Kachi Ogbonna

I help businesses and entrepreneurs build sustainable brands

Advantages of starting a business as a teenager


Entrepreneurship is man’s way of continuing the work of creation from where God stopped. It is about bringing man’s own creative power  and the wisdom of God to make the world a better place to be. We owe most of the good things of this life to the creativity and innovative minds of entrepreneurs. Today, it is a good thing that teens are also joining the party. They are no longer waiting to contribute to making the world a better place only when they graduate from university. And of a truth I can tell you that there are many advantages of starting a business as a teenager.

So if you are a teenager and you have the passion for business but still wondering if starting now is the right thing to do I want to let you know that all things being equal it is not only right but also have many advantages.

So I will now share with you some of the advantages of starting a business as a teenager. But before you jump into the advantages of starting a business as a teenager there is need that you first check out the 30 profitable business ideas for teens so you can be guided properly.


1. You are not afraid of making mistakes

If you are starting a new venture at age 55 as a parent of 4 high school students and you want the business to be the major financial support base for your family your margin for error is zero. Any mistake will be disastrous. In fact the fear of not getting it right alone is enough to make you not to venture at all.

And you never know, that idea could have gone ahead to become a multi billion dollar business.

But as a teen, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. If you make a mistake you simply pick the lessons and apply them in your next try. So basically the fear of making mistakes is not enough to hold you back.

Dropping out of Havard to go try the Facebook idea was a big risk by Mark Zuckerberg. But do you know why he went ahead with that risk? He had time on his side. If the Facebook idea fail to work as planned, he will quietly go back and complete his school or try something else. A man at his 60s is not likely to do that.

2. It is an opportunity to learn important business skills early

One of the most important advantages of starting a business as a teenager is the opportunity to learn critical business skills like team work, networking, negotiation, problem solving, critical thinking, innovation etc. These skills unfortunately are not thought is schools. So when you sign up for entrepreneurship as a teen you immediately set yourself a million mile ahead of your peers.

These are skills people learn at 40 or more, but imagine the advantage you have learning them as a teenager!

3. The Trust level is higher

If you are starting a business as a teen chances are you are not desperate to make money or at least that is what others will think. It will be easy to believe that you are driven into entrepreneurship as a teen because there is a problem you want to solve. And with that understanding people will come to trust you and your business more.

This trust will make it easier for you to secure funding when you need one. People will also trust that at your age you won’t have the mind to deceive or defraud them when you do business with them and it will bring you more patronage.

4. You have excess time, energy and motivation

Be not deceived, entrepreneurship sucks. It involves a lot of investment in time and energy. You have to deal with a lot of issues. There is this risk of burn out especially at the early stage when you have to do virtually everything by yourself. You need all the energies you can muster and you don’t even have to wait for anyone to come and motivate you.  And I am sure you know that the younger you are the more energy, more motivation, more time and more enthusiasm you display.

As you get older your energy level may drop. What seems to excite you now may no longer excite you in the next two decades. That is why it is better you start now that you are young.

5. It can help support your educational financing

Most times when I discuss with some parents about the idea of allowing their children and wards to start a business they almost always have this fear that the children might become distracted and drop out of school. But that is not always the case. Starting a business as a student is not synonymous with dropping out of college. A student can still successfully combine his school and business, it all depends on the type of business.

On the other hand some of the parents fail to understand that more people has had to drop out of school because they couldn’t afford the fees than those that dropped out as a result of business. In America, the average school fees at colleges in Massachusetts are:

  • Public colleges: 15,100 USD/year
  • Private colleges: 30,950 USD/year

In Nigeria public universities now have an average tuition fees of 81,500 naira per year. While private universities has some paying as high as 2.4 million naira per session. There are thousands of students that without starting their own business they couldn’t have made it through school.

6. It helps you to develop important virtues like hard work and patience

I also consider this as one of the most important advantages of starting a business as a teenager. Entrepreneurship is not a child’s play. If you want your children to grow up faster allow them to explore the world of entrepreneurship. It will teach them that success comes through hard work without you saying a word.

You’ve probably heard successful parents say something that sounded a bit like, “I worked hard to get where I am today.” Or as a parent you have made those statements to your teenage children once or twice. That is you confirming that success demands hard work. So if you believe that is the case then why not let your teenager learn the value of hard work through entrepreneurship?

