An 11-year-old cancer survivor invented an IV backpack for kids. A 19-year-old created a device that could potentially remove more than seven million tons of plastic from the world's oceans. To help an ailing grandfather, a 15-year-old invented a sensor to alert caregivers when their dementia patients wandered.
These examples are proof that big ideas can come in small packages. When kids come to us with visions, as parents we look for ways to help motivate and support our child's entrepreneurial efforts and find ways to bring their ideas to life.
To help with that, here are some resources to help young entrepreneurs and their parents, pursue their start-up dreams.
Attend a Young Entrepreneur Business Fair
Acton Children's Business Fairs can be found in nearly 300 cities in 16 countries and feature the ideas of more than 42,000 aspiring inventors and business leaders. Parents and kids can search the site for nearby fairs or get tools and guidance about hosting a fair in their community.
Find a Mentor for Your Young Entrepreneur
SCORE offers free advice from experienced mentors who can help young entrepreneurs optimize business plans, streamline strategies, and more. According to the site, SCORE mentors helped start 45,027 businesses and create nearly 120,000 new jobs in 2020 alone. The SCORE site also features a how-to guide for starting a business called the Startup Roadmap.
Send Your Budding Entrepreneur to Business Camp
For young people who prefer to spend their summer writing business plans and talking strategies with other aspiring CEOs, there are a number of in-person and virtual summer camps to choose from.
LaunchX is an intensive summer program for high-school students during which teens not only learn about business but actually launch a startup company.
Camp Girl Boss is an online leadership and entrepreneurship program for middle school girls offering startup support, expert interviews, forums, mentors, digital tools, and a $10,000 business plan competition.
Point Them Online to Build Their Biz Dev Skills
Mighty is an innovative platform “where kids can start and run a real business." It gives them the tools to design products, launch a website, sell their products, make real money, collaborate with other kid CEOs, and get advice from the Mighty Coaching Team.
VentureWell offers a broad range of tools and opportunities for young science and technology innovators, as well as STEM educators. Their E-Team Grant Program (one of many) provides $700,000 in grants each year to help student-led science and engineering teams bring their early-stage inventions out of the lab and into the market. The non-profit organization is also focused on providing resources to promote equity in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a comprehensive guide for launching a small business. While not exclusively aimed at teens in business, the site offers step-by-step directions — including worksheets, forms, and calculators — for planning, launching, managing, and growing a small business.
Organize a Fundraiser for Your Kid's Startup
Kid Everest, which started as a school project, makes it easy and safe for young people to crowdfund for their startup businesses. The site walks young entrepreneurs through the process of starting a campaign and also gives prospective investors the ability to search for campaigns, read business plans, and support the dreams of future business leaders.
The young people of today will be the world's problem-solvers tomorrow. Actively encouraging and supporting your child's entrepreneurial spirit can give them the confidence to think big, pursue their dreams, and make a difference.
Is your child pursuing an entrepreneurial venture? We’d love to hear about it! Email us to [email protected].