Members of Gen-Z make great entrepreneurs! Access to infinite online resources, the ability to instantly network with peers around the globe, and countless examples of successful entrepreneurship before you. Who says you have to be a fully grown adult to become an entrepreneur? Go out there and seize your dream right now!
1. You Are Eager to Learn
Unlike older entrepreneurs, you are still young and hungry. You’re not set in your ways or married to old ideas and outdated methods of doing business. You know there’s still much to learn and your youth helps you stay open-minded.
When business leaders stop learning, they stop growing. Lack of growth is a quick path to failure. Your young mind is still developing, making now the ideal time for you to start teaching yourself business skills. You pick up technology quickly and you’re open to new, possibly outrageous ideas.
Take Lily Brown and Tait Hansen: they built their game business by learning the skills they needed as they went along and didn’t close themselves off to feedback or change.
2. You Keep It Simple
Many young entrepreneurs are not out to invent the next earth-shattering form of social media. Instead, they focus on simple ideas that can have an important impact. If you look at some of the Kantner Foundation’s past recipients, you’ll see an inspiring group of young people just like yourself who made a maximum impact with pretty simple ideas.
Entrepreneurs create solutions to problems, and often the best solutions are the simplest. Consider the pop socket: it’s really just a tiny little gadget, but it solved the nearly universal problem of dropping your phone.
3. You Dream Big
While this may sound like the opposite of #2 above, the two ideas actually go hand-in-hand. Your simple solution can solve a big problem. Think about some of the problems you and your friends suffer daily. Do you need a better app to keep track of homework? Chances are, if this is happening to you it’s happening to others. It’s unlikely you’re the only person in the entire world with this problem.
The solution might be something as simple as combining the best features of other time management and work productivity apps. Yet this solution has the potential to help students like you all over the world.
4. You Can Afford the Time and Money Risk
You’re not on the cusp of retirement. You’re not sending kids off to college next year. Your responsibilities are likely limited to school, homework, maybe a few volunteer or extra-curricular activities, and spending time with friends and family. When you come home from school and your extra-curriculars, you probably don’t have to help your kids with their homework, plus make dinner, plus check work emails, plus keep the house tidy.
You also won’t go bankrupt if your business struggles. While living with your parents, you have the safety net of a roof over your head and food on your plate. No one will go hungry while you invest in your new business.
5. You Enjoy New Possibilities
The world is yours for the taking! There are so many opportunities out there for young entrepreneurs, so go out and grab as many as you can. We’re not just talking about business help like loans or mentorships (although those are out there for you, too!). The world of possibilities for young entrepreneurs includes new ways of thinking and new solutions to old problems. With fresh eyes, you probably see problems no one else does – and that makes you uniquely suited to solving them! Progress moves forward thanks to exciting and creative ideas. What are some of yours?
6. You Can Discover Your Passion
With little at stake and nothing but a wide-open world in front of you, now is the perfect time to test the waters in any areas that pique your interest. Without gambling your entire future, you can “try on” as many different fields and jobs as you like.
This point is especially true for young entrepreneurs who either have too many interests to pin down just one or two, or for young entrepreneurs who worry that the thing they like isn’t a realistic field to pursue. You have nothing but reward with very little risk in starting a small business now.
7. You Will Develop Good Habits
The entrepreneurial life isn’t for everyone – but if you’re reading this, you aren’t “everyone.” You are passionate and energetic. Creative and clever.
Becoming a young entrepreneur now means developing good habits for your mental health, physical health, and work habits. You’ll need to learn how to prioritize your time, work with others, produce results, and take care of yourself. Getting into these habits now will help you stay healthy and successful for years to come.
8. You Will Learn Finance
You don’t need an advanced business degree to be able to manage finances. You do, however, need to be able to balance income and expenses, as well as plan for the future. You may need to learn how to handle payroll.
If handling money doesn’t come naturally to you, this is the exact perfect time to learn. Financial intelligence is not only a business skill, it’s a skill you’ll need for the rest of your life. Starting a small business will include a lot of on-the-job learning that will translate into valuable life skills.
9. You Can Have Fun!
Joey Ruben didn’t set out to make six figures while still in high school. His business started as something fun – a way to make memes with his friends. And that’s what this should be: fun! You don’t have to start a business. You’re doing this because you want to do it. Why not enjoy it? There is plenty else in your life that requires your commitment whether you like it or not. Without the pressure of needing to support a family or keep a major corporation afloat, your small business should come from a place of enjoyment and excitement. None of the rest of this matters if you aren’t happy with the business you’ve created.
Anyone who tells you you’re too young to start and run a business clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the real world. If anything, these days are the best days to become a young entrepreneur!
Find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s commitment to young entrepreneurs, including our college scholarships for high school students, by clicking here.