Young Entrepreneur 101



In our economy, it is so important to have business ownership skills in addition to being employable.  Everyone knows, you need a job and a “hustle” to make it today.  We want our little scholars to be likewise prepared.  Your scholar can start a business as early as you feel comfortable.  Even a 5 year old can sell lemonade, candy, or a handcrafted item.  But, how do you move beyond the cute idea phase and into a structured and profitable business that can strengthen long-term entrepreneurial skills?

Educational Resources

The first step to a sustainable venture is to instill real skills.  The Small Business Association (SBA) offers free online courses to accomplish this goal.  One such offering is Young Entrepreneur, a 45 minute self paced course that covers the following topics.

• Developing a business idea
• Conducting market research
• Running an online business
• Working from home
• Freelancing
• Franchising
• Developing a business plan
• Understanding finance options
• Identifying business structures
• Summarizing business registration
• Finding entrepreneurial support resources

Business Ideas

After your scholar has completed this course or a similar one, it is time to decide on a business idea.  Kris Solie-Johnson has written an excellent free e-book on the topic, 101+ Business Ideas for Kids.  Teenagers have even more options open to them such as adding their own flair to thrift store clothing and reselling it or managing social media for the technologically challenged.  Forbes advises that you invest in your child starting a business aligned with his or her passions.  Also, do not forget about Uncle Sam!  See this great Forbes article for more information about the legalities of young entrepreneurship.

Our Story

This semester, my son started a business selling gourmet hand-dipped popcorn that we ordered from a local company, Deanan.  Deanan’s Popcorn is also great for fundraisers.  We are using the funds to assist with homeschool related costs and build up a small co-op that we have started in our area.  He feels proud that he can contribute to his own education.

Have a great time leaping into new territories with your little ones.  Please let me know how it turns out!

Best to You and Yours,

Nikala Asante

Nikala Asante is a mother, college student, martial artist, yoga lover, poet, painter, and vegan who enjoys sunlight, Africana studies, and working with children.


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