Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes a series of very deliberate actions, but sometimes the stars align, and just like that, it happens! Effortlessly and, from time to time, even by accident. If you go through the cases of these teen entrepreneurs, you will see both situations. One of these businesses even started as a side hustle. Read to the end to learn which company we're talking about; you've probably used their products more than once.
This is our selection of 6 businesses started by teens.
Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, 19.
We couldn't go through this count without talking about Mark Zuckerberg. He is most likely the top teen entrepreneur, even if he is no longer a teen. In 2004, he would change the way the entire world communicates without even knowing it. -The original plan: to create a platform for Harvard students.
Today, Facebook has over 2.80 billion monthly active users and has even become a platform that helps small businesses, as a total of 200 million small businesses use its tools.
WordPress. Matt Mullenweg, 19.
Eighteen-year-old Matt loved blogging. He used a platform called b2/cafelog to upload pictures and write. After a while, the owners discontinued the platform; there were no more updates on the site. Matt, however, wasn't ready to let go of his blog. So he and Mike Little built a blogging platform on top of b2/cafelog and added the updates they wanted. In 2003, Matt and Mike launched the first version of WordPress, which was well received by the community.
WordPress powers 39.6% of the internet in 2021, and over 400 million people visit WordPress sites each month.
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Da Bomb Bath Fizzers. Caroline Bercaw, 15, and Isabel Bercaw, 16.
These teen sisterpreneurs had their perfect business idea at ages 10 and 11; they just didn't know it. Turns out they both loved bath bombs but hated two things about the experience: first, the stickiness afterwards, and second, the fact that when the bomb completely dissolved, "the fun had to stop." So they decided to create their own bath bombs and added little surprises inside. Soon they began attending fairs with their handmade bath bombs and started getting requests from beauty salons, gift shops, and even Target to sell their product in their stores.
In 2015, they launched Da Bomb Bath Fizzers while still in high school, and today the company employs more than 100 people and sells more than 500,000 bath bombs a month.
Maya’s Ideas. Maya Penn, 8.
In 2007, when all the kids were playing with cars and dolls, Maya, aged 7, was planning her future without knowing it. That year she joined Etsy, which inspired her to plan her own shop. She decided to sell headbands and accessories. And out of curiosity, she started and launched at eight years old. Maya built the website herself and decided to give a percentage to charities and only make eco-friendly products.
Maya was featured in Forbes magazine at the age of 10, is a three-time TED speaker, and has received former President Barack Obama's commendation for outstanding achievement in environmental excellence.
Dell. Michael Dell, 19.
In 1984, while at the University of Texas, Michael Dell founded PC'sLimited, with a vision of how technology should be designed, manufactured, and sold, and worked from his off-campus dorm. Michael dropped out of college after completing his freshman year and focused on growing his business. Just three years later, he changed the name to Dell Computer Corporation and began expanding worldwide.
As of March 2021, Michael Dell's net worth is estimated to be approximately $45.4 billion.
MinorMynas. Hillary Yip, 12.
At first glance, little Hillary might not have seemed any different from any other kid. But she was always a machine of creative ideas. At ten years old, after years of struggling to learn Chinese, her parents decided to send her and her brother to a summer program in Taiwan, and with no other option but to speak Chinese, they learned it almost overnight. At this point is where her creative mind came into play; she came up with her best idea yet: a video-sharing platform for kids and teens to learn languages as a community, emulating her experience in the summer program.
She worked on her idea and pitched it in multiple entrepreneurship competitions, winning recognitions like “AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge 2016 1st Place and Best Business.”
With hard work and effort, MinorMynas came to life as an MVP one year later at 12 y-o, and a few years later, Hillary launched an improved version of it on iOS. Today, the app is quickly moving toward a way for kids and teens to express themselves and help each other to learn anything from languages to math.
"I wanted to let kids from all over the world learn and exchange their languages — and make it fun, too.”
These are only 6 of the many success stories out there. Yours may one day be one of them. Join Leangap, learn the ways, and launch your first startup with co-founders worldwide in just one summer. It's your time to become the next successful teen entrepreneur.