The media’s focus on teen app developers and coders doesn’t tell the full story of young entrepreneurs. Yes, examples like Nick D’Aloisio, who reportedly made $30 million by selling a news summary app called Summly to Yahoo!, do exist.
However, despite the handful of successful high-tech and web start-ups, teens are starting low-tech, green, charitable, and science-based enterprises in the US and around the world in far greater numbers. Unbound by the restrictions of the adult mind, young people are doing innovative things – sometimes motivated by the desire to make money or the goal to improve lives.
TeenBusiness.com chronicles the diverse range of teen entrepreneurs, investors, and inventors. Here are a few examples of young entrepreneurs and inventors the site recently featured:
17-year-old Matthew Kaplan of Phoenix Arizona, started an anti-bullying program, the Be O.N.E. Project for which he received a Disney Award.
Several teens in an MIT entrepreneurship program are raising funds for their company, Artisuns -- a platform to female artisans from developing countries sell their hand-made goods.
Bella Weems, a teenager from Arizona, US is approaching revenues of over $250 million this year with her own jewelry business, Origami Owl.
At 17 years old, Avani Singh of New Delhi, India founded Ummeed – a program that trains women from the slums of Delhi to become electric-powered rickshaw taxi drivers to help support their families.
15-year-old Nicole Ticea from Vancouver, Canada devised an early-stage HIV test that analyzes a pinprick of blood to indicate whether someone has recently been infected with the potentially deadly virus.
Andrew Mupuy from Kasokoso, Uganda started his eco-friendly paper bag manufacturing business, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments, at age 16 after learning of the environmental hazards of plastic bags; he now employs about 20 people.
“I started Origami Owl with $350 and a simple dream in mind—getting a car on my 16th birthday. So, with all of my babysitting money and my family’s support, I set out to start my own business and created Origami Owl,” said Bella Weems whose company will make revenues of about a quarter of a billion USD this year.
Carter Kostler, a 15-year-old from Virginia in the US who was featured as a guest on ABC Television’s Shark Tank, had a different motivation for starting his own business. He was concerned about the youth obesity epidemic caused by the consumption of sugary drinks.
According to Nkem Modu, the Chief Curator of TeenBusiness.com, “There are so many inspiring stories about teens exploring their hobbies and talents and turning them into businesses. It’s exciting to discover and share their experiences and motivate others.” Much more than providing inspiration for other teens, the site contains a wealth of learning guides and videos.
> See Many More Examples Of Extraordinary Young Entrepreneurs About TeenBusiness.com: TeenBusiness.com is the global resource for teen entrepreneurs, investors, and inventors. Formerly known as TeenVestor.com, it is the first website that covers both youth entrepreneurship and investing through creating and curating essential resources for its growing audience. The Wall Street Journal recommends the site as one of the best sites for teen entrepreneurs.
Common Business Mistake of Teenvestors: Not Including All Expenses In Profit Calculation
I was once advising a 16–year–old Teenvestor on how to run his baseball card business. Every two months, he would make a one–hour bus trip to Chicago to buy more cards for his business. When I asked him to calculate how much money it cost him to make this trip into the city, he came up with a figure of $10. When I asked him to include the cost of his meals and miscellaneous expenses during his trip, he increased his expense figure to $24. When I told him that he should include these expenses in pricing his cards, he protested. "I enjoy going into the city to buy new cards. I don’t see why I should charge my customers for this trip."
When I asked him whether he would go into Chicago as frequently if he didn’t have a baseball card business, he said no. When I asked him whether he subtracted any of his travel expenses when calculating his net profit, he said no. I then said to him, "You are not making as much money in this business as you think you are."
This young entrepreneur’s problem was simply that he did not consider all of his true expenses when figuring out the cost of each of his cards. Many young entrepreneurs make the same mistake. They forget that small expenses add up to big numbers and therefore should be included in the cost of their products of services.
Some young entrepreneurs are also not aware that they should include the cost of their equipment in making their products or offering their services. Take a typical teenage business such as lawn mowing, for example. Many Teenvestors who start lawn mowing businesses use their family’s lawn mower. As with all other mechanical equipment, the more a lawn mower is used, the more likely it is to require servicing. If the youngsters mowing the lawns neglect to include the cost of periodic servicing of the mowers, then they are overestimating the profit figures in their businesses.
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