In the age of technology-driven companies, most people would assume that today’s small business world is mostly made up of millennials and younger generations. However, statistics have shown that the average small business owner is around 50 years old. The idea of older business owners makes sense, as managing a business requires experience and education. Thankfully the entrepreneur spirit doesn’t discriminate and has often found itself buried in the heart and minds of some of our youngest people.
The fact is, no one is ever too young to have a brilliant idea for a company. “It's often the youngest minds that have the most innovative ideas,” says squareship owner Nate Robertson. “The companies of the future are made by kids with a DIY attitude.”
The bottom line? It’s never too early.
Here are 5 kids who broke barriers by becoming entrepreneurs.
1. Alina Morse - Zollipops
Alina Morse hails from Wolverine Lake, Michigan and her product is so amazing that it was presented at one of the White House's Easter Egg Roll. Like most kids, Alina loved candy, but she was well aware of how bad sugar is for her teeth. She then set out on a venture to create delicious lollipops that are also safe for teeth.
In 2014, she started her company, Zollipops. The sweet treat is sweetened with combination of maltitol syrup, beetroot juice, stevia, and xylitol. She promoted her creation on Good Morning America as well as on the hit show, Shark Tank. Alina’s hard work has paid off, and her Zollipops are available in many stores, including Amazon, Whole Foods, and SuperValu. She's also created a second product, known as ZolliDrops, which are sugar-free peppermints.
2. Mikaila Ulmer - Me & the Bees Lemonade
At just 4.5 years old, Mikaila Ulmer signed up for two entrepreneurship contents. After getting stung by two bees in one week, she quickly grew afraid of the buzzing insects. To ease her fears, her great-grandmother sent her a cookbook from the 1940s. Inside Mikaila found a recipe for flaxseed lemonade, and thus starts the story of her company.
After learning the importance of bees within our ecosystem, she wanted to create a product that protected them. Me & the Bees Lemonade is sweetened using local honey and a percentage of each bottle sold is donated to local organizations that work to save the bees. At just 11 years old, Mikaila’s product is now sold in local stores as well as high end grocery stores, including Wegmans.
3. Isabella Rose Taylor - Isabella Rose Taylor
At just 12 years old, Isabella Rose Taylor had her own fashion collection in Nordstrom stores across the country. Her collections include a variety of pieces, including crop tops, dresses, graphic tees, and leggings. She stands as not only as the youngest designer to be featured in an upscale retailer, but she’s also the youngest to be featured at New York Fashion Week.
4. Rachel Zietz - Gladiator Lacrosse
Rachel Zietz took her frustration as a lacrosse player and turned it into a business. After playing varsity lacrosse during her sophomore year in high school, Rachel was unable to find lacrosse gear that was durable enough to withstand rigorous practice. With this problem, she saw an opportunity to fix an issue that dozens of other athletes also faced.
In her first year she made $200,000 in revenue. Just a year later, Gladiator Lacrosse was on track to make $1 million in earnings. While her entrepreneur parents and sibling definitely helped pave the path, Rachel took it upon herself to be her own problem solver.
5. Mercer Henderson - Audiots
We all know the amazement that is emojis. But, at the age of 13, Mercer Henderson wanted to take things a step forward. While her friends were using basic emojis, she was spending her time adding sounds to them and creating what are now known as soundmojis. As a tech-savvy teenager, Mercer took the pleasure of creating soundmojis and turned her creations into an app called Audiots. The app, designed specific for iOS, offers more than 50 audio-injected emojis.
With the app your kissy-face emoji makes a smooching sound and if you’ve ever wanted to know what heartbreak sounds like, there’s a soundmoji for that. Download the app for free and enjoy her creation!
Their stories prove that age is just a number and that really, we can accomplish anything we put our minds to. If you have a child with an interest in entrepreneurship, foster it! We talk so often about how children are the future and it's our responsibility to foster that interest.