Business start up and entrepreneurship is something we are big supporters of here at STEAM Powered Family. It is a fantastic way for kids to build life skills, financial literacy, business acumen, and executive functioning skills. It also provides a chance for kids to chase their passion projects and make a positive change in their world.
How to Start a Business as a Teenager
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Teenager Business Ideas
As a teen, myself and my friends were always coming up with business ideas. Usually they involved something we were passionate about. Selling homemade jewelry, selling crafts, raising money for animal rescue and conservation efforts, or selling services like dog walking, horse training, helper services, and computer services. The ideas were all over the place, just like my passions and interests. As a teen I was not lacking in the drive, ambition and ideas to start a business. What I was lacking was any sort of training or framework.
So I stumbled along, trying my hand at various business ventures. Sometimes alone, other times I partnered with friends on our business ideas. Over the years as I moved from a teenage entrepreneur to a young adult I learned by trial and error. I would read books, talk with friends who were also starting their own businesses. We learned together. Supporting each other.
It was a winding road that often felt like I was spinning in circles but always discovering and learning and growing. It was thrilling and empowering!
Once you have felt the excitement and thrill of success in entrepreneurship as a teenager, that feeling never leaves you. Whether they were side hustles to make some extra cash or we had aspirations for full time work, each new business adventure came with it a thrilling energy and hope.
Then as an adult, as I was looking for a new lifestyle that provided me with the flexibility I needed as a new mother, I returned to entrepreneurship and I was able to take all of those lessons I learned as a young entrepreneur and apply it to new, very successful business ventures.
TEENAGE BUSINESS IDEAS ARE CHANGING THE WORLD
Learn about a 14 year old finalist for the £1,000,000 GBP Earthshot Prize with her innovative STEM idea that is not only a viable, growing business venture, but it is also protecting our environment. Young entrepreneurs are changing their own futures and the future of our planet!
Why would a teenager want to start a business?
Starting a profitable small business gives you a reliable means of generating income. It’s something you can come back to time and again as you wish and in some ways is easier than getting a part-time job (and you can earn a lot more!). Having entrepreneurship on your resume can also make you considerably stand out on college and job applications, but it also teaches you resourcefulness, independence, and life skills that will help you in any other pursuit down the road.
Running your own business can also provide you with a high level of flexibility. Rather than needing to work hours set by a boss that may or may not be understanding about your study needs, or your desire to attend that big concert, or simply to take a mental health break, as your own boss you can set your hours and make time for things that are important to you.
How much is it going to cost to start a business for my teenager?
Potentially nothing! Students can start with a simple product or service business that takes little to no startup capital. It costs nothing to start a YouTube Channel and social media accounts. For a small investment, they can sign up with Shopify, one of the biggest eCommerce platforms. Then they can easily make a website and start selling their products or services online.
What kind of business should my teen start?
The best way to start is to find something your teen already enjoys doing. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
- Perhaps they love to make bath bombs and soaps and could start selling their creations at local markets.
- Or perhaps they love nothing more than creating tasty treats in the kitchen and could join a farmers market.
- Maybe your student dreams of being a teacher and can start their own tutoring business helping other students.
- Artists can sell their art, originals and prints.
- Blacksmiths and woodworkers can sell their creations.
- Film makers can sell their skills and services to companies looking to have promotional videos created for online use.
- Writers can become freelance content creators and write for other small businesses.
There is an endless list of ideas. Explore all the options and ideas. Do some research. Where is there a need? Where is there a gap in services? What are your students passions and interests?
Coming up with your business idea may be easy, or it may take some work. No matter what, spend time researching and learning so you can really develop the business idea into something unique.
What are the benefits of starting a business as a teenager?
By starting a business as a teenager, kids will have a significant head start over their peers as they learn the basics of product development, marketing, accounting, and more. They will have a stronger resume for college or job applications thanks to entrepreneurial experience. And best of all, they can generate income while going through school or working entry level jobs.
We all know the power of compound interest and by having even small trickles of income, kids can start saving and investing early to help set themselves up for financial success in the future.
By learning financial literacy, including having important failure lessons, at a young age, there is the power and benefit of time for our kids. They can learn from losses, adjust, and come back stronger and better with their next venture.
Best of all, young entrepreneurs grow in confidence, creativity, financial literacy, independence, public speaking, grit, and people skills. All vital skills for success.
Is it really possible for a teenager to start a profitable business?
Some of the Richest People in the World Started as Teenage Entrepreneurs
Bill Gates was only 19 years old when he started Microsoft.
Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 years old when he started Facebook.
Warren Buffet was constantly starting new businesses throughout his childhood and teenage years. He bought his first stocks at age 11.
How does Entrepreneurship fit with STEM education?
Entrepreneurship is one of the few activities that uniquely brings together everything else students are learning in other subjects. Depending on the business they launch, students could very well incorporate science and engineering into the products or services they are selling or the physical or digital marketing materials they create. When running a business, students learn digital marketing and website development which incorporates technology, and plus financial tracking and accounting which incorporates math throughout. So, entrepreneurship is actually one of the best ways to apply all things STEM!
Books for Young Entrepreneurs
Running a business involves becoming a Jack of All Trades, learning about all the many facets that go into running a profitable enterprise. When getting started the first thing you should do is look into the local laws and regulations around operating a business where you live and in your niche. You should also start reading. There are some great resources to help your kids get started. Here are a few of our favourite books.
Embracing a Life as Young Entrepreneurs
Today, both my husband and I work from home, running our own businesses. And those friends we often partnered with, many of them are also running their own successful businesses. In today’s day and age it is so easy to get started. Your business could be a side hustle, or it could become your fulltime job. The greatest thing that comes from running your own business is a powerful sense of accomplishment and control over your life. It isn’t always easy, but it is a wonderful opportunity for young entrepreneurs to try and see where it takes them.