The world has seen, again and again, what kids can achieve when they put their minds and hearts towards a cause they believe in. This is one of the reasons we wrote our book, “Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas!” We believe that every child has the right to pursue any dream they wish, while having fun, gaining life skills, and earning some money.
Since we began working on our passion project over 10 years ago, we have been connected to hundreds of incredible, inspiring kids who have launched and grown their very own businesses. These are kids who have invented new ways to help others, who have worked hard to improve the environment and their communities, and who have offered creative products and services to the world.
We never ceased to be amazed by what kids can do with a little bit of support and encouragement, the right resources, and big hearts.
In this article, we highlight 11 kids under the age of 12 who turned their curiosity and dreams into reality by becoming successful young entrepreneurs.
Ryan Hickman – Turning Trash to Recycling Treasure
All it took was a visit to a local Orange County, CA recycling center with his Dad for then 3-year old Ryan Hickman to become hooked on making a difference in the world. After cashing in a few bags of bottles and cans, Ryan asked his parents if he could collect recyclables from his neighbors. Amazingly, not only were his neighbors on board but so were his family, their friends, and even co-workers. Ryan’s passion for keeping trash out of the oceans has continued since, and he launched his very own recycling business, Ryan’s Recycling, when he was only 7 years old. Now that Ryan is 11, he spends time sorting through all of the bottles and cans that his customers provide and gets them prepared for the recycling center. His hometown of San Juan Capistrano even awarded him the “2017 Citizen of the Year” award for all of his dedication to keeping the environment clean and healthy. Find out more at: https://ryansrecycling.com/
Gaby Frans – Keeping Calm and Carrying On
While navigating through the uncertainty of a global pandemic, 10 year old Gaby Frans decided to take matters into her own hands and start a business to help other kids remain calm and happy.
Mindful Me is Gaby’s proud South African business where she creates and sells calm bags and calming strategy cards, therapeutic stress balls, and an apparel line of Mindful Me t-shirts and hoodies that carry a positive message.
When she’s not happily providing her kid-friendly products to customers, Gaby enjoys dancing, baking, making play dough and slime, and producing her own YouTube videos.
Visit Gaby’s Mindful Me business Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Mindful-Me-Mindfulness-for-kids-110324954106603/
Prince and Verity Ofori-Kuragu – Bringing Smiles to Kids in Unique Ways
Prince and Verity Ofori-Kuragu are siblings who happen to be on a mission to grow their very own thriving businesses, both of which they launched in 2019. These motivated kidpreneurs live in the UK, serve customers from all over the world, and have been featured in their local newspaper.
Price is a 7 year old with a big heart for bringing happiness and novelty to the important habit of handwashing. He crafts solid hand wash soaps for kids, each of which include a small toy inside them. From mini dinosaurs, to unicorns and tropical fish, his “Plush Playsoaps by Prince” encourage healthy hand washing and make bath time fun for both kids and parents. You can find his products here: https://is.gd/PlushPlaysoapByPrince
Just shy of 4 years old, Verity wishes to share the beauty and essence of Africa with the world through her business “My Beyoutiful Identity by Verity”. With help from her mom, Verity brings smiles to kids with her “Baby Verity” doll, along with accessories that showcase bold African print fabrics. Browse her store here: https://is.gd/MyBeyoutifulIdentityByVerity
Marley and Amalia Knapp – Spreading Love and Building Schools
The power duo of sibling entrepreneurs continues with Marley and Amalia Knapp, a brother and sister team who give back in big ways to underprivileged communities in Kenya.
Marley is a 10- year old who set out with an intention to make the world, kinder, more grateful, and more courageous. He designed and launched a line of clothing called 99%Marley that bear his positive hashtags of: #99%Kindness #99%Gratitude #99%Courage. Marely also hosts a podcast called “@99 seconds with Marley”, where he discusses the impact of these meaningful hashtags in 99 seconds. Profits from his sales also go towards building schools and providing educational resources in Kenya. “When you go to communities in Africa you really understand what my hashtags mean because being kind and grateful and having the courage to do and be whoever you want to be is not always easy”, Marley shared. He can be found www.99percentMarley.com
Amalia is 6 years old and established a handcrafted candle making business with a name that reflects her very own: Amalia Maliaka. She wanted to spread love and healing to the world, so each candle is embedded with healing crystals and a branded message such as “Amalia says: Kindness is cool”. She is also learning how to invest her profits in humanitarian causes and has already raised $400 for a school in Kenya. Check out her inspiring business on Instagram @Amalia_Malaika
Kamaria Warren – Representing Diversity with Creativity
After being spotlighted by the publication “NOW THIS HER”, 11 year old Kamaria’s “Brown Girls Stationery” business took off. When Kamaria realized that black and grown girls were lacking representation in stationary product designs, she sought out to change that. Alongside her mother, the pair from Atlanta began researching ways to develop a branch of school supplies and accessories that girls of color could identify with and be proud to use. She received great reception when she launched her online store selling backpacks, apparel, notebooks and cards, home goods, and party supplies for girls of color. Nothing makes Kamaria happier than knowing her business empowers youth to feel confident in their skin!