In fact, the 14-year-old founder of ManCans Hart Main once told a business reporter: “It’s more work than I thought, but I’m glad I started it.” Let this be your testimony or that of your children.

In addition to hard work entrepreneurship equally teaches patience. Entrepreneurship is not a get rich quick scheme – no, that is the mistake some people make. Entrepreneurship is a long term journey and if you must make it you must learn to wait – a more reason you should start early.

7. It stretches your creative and innovative power

Another name for entrepreneurship is creativity and innovation. Yes, it is impossible to succeed in entrepreneurship in the 21st century if you can’t think as if a box does not exist at all. The competition out there is stiff. So you are literally always thinking of a better way of doing it to get the result you desire. So if you want the creativity and innovative mind of your teenage children to become elastic give them the opportunity to explore the world of entrepreneurship.

8. Startup will teach a teen that failure is a route to success and not a destination

How many times did Thomas Edison carry out his experiment before he was able to get the electric bulb that has today become a symbol of innovation? History has it that he attempted it 1,000 times. At the end what was Edison’s verdict? “I didn’t fail, I only learnt 999 ways of not doing it“. So from this you can see that what people call failure is just a necessary route on the journey of success.

And nothing teaches this better than entrepreneurship. Why is it so? It is almost impossible for you not to fail at least once in business. So embrace it today.

9. It will teach the teen that passion and talent can be monetized

Many children and teenagers are blessed with so much talents, gifts and passion. Most of them excel in the area of music, sports, crafts and others. But unfortunately many of these teenagers are ignorant of the fact that these passion or talent can be monetized. But with entrepreneurship some of them suddenly realizes that what they have done for free all along can comfortably pay their bills.

10. As a teenager one can end up building a global brand

You never can tell, that thing you are starting small today might eventually grow to become a global brand. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t know that Facebook will be as big as it is today when he started.

11. It can help the teenager maximize their use of social media

Let’s face it, you can’t stop your teenagers from using social media. You will be living in self deceit if you think they won’t. If you think that social media is (a necessary) evil, then why not choose your own evil wisely!

Allow them to engage with entrepreneurship so that social media becomes a tool for promoting their businesses and not just socializing. Truth is that when teenagers engage in business and the demands of entrepreneurship start telling on them they will naturally lose interest for every frivolous activities including abusive use of social media.

It is an idol mind that will go bullying or sex-chatting on social media. A teenager that has 120 clients to attend to in a week or one who is experiencing downtime in his business will be too busy to know that such things exist.

12. You have excess of emotional capital

If all adults are like me, then teenagers and children have 4x chances of business success than adults. If I see a 14 year old hawking bottle water in  a park and another mother of 3 doing the same business, I will certainly choose to patronise the 14 year old. You will hear many people say something like, “I am proud that at your age you could think of starting up something worthwhile as this, when your mates are still playing and depending on their parents”. Such statements are not just complement. They are equally an endorsement of your venture and it will surely lead to more patronage.

And what more, you have your parents and family members to support you and see that you succeed.

13. It prevents exclusion from the labour market

How many job openings have you seen and one of the requirements is that potential applicants MUST be a minimum of say 20 years old? I am sure your answer is MANY. Other jobs will demand a minimum academic requirement of First Class honors from a prestigious university. These are subtle ways of excluding a select group of people from those opportunities. Of course people that do those things have their reasons and are probably justified.

But not so with entrepreneurship. I have maintained that wealth and success don’t discriminate against age. There is no rule anywhere in the world that says that a teenager cannot start a business  or that he or she can’t create wealth. So starting your own business as a teenager don’t only give you the opportunity to live above this discrimination but equally allow you create opportunity for your fellow teenagers that could have otherwise been excluded also.

14. Less economic pressure

No children, no mortgage, no overload of bills to pay. You are light as a teenager. You have little or no responsibility at that stage in your life. So you can easily plough back the returns back to the business to accelerate your growth. This is even far more useful as you will most likely be bootstrapping. This is not likely the case if you are already a parent and have to sustain your family from the proceeds of the business.

15. You have nothing to lose

Fail or succeed you have nothing to lose. So enjoy it, have fun and learn all that you can learn. There are still many years ahead of you.

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