It’s not easy to become an entrepreneur at any age, but as more and more young people are drawn to entrepreneurship, it can be helpful to learn from the successful teenage entrepreneurs who have come before them. Teenagers have some advantages over adults when it comes to starting a business, such as their resilience, creativity, optimism, and limited financial responsibility (since most teens don’t have to support a family on their startup’s revenue).

Teens today have some advantages over prior generations. They are more tech savvy and have access to more affordable resources. If you want some advice and inspiration from successful teenage entrepreneurs, we’ve compiled some helpful tips from various teenage entrepreneurs below.

Be sure to check our our eBook – Personal Finance for Teens, to learn more about entrepreneurship, investing, and personal finance.

Why Should I Become a Teen Entrepreneur?

Before considering advice from other teen entrepreneurs, it’s worth determining whether you yourself would be suited for teen entrepreneurship. Are the potential pros here great enough to outweigh the few cons? The only con associated with becoming a teen entrepreneur is sacrificing your time and effort for an idea and business that may or may not succeed…However, the pros are everything else.

As a teen entrepreneur, you will develop a unique and valuable set of skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. You will also gain the confidence and independence to pursue future goals that might seem daunting to others. Whether or not your business succeeds, you will come away with an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience.

There are many benefits to being a teen entrepreneur, including developing skills and learning lessons. You will also stand out as someone who is ambitious and willing to take on new challenges, which will be helpful when applying to college or for jobs and internships. If your business is successful, the benefits will be even greater.

The potential for revenue generation and impactful change are not the only benefits of teenage entrepreneurship–discerning young people may also find that it’s the perfect time to take the entrepreneurial plunge. With access to plentiful resources and support, there’s no better time than now for teenage entrepreneurs to make their mark on the business world.

Choose Something You Truly Believe In

When starting your own business, it is critical to choose a venture you are passionate about. The main reason for this is that you will be spending a large amount of time working on this project. If you do not have strong feelings for your idea, you will not be motivated to keep going when facing difficulties. This passion is essential for eventually achieving success.

When you start a business, it will take up all of your time and energy. You should pick something that you don’t mind thinking about 80% of the time, even when you’re not working. Richard Taylor, founder of USB Initiatives, learned that his investors didn’t want him to be distracted from his work. This meant that he had to be really passionate about his product, or he would get tired, burnt out, or defeated by the challenges he faced.

Understand Your Chosen Industry

The best way to ensure your company stands out against others in your industry is to take the time to fully research and understand it. This way, you will have a better grasp of your customers, the other options and solutions out there, competitor pricing, industry-specific marketing strategies, and more.

Don’t Let Lack of Funds Slow You Down

It does not take millions of dollars to get a startup off the ground. A proof of concept can be created with very little funding. One teen created biofuel and used it to power a car; another created a wind-powered cell phone charger to mount on bikes. Many other teens have started food, jewelry, and clothing businesses, all on less than $50 in initial startup capital. A lack of funds is not a dead end; it just means you have to be a little more creative and resourceful.

If you want to get funding for your business idea, you need to create a mock-up of your idea, outline the business plan and revenue model, and present a pitch deck to investors.

Take It One Step At a Time

One piece of advice that entrepreneurs should take is to take things one step at a time when building and growing their business. This is incredibly important because as an entrepreneur and CEO of your own company, you’ll be forced into wearing many hats and dealing with many different issues and obstacles at once.

If you don’t prioritize and take things one step at a time, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Morgan Marant, the teen founder of the Uniquely Me nonprofit, emphasized the importance of each little step and the small progress you make along the way. She believes that most founders are so focused on the success at the end, they don’t stop to appreciate the little wins and progress along the way.

Stay Focused on Your Dream

There will be a lot of things vying for your attention when you’re trying to build your business, so you need to stay focused on your goals. Don’t compare yourself to others, because everyone is on a different journey. The key to making progress is to zero in on what’s important and ignore everything else. Marina Musgrove-Pyfrom, the founder of Full Plate nonprofit, knows how crucial this focus is. She advises teenage entrepreneurs to “figure out what’s important and ignore the rest” if they want to be successful.

Don’t Forget to Network

Beginning a company can be an isolating experience at any age, but there is a way to both improve sales and create new possibilities: networking. Teens may be timid about this or think they aren’t qualified because of their age, but that’s an irrational concern. The fact is, people generally prefer to work with young, motivated entrepreneurs.

Jocelyn Velasquez, the teenage CEO of Hermano Mi Amor, was given a public speaking opportunity at an event she was attending on behalf of her nonprofit. Though she was a reserved teen with no public speaking experience, by taking this opportunity she presented her company in front of the crowd. This led not only to interest and valuable connections, but also to sales and donations from the guests at that very event. As CEO, you need to take advantage of every networking opportunity to progress your company further, as you are your company’s biggest cheerleader, publicist, salesperson, and marketer.

Stay Committed

The sky is the limit if you maintain focus and never give up. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do, the key to success is not giving up and continuing to strive forward. A perfect example is Marc Guberti, who started his business journey with a blog which he used to provide value to readers and create a community to make himself feel less alone. He kept working on his blog and as he started to gain a large following he turned his blog into 15 marketing books, amassed a social media following of over half a million people, created a podcast, and started the Business Whiz Kids summer camp. You can achieve anything if you maintain focus and don’t give up.

He slowly grew his blog into a successful business with many income sources, instead of giving up when it was small.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

No founder should limit the success of their business to the skills, talents, and resources they individually possess. Startups are a collaborative effort, and you should embrace the help, connections, and partnerships available through your network and the people who support your idea. The entire accelerator, incubator, crowdfunding, and venture capital communities were built on founders and startups seeking out help, in terms of advice, resources, or funding.