You can browse her store here:
Michael Wren – Multi-faceted Business Owner and Author
Michael “Mikey” Wren is an 11 year old entrepreneur that hails from St. Louis, Missouri. But this passionate and focused business owner didn’t just stop at launching one business. Michael is the CEO of Mikey’s Munchies Vending, as well as co-owner of “Everything is Awesome” lemonade. In an effort to motivate other young kids to pursue their dream of working for themselves, he shares his experiences and wisdom in his best-selling children’s book “Mikey Learns about Business’”. Mikey believes that giving back to his community is essential and volunteers to teach entrepreneurship and leadership skills to kids inspiring a whole new generation of doers! Mikey says “Dream big and don’t let anything stop you. Failure is a part of success.”
Find out more about Mikey here: http://www.mikeyknowsbiz.com/
Vinusha MK – A Baker for All Seasons
On a whim, Vinushu baked her very first cake from scratch at 8 years old and was hooked. She began taking baking classes and started to seriously consider offering her creations locally. Soon, her business “Four Seasons Pastry” was born and this hard-working kid hasn’t stopped baking since. She is currently an intern under renowned chefs at premium hotels in India and takes online orders for her mouth-watering pastries, cakes, chocolates, and sandwiches. With a heart as sweet as her pastries, Vinusha “envisions setting up a culinary institute in India for the underprivileged.” She is also working on another project, which is a STEM-based baking kit that helps kids bake without the use of the internet. Browse her product offerings here:
Kiki Hardee – Banishing School Lunch Debt with a Big Heart
Kiki Hardee is a 5 year old California girl with a dream to ensure kids and schools don’t have to worry about school lunch debt. When she learned that her school in the Vista Unified School District had $616 worth of school lunch debt, and that some of her schoolmates had to potentially go without a snack, she was determined to make a difference. She set up a number of fundraisers, selling hot cocoa and cookies at a stand. To her amazement, her project ended up not only paying off her school’s lunch debt, but her entire district’s debt of over $7,000. Her passion and commitment has motivated many of her peers to also find ways to help their communities and serve the underprivileged. Kiki’s ongoing fundraiser on Fundly.com has currently raised over $21,000 to “bring programs back to the VUSD as well as any future negative lunch debts that may accrue.” Learn more here: https://fundly.com/kikiskindnessproject
Bailee Knighten – Nailing It with a Beautiful Nail Business
Bailee Knighten had a dream for young kids to have fun making their nails fancy while creating wonderful memories with a parent or special person in their life. So, at just 6 years old, she set up a nail stand in front of her house where lucky customers could enjoy a manicure for $6 and leave with a smile. Not only did Bailee’s nail stand make her and her customers happy, but folks started making in-home appointments for Bailee to work her magic on their kids’ nails. Bailee began to perfect her craft, applying creative nail stickers and polish designs to make nails sparkle and stand out from the crowd. But when she and her family moved to a new state, she didn’t leave behind her dream. Instead, she reinvented it with Bailee’s Nail Box. Her business is booming, where she sells nail kits, apparel, and fun accessories in her online shop.
With a design or theme to make every kid happy, Bailee’s Nail Box store is sure to keep creating those meaningful memories: https://www.baileesnailbox.com/
We couldn’t be more proud to share the stories of these kidpreneurs and hopefully inspire others to pursue their own dreams.
With practical tips and engaging content, our Kidpreneurs book and resources outline a step-by-step process for launching and growing a kid-friendly business. By breaking down the concepts of entrepreneurship, we empower kids to utilize their creativity, harness their passion, and channel it into an incredible life experience that will teach them invaluable life skills and financial literacy.
Check out our exclusive suite of products at: RaisingEmpoweredKids.com/pages/sales