Kids never cease to amaze us with their creative endeavors. Thanks to the Internet, the ideas keep getting better and better. A thought can suddenly take on a life of its own through research, blogs and social media. The ‘what if’ mentality can breed into great ideas and turn into reality. Established entrepreneurs can learn a lot by watching this new generation of entrepreneurial-savvy youth, as they work toward a future of their own.
Entrepreneurship is not just about selling a good product or service. It involves believing in yourself, seizing a passion, and following a plan. Age should never be a barrier to achievement, and the following stories prove that, regardless of age, the sky is the limit. Notice how the lack of capital never phases these youngsters in achieving their goal.
Build a Better Mouse Trap
Being a fashion buff may not appeal to many 11-year-old boys, but Moziah Bridges is not your run-of-the mill child. He likes dressing in style and looking grand, but the selection of bow ties was very unappealing. With help from his grandmother, Moziah took up sewing and began his own line of fashionable bow ties. Come to find out, he was not the only one with a taste for designer bow ties. Mo’s Bows are now available in many boutiques in southeastern state, as well as Etsy, where Moziah made his first sale. He hopes to start a children’s clothing company with the proceeds. $30,000 is not a bad start, so far.
Become an Inventor
Philip Hartman began inventing at the age of 8.when he reconstructed the slingshot to shoot both arrows and BB’s. At 15, he invented the Steam Vipor, a device that defrosts windshields in about 15 seconds. He is also quite intrigued with fiber optics, proving that there is an inexpensive and reliable way to fuse optical fibers than what is now available. Today, Philip will be graduating from a home school program and looks forward to making his mark as a budding entrepreneur. This will be a must-name to follow for new creative developments, and how he handles the world of start up business.
Taking Technology to New Heights
It seems that the world of technology has no bounds and is a wonderful way for young, vibrant entrepreneurs to start a business. Take Mark Bao, for instance. Currently the CTO of Onswipe, a company that transforms web apps to fit mobile devices. The 19-year-old start up founder is like many entrepreneurs that has found a way to improve life through a personal passion. His ultimate goal is to build a revolutionary technology business that will enable him to give back to society by making meaningful products that increase the quality of life.
A Strong Will Paves the Way
Perhaps the most extreme example of youth entrepreneurship is Farrah Gray. Self-taught through many trial-and-error years, Farrah began his journey to developing a better life for his family at the age of 6. By selling painted rocks and homemade body lotion, he never stopped believing that there had to be a better way to live than in the slums of Chicago. Watching his parents struggle through low-paying jobs that offered no advancement, helped to turn Farrah into the one of the most admired self-made millionaires of today.
Providing the Right Tools
The capabilities of today’s youth has not gone unnoticed by organizations and educational societies. There is no reason for young people to feel lost when having a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. Here are a few websites that can help in realizing their potential.
· The U.S. Small Business Association provides a teen website for learning the fundamentals of starting a small business. Free online courses, local resources, and programs to learn about self-employment taxes, can help prepare youth for entrepreneurial hurdles. Read more at http://www.sba.gov/content/young-entrepreneurs
· YoungBiz is a not-for-profit program that introduces students to the business arena and how financial skills play an important part in small business. Exposure to a real-world business education through companies that are willing to share the knowledge of industries, makes young people better understand the climate of the working world. For more information, go to http://youngbizfoundation.org/
· Entrepreneurial Youth Society (EYS) is a student-run organization where talented students can dive into the basics of creating an entrepreneurship by learning how to start a business, and ultimately, grow an income. Started by an expert in the entrepreneurial field, this group has over 10,000 members, and the support of many big political names and organizations. What better way to start a business than with this type of support. Visithttp://www.entrepreneurialyouthsociety.com/ for more information.
· Invent Now is a program that works with strategic partners, like the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to help inventors in their quest to create new products. The patent process does not have to be complicated with on-line sessions to prepare for filing. There is even an after school program that supports the imagination for future developments, called Club Invention. See more at http://www.inventnow.org/
Some of the best advice for young entrepreneurs has come from those that have learned from their own mistakes. One of the first, and most important, is to avoid looking at the self-made millionaires and striving to meet the same goal. Competing for stardom can deflate and demotivate the personal strife in an entrepreneurial spirit. Do what you love, be radical, stay mentally alert, but follow the rules, find a good mentor, and research your ideas. Following the path of becoming an entrepreneur can be rewarding, but not without lots of work. Make sure that you are up to the task and have the passion to follow it through.