5 reasons why your teen should be one of the young entrepreneurs

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, devised a computer messaging programme for his father’s dental practice when he was 12 years old. A 17 year old Richard Branson started a highly successful youth-culture magazine. Spotted the pattern among these young entrepreneurs?

The teen years, so often dreaded and drenched in negativity, can be the launch pad for hugely successful enterprises. Teenagers have exactly the right qualities to become highly successful entrepreneurs and I, for one, would like to see this encouraged as a potential alternative to traditional ‘get a degree and go and work for someone else’ career options which simply do not suit everyone.

Young entrepreneurs

The 5 reasons why teens make the best young entrepreneurs

 

  1. Teens like to push at barriers and challenge accepted ideas. This is perceived as a negative teenage trait and teens that challenge authority are termed ‘disruptive’. In no way do I advocate disruptive behaviour, there have to be rules so that organisations can function and safety can be maintained. However, teens that are both smart and are daring enough to question the status quo may have exactly what is needed to make a break through and forge new opportunities. A huge research project in the USA of 12,000 people, started in 1979, has concluded that a “mixture of learning aptitude and ‘break-the-rules’ behavior is tightly linked with entrepreneurship”. We can probably all think of a teen who fits into this pattern. Perhaps you live with one?
  2. Teens are inexperienced – in a good way. As adults we can back away from potentially risky situations because we’ve had our fingers burned in the past. We are jaded by life experience. Teenagers are not! They have fewer preconceived notions of what is going to happen and may approach situations with an open mind. They are optimistic and without optimism a fledgling business is sunk.
  3. Most teens have no responsibilities. If is all goes wrong, so what? They may have invested some time or perhaps a small financial outlay. Okay, so the profits were a big fat zero. Who cares? They are living rent free at home, they have no mortgage to pay, no kids to support and no dog to feed. If an adult entrepreneur doesn’t make some serious money pretty quickly they get their house taken off them and the kids (and the dog) starve.
  4. Teens are impulsive. This is a teen trait that drives me insane. I find teen impulsivity quite scary but what a fantastic way to seize opportunities? Whilst I’m thinking about it and weighing up what could go wrong a teen has done it and pocketed the profit!
  5. Teens are technology savvy. They are aware of emerging technologies and how to exploit them to earn some cash. They grew up with them. They are not scared by new developments but soak them up like a sponge. This is where the money is!




Some brilliant teen entrepreneurs

 

There are some fine examples of young entrepreneurs around. One young entrepreneur has developed a highly successful Christmas tree business.

Making and selling is a classic entrepreneurial approach. Make something that teens want to buy and you are on to a winner! As a teen yourself you are immediately an expert in understanding your prospective buyers, you know how to access them and how to influence them. These finger boards made by a talented local entrepreneur are a perfect example of manufacturing skill and clever social media marketing.

Young entrepreneurs

There are plenty of young entrepreneurs who have made it really big! Noa Mintz is 17 years old and founder of a full-service childcare agency in New York City called Nannies by Noa but she started off running art classes for kids during the summer for a small fee. She has now hired a full-time CEO so that she can focus on her high school work! Others have developed apps and designed ground-breaking products.

Starting a business allows a teenager to develop a passion and to experience both success and failure. These days there is a very low barrier to entry in terms of capital investment and young people are not dismissed because some of the world’s most successful business people were so young when they started. So next time your teen questions your authority, take a deep breath. You may have raised the next Mark Zuckerberg!

 

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  20 comments for “5 reasons why your teen should be one of the young entrepreneurs

  1. March 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I think it’s an excellent age to follow any dream. My teen sings in local pubs, a friend wants to break into photography – better to pursue these possibilities now, better to pursue the possibilities now before they get tied down by rent/mortgage commitments 🙂
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…A Host of Golden Daffodils at Shipley Country ParkMy Profile

  2. March 21, 2017 at 10:51 am

    You’re so right! The recklessness and impulsiveness is something we lose as we get older and really some great ideas can come from that. I suppose as well when we have creative ideas often as adults we talk ourself out of it thinking “no that’ll never work” whereas a teen would go for it!! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Daydreamer Mum recently posted…Mothers day hints for single mumsMy Profile

  3. March 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Yes to all of this! Teens have so little fear of the “what ifs” that we adults do…entrepreneurial teens should definitely be hugely encouraged. #tweensteensbeyond
    Phoebe | Lou Messugo recently posted…Sunday Photo – Nice viewMy Profile

  4. March 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    This is so true and giving teenagers the tools and support to encourage and enable them to be the next generation of business leaders is vital. Teenagers have so much more self belief and less fear than most adults! #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. Nige
    March 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    This is so true when your mind is free as a teenager there no limits to what you can achieve fantastic post great read thanks for featuring me and hosting tweensteensandbeyond

  6. March 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I think your blog goes really well with Mother of Teenager’s post about Asking Why. I see entrepreneurship as a very real alternative to the school-university-job model that was acceptable in my day. And asking Why is one of the ways that entrepreneurs have ideas and figure out routes forward. So really, the two go hand in hand.