If you have friends, family, or peers who could help with your business, it would be better than trying to do everything yourself. Sharif Tarver, the teen entrepreneur behind Philly’s Future Talent, partnered with a local recreation center for his talent development company. This gave him free access to an interested audience and a physical location to hold events, at no cost to either party.

Adapt to Change

The only way to succeed when building a startup is to change and adapt to the new changes. This includes new products from competitors, changes to the target market, and so on.

You need to stay up to date with your industry, your customers, and your competitors, and always have a plan ready to adapt to changes that could affect your business in the future. Teen entrepreneur Benjamin Stern, CEO of Nohbo, said that he thinks being forced to move around a lot when he was younger prepared him for the adaptability he need to create his startup. Benjamin might not know what changes his market will face yet, but he’s ready to face them anyway…with Mark Cuban by his side and the $100,000 in funding he got from his Shark Tank pitch.

Don’t Let Failure Stop You

One of the great things about starting a company as a teenager is that you are not risking as much and you have plenty of time to correct any mistakes or to start over altogether. Most teenagers do not have the responsibility of taking care of a household or providing for a family, so if your parents can cover the basics, you do not have to worry about the financial consequences of your startup on yourself or your family.

Tips for Young Entrepreneurs Who Want to Start a Successful Business

1. Check the Local Small Business Laws

While it’s usually ok for younger kids to run businesses like lemonade stands or mowing lawns, older kids can face issues with local authorities if they’re making a few thousand dollars. The point is that you don’t want your teen to get in trouble with fees and fines.

2. Don’t Let the Business Eclipse Academics

If your teen is spending more time on their small business than on their schoolwork, it’s important to make sure they see school as their full-time job and their business as a side hustle. Even if their business is doing well financially, it’s important that they finish their schooling.

It is important to remember that if your teen’s business venture does not succeed, they will have few options without a high school diploma. Although there are some well-known entrepreneurs who did not finish high school, such as Richard Branson and Quentin Tarantino, most people who drop out of high school end up in low-paying jobs.

Having formal goals for both academics and business, as well as setting them on timelines, can help to ensure success in both areas. If academics falls behind, adjusting the goals to prioritize school work can help. For kids who are excited about their business, you can write up a business plan and an academics plan using similar formatting to emphasize the similarities.

In addition to the academic benefits, having their own company can teach time management skills at a level that is deeper and more meaningful than any other experience available to teens.

3. Encourage Them To Take on Employees

Working for yourself can teach young entrepreneurs a lot, but managing other people – especially people who are the same age as you – can teach lessons that you can’t learn from any other experience in life.

If your teen’s business is making money, encourage them to hire a friend, classmate, or younger family member to help with some of the work. This helps them learn about the skills and challenges of leadership while also teaching an important lesson about the value of having help.

If your teen starts to outsources tasks they don’t like or aren’t good at, it can change their relationship to work and unlock many doors to success.

If you’re thinking about hiring someone to help with your business, you might want to start by considering younger siblings and cousins. This can help build stronger relationships between family members, and in many cases you may be exempt from having to pay worker’s compensation or following certain employment laws. Of course, you’ll want to check with the laws in your area first, but this could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

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4. Become a Managing Partner

A teen who is extremely intelligent may not be able to succeed in business management due to a lack of perspective and knowledge. Therefore, it would be beneficial for you to become a managing partner in your child’s business.

The level of involvement you have in your teen’s business will vary depending on their skill level and business experience. Checking in with them regularly to make sure tasks are getting done is one way to help them succeed. You can also help by taking on some of the responsibilities of the sales or bookkeeping department. Showing that you care about their success will motivate them to keep going.

If you partner with your child in a business, not only do you improve their chances for success, but you also build a lasting relationship. Even if the business fails, you will have shared an irreplaceable experience.

If you want to give your child some money to start a business, you can do so by creating a managing partnership. This will give you a say in how the business is run and protect your investment.

5. Start With Scalability

Before taking on a client, your teen should think about how they can get more clients in the future. They should also have a plan for how many clients they can handle at once, and what to do if they start getting too many clients.

It is important to have a scaling plan even from the beginning stages of starting a business. Even if your teen only makes a little money from a valuable experiment, the exercise will introduce them to a success concept many adults never learn about.

Remember that you have to take into consideration academic, athletic, and social needs when planning for scalability. It’s okay if this means the company’s growth is slow during homecoming or baseball season. It’s important for kids who want to be entrepreneurs to learn early and often about work-life balance, and this is a good place to start.

6. Be Ready for Taxes

If a teen earns self-employment income of at least $400 from their own business, they are responsible to report it and potentially pay taxes, which could interfere with their status as a claimable dependent.

You should discuss this issue with your accountant and develop a plan for when your teenager becomes an entrepreneur. If they continue running a small business throughout their life, they will have to deal with taxes regularly.

Even though there are online options for filing corporate, small-business, and self-employment taxes through companies like H&R Block and TurboTax, it is usually worth it to hire a certified public accountant (CPA) to do your business taxes. If you keep your books organized, the fee they charge for the service is usually lower than the deductions they help you find.


There are more resources available now to support teenagers who want to start businesses than there have been in the past, and any teen who is motivated and has the determination to see a project through to completion is a good candidate for becoming an entrepreneur. One of the great things about entrepreneurship is that it is now accessible to everyone, and that more and more teens are taking advantage of this opportunity to bring their own innovative ideas to the market.