Is your child an entrepreneur in the making? If so, they are not alone. Our latest Youth Economy Report shows GoHenry kids earned a total of $26 billion in 2021. With average weekly earnings now standing at $11.17 per child. This represents a 16% increase in earnings per child since 2020, which is substantially higher than the average wage increase for US adults (9.77%) during the same period.
“Earning money helps kids to understand both the value of earning and the value of money by helping them to appreciate the connection between their labor and the financial gain.”
Beth Zemble, VP of Education, GoHenry
A survey from Junior Achievement USA states that 3 in 5 American teens (60%) would be more interested in starting their own business than having a traditional job, and it’s becoming increasingly common for kids to come up with their own money-making enterprises, rather than getting a conventional Saturday job.
Generational expert Eliza Filby agrees, “Generation Z are sellers as much as buyers. They’re selling goods on Depop, organizing events, selling artwork, and selling their skills. They’re starting young, which means that Gen-Z won’t necessarily be relying on their parents to give an allowance in the same way as previous generations.”
Tips for starting your own business
To help raise a young entrepreneur, there’s no better way for them to learn than by doing. Not only is it empowering for kids to earn their own money with their own business ideas, but helping them start their own money-making venture is one of the best ways for kids to save money. For aspiring young entrepreneurs, here are 5 tips from Max Hayden, a 16-year-old entrepreneur who has built a multimillion-dollar Amazon business selling used books.
- Get your kids to commit to research. Make sure they take time to learn about the demand for the product/service they want to sell.
- Make sure they create a plan. Don't let them just start a business blindly.
- Make sure they keep track of their finances. Outgoings and incoming money need to be logged. They can easily do this on the GoHenry app.
- Remind them not to get discouraged because of their age. People may say business is not for kids but it doesn't mean your kids won't be able to do it,.
- Help your child get started with a GoHenry prepaid debit card. With the freedom to manage their own money, you'll be surprised at what your kids can accomplish.
Creative business ideas
Is your kid artistic? Try these businesses for kids who have a creative flair:
Face painting - If your kid is handy with a paintbrush, they could offer face painting at parties or at the park (under supervision).
Jewelry making - Look at current trends and tastes and you can easily buy a jewelry-making kit for under $20 and then sell bracelets, rings and necklaces.
Greetings cards - Everyone wants to send greeting cards that are unique. Creative kids can draw pictures on greeting cards or do collages to make greeting cards to sell.
Gift Wrapping - This is especially popular around the holiday season- a lot of busy people will quite happily pay a small fee to have their gifts wrapped for them, especially with extras like ribbons and stickers.
Photography - If your kid knows how to handle a camera, they could sell stock photos online or offer photography services for baby photos, family photos, pet photos, or product pictures.
Tech business ideas
Here are our top kid business ideas using technology:
Online seller - According to our Youth Economy Report 2022, 34% of kids earn money from selling items on online marketplaces. From unused and secondhand clothes to craft pieces.
Social media posting - A lot of business owners don't know how to make the most of social media. If your kid is familiar with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, they could make social media posts for companies.
Website, app, and game testing - When anyone makes a website or any other techy application, it needs to be tested by the kind of person who will be using it. If your kid is good at tech, they could test websites, apps, and games to check that they work properly and are easy to use.
Tech tutorage - Let's be honest, some teens are better at using tech than a lot of adults are. Your kids could offer tech tutoring to help people learn how to use their emails, create documents, and improve their skills.
YouTuber - YouTube has become a popular way for people to watch new content creators. If your kid finds a niche and builds an audience, they could get a steady income from it.
Indoor business ideas
Cleaning - If your kid is handy with a duster, they could offer their cleaning services for neighbors. Older teens can also offer this service to holiday apartments or cafes nearby.
Proofreading - A lot of writers, magazines, and websites need their text proofread, which your child can do from their computer without having to meet anyone face to face.
Party decorations - Setting up decorations takes time, so lots of people will pay to have someone come and blow up balloons and hang banners for them.
Pet sitter - Pet sitting services are in high demand, especially at weekends and evenings. Looking after pets is fun, and can teach kids about responsibility and social skills. However, you must consider your child's age, and if they’re ready for such a responsible job.
Babysitting - a classic job but one that can easily be turned into an up-to-date business idea by offering playdate/homework services for kids post-school.
Outdoors business ideas
Weeding/gardening - Elderly neighbors, in particular, might need help with keeping their gardens free of weeds.
Mowing lawns - This is better suited for older children. This can be lucrative in summer.
Raking leaves - No one wants a messy garden, but cleaning up leaves can be tiring, so it's a great service for kids to offer.
Watering plants - As any garden lover will tell you, finding someone to water your plants when you are away is hard. Offer this service to neighbors and friends and you’ll be surprised at how much your child will earn.
Community business ideas
Lemonade and snack stand - This is an age-old idea because it works. Selling snacks and drinks in the community can be a good earner.
Washing cars - Another traditional idea, washing cars for people in the community can help save them a trip to the carwash and it can be a good way to earn money.
Baking - If your kid loves cooking, then selling cakes and cookies can be another way to earn money. They can either sell them at a stand or take orders for parties or birthday cakes.
Running errands and messages - If someone needs an item delivered to another house, or if they forgot to buy milk at the shop, your child could help do these errands for a small fee.
Teaching business ideas
Tutoring - If your kid is doing well in a particular subject, they could start tutoring younger children who are struggling.
Music teaching - Don't just limit your kid to school subjects. If they can play an instrument, they can help teach.
Success stories from kids with business ideas
Unsure how your child will do when trying to start their own business for kids? Check out these success stories from our Youth Economy Report:
“You know as a kid, someone always says ‘we should do a lemonade stand.’ It always used to be for the fun of it, but I’m someone who likes to plan ahead and I started thinking about college and cars. I thought if I could make a profit off of this, like a serious profit and hire my family, it could be a great financial opportunity. That’s how I looked at it, and last summer I made $500.” - Ella, age 15
Actress and influencer:
“I’ve been an actress and model since I was six years old. When I started doing YouTube and Instagram videos, some brands saw them and asked me to work with them, so now I’m a social media influencer, too! I enjoy creating content, especially unboxing products and talking about them. Sometimes I help to edit the videos, too. When I’m older I want to go to college, but I also want to carry on being an influencer as it’s so much fun. My dream is to have my own brand one day" - Naomi, age 10
How can kids save and spend the money they earn?
Once your kid has found a business that makes money, your child will need to know how to handle the money they earn. This includes knowing how to save, and how much to save. While a lot of people tend to pay for errands or services in cash, your child could see a lot of benefits if they get paid via a transfer to their kids' debit card. Cash is easy to lose, and can't be spent online. But, their prepaid debit card will allow them to participate in the digital economy, making purchases and getting paid online. Plus, you can use our parental features to keep an eye on their spending and savings and help them set saving goals.