more, about social media networking. They also tend to be savvier with the acronyms. Many businesses need help advertising through social media posts.
- Technology: Michael Dell founded Dell Computers. Teens can provide web design services or help trouble-shoot computers for seniors or other adults.
- Cooking: Two of the above young success stories centered on making a food product. Is there a style of snack or treat that you make? Or that you wish were available? Do the research and cook some batches.
- Crafts: making jewelry or candles, knitting or art work can be great products to sell. You can even teach classes
- Special Interest Club: Does your teen love science or collecting a specific item? He or she can start an online club and/or blog. A club started by an 8 year boy and his mom called the Top Secret Science Club sends a monthly kit to subscribers with a science based mystery to solve.
Grants for young entrepreneurs are offered online for start-up funding. A cohesive business plan needs to be developed and presented to others for funding.
This is a great project to help a child develop. Whether it becomes multi-million dollar enterprise or stays a small yet productive endeavor, creating a product, developing a business plan and selling the idea, service or product online or in person is great experience.
What are some business ideas you think are ideal for teens and youngsters? Share in the comments below.
– By Cynthia Marple