    My daughter already has a head for this. Her first ‘business’ was painting nail art on peoples fingers and toes. She just rocked up at the park with her bag of nail polish and off she went. There was not worry about whether or not she would make money.

    I love this about kids and teens!
    #TweensTeensBeyond
    Alisa recently posted…Mothers are Memory KeepersMy Profile

  7. March 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Yes they’re unlimited by failure and negativity – the perfect time to experiment. I remember my little brother being given an old fashioned printing set with real lead letters. He made headed calling cards and letterheads aged about 13 for parent’s friends and is now one of the most successful people I know. jo #Tweensteensbeyond

  8. Zoe
    March 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    So much of this! I remember being part of the young enterprise challenge in 6th form, and the bolshy pushy fearless approach to things took us places! I love the bravado that teens have, (although not so much when directed at me!) definitely the perfect time to start something big! #TweensTeensBeyond
    Zoe recently posted…Dearest Mama To Be My Profile

  9. March 21, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    It’s a shame we lose this fearlessness as we age…I’ve often thought about setting up a business in an area that interests me, and as I only work part time I actually could do it. But I’m too scared of putting myself out there and it all going wrong. Maybe I’ll get one of my teens to hold my hand lol! #TweensTeensBeyond
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  10. March 21, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    My son recently did a real time business project for his term assignment including a small amount of capital and marketing. It really brings out their capabilities and strengths. I won’t like, I am keen on the degree- job model, but I realize that it doesn’t work for everyone. Plus, some people just have great entrepreneurial skills, which would be a shame if lost.

  11. March 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Your five reasons are so spot on – the pushing of boundaries, the no responsibilities, the tech savvy – and with all the right confidence and self-belief they can achieve wonders! The world really is their oyster so I’ll try and remember that next time they question my authority – I promise! #TweensTeensBeyond
    justsayingmum recently posted…The Tab That’s Open On My LaptopMy Profile

  12. March 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Yes, love this! I couldn’t agree more. The five points are spot on. If any of mine showed entrepreneurial skills I would certainly encourage them. It certainly takes a type and not everyone is that type. However, it’s brilliant when they are. Alison x #tweensteensbeyond

  13. March 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree more Sharon. Our youngsters have so much talent to share. They are also, as you say, untouched by the uncertainty and doubts that go hand in hand with life experiences. Bizarrely, my daughter has already written two business plans prior to being 10. They are both tucked away in her little drawer and, I have to say they are both very sound. If they come off, me and the husband can look forward to a very bright future! Our children’s generation have also not experienced the same hierarchical constraints that we did, do I’m sure there will be plenty of glass ceilings lifted as a result. Nicky x

  14. March 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Unfortunately its a big enough challenge just getting mine out of bed and doing her school work. Its pretty disappointing sometimes the lack of motivation I see. At that age I was picking up any type of odd job that I could #teenstweens
    Jeremy@ThirstyDaddy recently posted…Playing The Guilt GameMy Profile

    • March 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      I feel your pain Jeremy! Over the Christmas hols Twitter really narked me…everyone was tweeting about their whole family (teens included) going out for long, crisp, winter walks. I could barely get mine to walk from their bedrooms to the lounge lol! However, my eldest now has a part time job and is ‘helping’ me research universities for him. Small steps 🙂
      Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas recently posted…Glam V Grungy!My Profile

  15. March 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Yes to this. It is crazy we have so many what ifs in our lives as adults they don’t seem to have the same fear as a teen. I think this should definitely be encouraged. xx #tweensteensbeyond

  16. March 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    my youngest turns 18 next month and leaves the security of boarding school to face the big wide world, he has funded his own pocket money for the past 2 years, by fishing the school computer, teacher, student and parents iPhones, he purchased an expensive kit to do so but it’s paid off very nicely for him, he has reached the final round of interviews for a Cisco apprenticeship which has been his passion for the past 4 years, 2nd youngest joined the army after saying that was his plan from the age of 5, child 3 of 5 works in telecoms as a supervisor and eldest son does sod all, children 3,4 & 5 have all had part time jobs from the age of 16 that followed their eventual career paths #tweensteenbeyond

  17. March 22, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    It’s a brilliant way to channel exploring inquisitive teenage minds, and a perfect age to do it when they have so much energy. I did Young Enterprise when I was a teen – do you remember that? Hoping my kids will be up for it when they’re teens but the disinterest in doing anything round the house or menial tasks such as homework, doesn’t bode well! #tweenteensbeyond

  18. March 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Such spot on reasons. It’s definitely something we need to consider more, by encouraging our teens to use their brains, skills and talents.

  19. March 29, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Whilst there are no obvious signs yet that either of my teens maybe an entrepreneur, my son does seems to surround himself with quite a few boys who are always on the look out to make some money by alternative means. This generally involves buying things and then selling them on for a profit but they all have to start somewhere and maybe some of these entrepreneur like aspirations will eventually rub off on mine. Jo x
    Jo (MotherofTeenagers) recently posted…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #4My Profile

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