For the longest time, the traditional route to “adulthood” and a job has been to go to college. But with the rising costs of tuition and the massive amounts of student loan debt, it may not be the best route to take for some individuals. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the “overall immediate college enrollment rate in 2017 was not measurably different from the rate in 2000 or 2010.” The immediate college enrollment was defined as the percentage of those who had completed high school who enrolled in 2- or 4- year institutions in the October immediately following their high school graduation. Thus, surprisingly, the college enrollment rate hasn’t appeared to change.
In terms of the best route to take after high school, it depends on one’s interests, goals, financial means/ability, motivation, among other things. This is not to say you shouldn’t go to college, as completing college is an admirable goal to strive for. However, there are exemplars of young people who have sought and found success in other ways. One way is through creating your own business. And there are many examples of young people who have found success in this way, so you can certainly do the same if this is something you want to strive for.
Examples of Teen Entrepreneurs
As a junior in high school, Tasnim enjoyed doing DIY things with hair. Thus, Tasnim experimented with ways to curl her hair without heat while doing an at-home makeover. This resulted in her product known as Heatless Hotness, which she sells online.
Tasnim idea for cool hair curlers was developed during a class she took on entrepreneurship. Her idea was then fine-tuned with the help of Arlington’s Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Also, she was recently named one of the top 6 young entrepreneurs in the country at the YEA! Scholarship Competition.
At just the age of 4, Mikaila was encouraged by her family to develop a product for the Children’s business competition and Austin Lemonade Day. Her final product came from 2 important events in her life: 1. She was stung by bees twice. 2. Her Great Granny Helen sent Mikaila’s family a 1940s cookbook that included her Great Granny’s recipe for flaxseed lemonade.
After Mikaila was stung by bees, she became fascinated with learning as much as she could about bees. In doing all of this, a particular thought came to her: “What if she could make something that helps honeybees and uses her Great Granny’s lemonade recipe?”
And then, her business concept of Me & the Bees Lemonade was born. This idea resulted in lemonade that combines Great Granny Helen’s lemonade recipe with honey. Currently, Mikaila’s lemonade is being sold at Whole Foods Markets, more and more restaurants, as well as food trailers and natural food delivery companies.
At just the age of 12, Noa developed Nannies by Noa, which pairs nannies with families who are in a need of a caregiver n New York City. Initially, Noa took care of all the customer service and vetted her candidates Eventually, so Noa could have time for her schoolwork, she hired a CEO who had 25 years of industry experience, as well as 2 additional associates.
When Noa turned 17, she appeared on various national tv shows such NBC’s “Today Show” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “Money with Melissa Francis” on Fox Business” and the Steve Harvey show. Noa was also recently named one of Fortune’s “18 under 18 Innovators Who are Changing the World.”
Moziah is the President and Creative Director of Mo’s Bows (bow ties), which was started when he was only 9-years-old. Moziah started his company with the help of his mother and grandmother, who was a seamstress. He started selling his bow ties on his own websites and at Memphis retail stores.
Eventually, Moziah’s bow ties made quite the impression on major networks, which resulted in Moziah appearing on the Steve Harvey show, the Today Show, Oprah, and even Shark Tank. In fact, Shark Tank’s Daymond John continues to serve as Moziah’s mentor, which has helped him continue to grow his business. His success is evident in the fact that Moziah’s company has sold more than $300,000 worth of bow ties and men’s accessories.
These examples of young entrepreneurs should be an inspiration for you that you can do what you want at any age. So, don’t let age be a factor in your success!