12 Outdoor Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

There’s nothing like fresh air and sunshine, is there? Not every young entrepreneur is meant to stay indoors looking at a computer screen all day. Some of you prefer to feel the grass under your feet, dirt under your fingernails, and a cool breeze on your faces.

These jobs will make you money while you spend as much time as possible outside.


For young entrepreneurs, there’s more to landscaping than simply a side gig mowing lawns. With a little bit of artistic flair and a few tools, you can launch a neighborhood business. Landscaping includes pulling weeds, edging lawns, trimming trees and bushes, and possibly planting or maintaining a garden. Young entrepreneurs in more temperate climates might also offer their services twice a year for spring and fall cleanups.

If you’re unsure about starting this business yourself, contact a local reputable landscaping company or parks department and ask about internships/apprenticeships.


This might be just a summer gig, but it’s a brilliant way to work with kids. Camp is much more fun than school, so kids tend to be easier and sillier. Most regular day camps offer plenty of outdoor time, and sleepaway camps may offer even more opportunities to get outside. Even if you’re too young to be a head counselor, plenty of camps offer CIT (counselor-in-training) or junior counselor positions.


Not everyone has the time to take their cars to be washed. Yet everyone loves a shiny, clean car. Ready to fill that need with some entrepreneurial spirit?

By investing in a few tools such as sponges, handheld vacuums, and wheel polish, you can build a car wash service. People will pay good money to have someone come to their homes and wash their cars. Add in some interior detailing, like cleaning up trash and vacuuming the seats, and you’ve got yourself a business!


Hurricanes. Blizzards. Major storms are no joke. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to prep their home for that kind of weather. Some people have vacation homes far away that they can’t get to in time to prep. Or older people need help. Running a pre-storm prep business allows you to provide a needed service in your community.

Consider boarding up windows, checking electrical fixtures, and clearing gutters. You’ll not only be a CEO, but you’ll provide peace of mind to many.

If you want to go further, offer post-storm cleanup assistance as well.


Animal lovers, listen up! Zoo animals require an enormous amount of TLC and regular attention. Why can’t you be the one to help? From visitor services to behind-the-scenes internships, there’s plenty for you to do at the zoo.

Young entrepreneurs planning for a career that involves wildlife, pets, or other animal-related fields will find this job especially rewarding. You’ll immerse yourself in a world full of people like you: who love animals and want to be around them as a way of life. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to play with some baby animals!


Like a camp counselor, this might be a summer gig instead of an ongoing career. Before diving in headfirst (pun intended), check out what kinds of certifications or training you need. Don’t wait until the first day of summer to sign up for first-aid classes. There are also certain age requirements for lifeguards depending on where you live. Do your homework and make sure you’re old enough to be a lifeguard.

The types of skills you learn as a lifeguard are skills you’ll keep for your whole life.


Those of you with an innate sense of nature’s beauty can make money by taking amazing photos. Think gardens, forests, mountains, swamps, and parks. If it’s outside, it can be photographed.

Professional photography equipment can be pricey, so consider starting with just your smartphone and a few good photo editing apps. After that, you can sell your photos to a stock image site. The more money you make, the more equipment you’ll be able to buy. Invest in a portfolio-style website, and pretty soon you’ll be the go-to nature photographer for local magazines and blogs!


Do you know the most scenic of all the Everglades’ trails? Love to show off your favorite spot in the mountains? You can be an outdoor tour guide!

Let’s face it: not everyone is as comfortable in the wild as you are. Tourists will pay you to show them around so that they can enjoy the scenery without getting lost. Make it your “thing” to be the person who gives the inside scoop on those hidden paths that might not be obvious to the casual hiker.


Farms always need extra help. From moving bales of hay to milking cows to selling produce, there’s plenty for you to do. If you love really getting your hands dirty and working at the source for local food, check some of the farms in your county and see if they’re willing to hire you. Since these jobs tend to be rural, you’ll need reliable transportation.


This may require an apprenticeship before you start your own business, but it can be super fun. The job requires more than scooping out leaves. You’ll also need to learn about water pH levels, correct chlorine amounts, how filters work, and so much more.

While it may not seem like the most glamorous of outdoor jobs, consider all the people you’ll meet – maybe a future mentor?


Depending on where you live, amusement or water parks might be open year-round. Even if they’re not, this is a super fun summer gig! You can be a ticket seller, ticket taker, ride attendant, entertainment provider, or concession seller. The point is that you’ll be outdoors having fun! Maybe get a few free rides or funnel cakes as well!


Delivery services are on the rise, so this is a great time to get in on the action. Whether you’re picking up food from restaurants or doing light errands, you can offer personalized service for a fee. Young entrepreneurs already know that they need to find their niche in any market. What will yours be? Rather than trying to compete with UberEats or InstaCart, figure out what will make YOUR delivery service unique. What do you offer your customers that the big companies don’t?

Whether you love animals, kids, or working independently, we’re certain there’s an outdoor job that will make you a CEO!

Find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s commitment to young entrepreneurs, including our college scholarships for high school students, by clicking here.

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