When some of us were kids, one of the only ways we could hope to make money without securing a “real job” was by providing a service or product locally. Cue the droves of lawn mowing teenagers, newspaper deliverers, babysitters, and kids helping out at sports concession stands. Then there was always the enterprising teen who purchased candy and sodas and then sold them for a profit to a captive audience of hungry students.
But then the internet happened. Suddenly, the entire world was at each of our fingertips. We could communicate with, connect with, and do business with people on every continent. Ebay became the gateway site that many of those enterprising youth transitioned to in order to buy, sell, and prosper.
Technology only got faster and more accessible and we now literally carry a huge portion of our livelihoods and careers in our pocket. On top of that, social media has made it so that any person can become “insta-famous”. Which means, kids are watching young entrepreneurs navigate the business terrain and become successful every single day. Our world as we know it has become a 24/7, on-demand world.
Like any evolving technology, the opportunities that the internet provides has its upsides and downsides. The realm of entrepreneurship has benefited greatly from the way the internet has allowed business owners to work from virtually anywhere, at anytime. We are all a tap or an app away from being granted instant-gratification to almost anything we need or desire.
Serial entrepreneurs Adam and Matthew Toren, in their book, “Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas”, even include chapters that outline how kids can make money on the internet, benefit from networking, and learn about green business ethics. They’ve also launched an online Academy that offers lessons in entrepreneurship and empowers children to take control of their own futures.
It’s no wonder that kids of all ages are drawn to the fast-paced and exciting world of becoming an entrepreneur. Here’s why and how young children and teens are making big impacts across the landscape of self-owned businesses.
Most of the children and young adults today never knew an existence without the internet. Thus, these Gen Z’ers are not only pros at seamlessly navigating technology but also capitalizing on it. This means many of the skills and principles of entrepreneurship are already ingrained in them from an early age.
A group of kids featured in this article have even designed prototypes of smartwatches that monitor health, focus on safety, and help clean up the environment.
For example, this generation is adept at understanding the idea behind supply and demand because it has been demonstrated before their eyes in real time. Anyone can watch the hourly rise and fall of cryptocurrency or of Instagram followers and quickly gain some understanding of the changing dynamics of entrepreneurship.
Kids also take notice of the impact that social media marketing and advertising has on a brand, product, or service. With the popularity of social media influencers, kids see a built-in opportunity to use their talents or knowledge to gain a following and a profit.
Kids are Naturally Drawn to Freedom
One of the most endearing aspects of childhood is the sense of freedom and curiosity that children embody. While stability and security is important for their overall growth, children generally tend to enjoy thinking “outside the box” and seek experiences that allow them to freely express their creativity, emotions, and talents.
Entrepreneurship has always been a great fit for those who desire more lifestyle freedom. This includes financial freedom, ability to work and travel anywhere in the world, and freedom to be your own boss.
Naturally, kids gravitate towards entrepreneurship for the same reason. They enjoy the chance to learn independence and self-reliance, allow their minds to soar with innovative ideas, and thrive on the chance to see their ideas and dreams come to fruition. Children are also resilient and often able to overcome obstacles that would immobilize even veteran entrepreneurs.
As young entrepreneurs, kids can build and grow a business from home and tend to their venture at any time of the day or night. It becomes a portable, accessible way to share their vision with the world and make money.
While nothing compares to the energy and experience of making in-person connections, we can’t deny that our social and economic structure has shifted to one in which virtual connections become just as meaningful. We don’t just have five Facebook friends, we have five hundred.
Entrepreneurship provides a deep sense of camaraderie and connection, especially when a team, customers, and business partners can be located in any part of the world. The energy behind building a business is felt from across the globe and that experience can prove to be quite empowering to kids. They suddenly may realize they aren’t alone in their struggles or in their goals.
Finally, being able to instantly reach a market or audience is an invigorating feeling for any child or teenager. When customers can comment in real-time, most entrepreneurs feel a greater sense of responsibility to provide the best product or service possible.
It’s not surprising that kidpreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. They are changing our world one idea at a time and, in the meantime, changing their lives for the better.