Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs
It seems crazy to think, but there are plenty of millionaires out there who are still under 25. Some of them are musicians and athletes, of course, but a great many of them are just successful businesspeople with drive and some great ideas.
Many child entrepreneurs start businesses to help others, whether it’s to provide money for charities, or to provide a product or service where they see a need. For example, Brandon and Sebastian Martinez are two typical brothers, except for the fact that they’re passionate about socks. Yes, socks- the thing most kids groan about when they get them for Christmas. The Martinez brothers founded Are You Kidding Socks and use colorful and fun sock designs to generate money and raise awareness for local and national charities including Stand Up To Cancer, JDRF, Autism Speaks and others.
Lily Born was 7 years old when she noticed her grandfather, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease having trouble holding onto his cup. Along with providing a sympathetic ear, Lily invented a three-legged cup that she has since exhibited in national science fairs, as well as the Smithsonian Museum of American History and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. She has also been featured on CNN, NBC and NPR as well as in the UK. Not bad for a girl who was too shy to even order her own food.
Young people are passionate about causes and ideas. Most of them genuinely want to help the world become a better place. Take Maya Penn, founder and CEO of Maya’s Ideas, an award-winning fashion brand that uses vintage and recycled materials to create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way to look great and feel great doing it. She originally founded Maya’s Ideas in 2008 and since then her work has been featured in Forbes, Marie Claire and elsewhere. Maya’s success began with her passion for art and design as well as her desire to change the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment.
There are plenty more examples, but there’s one thing these budding entrepreneurs have in common. They didn’t necessarily set out to become captains of industry. They set out to help people and designed a product to do it.
One thing that they had going for them was support from friends and family. One of the biggest hurdles entrepreneurs have to overcome is self-doubt. Without support to see them through rough times, a would-be innovator may give up or become convinced they’re on the wrong path. Whenever we try something new, there’s nothing as powerful as having someone in your life that believes in you.
Entrepreneurship starts at home. It’s tempting to think of successful business people as those who pulled themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps, but if you look at the stories behind these young millionaires, you see that many of them enjoyed family support from a young age. The lesson for us as parents is that if we want our children to remake a better world, to invent the future, we need to encourage them to follow their dreams in the present.