They see a problem, do the research, and find solutions. They seek funding or use savings. They dedicate time and effort. They take risks.
This would describe any businessman or woman launching a startup or running a business, but surprisingly small kids can be equally good at that game.
Babysitting, or selling cookies on the corner, days are over.
Here we look at children with a flair for business, and a knack for turning ideas into successful ventures.
E-commerce for kids
We start with Mighty, an e-commerce platform where kids are operating their own storefronts.
A year-old, Los Angeles-based startup Mighty is a kind of Shopify that invites younger kids to open a store online.
The startup, which recently closed $6.5 million in seed funding, has become home to 3,000 young CEOs.
The founders likened the business to a “21st-century lemonade stand.”
Kids are showing for business up on some weekends to make some money and many have the entrepreneurial spirit to stick around after working hours.
Kids on Mighty want to sell their own homemade items but instead are invited to sell items like customizable hats, totes, and stickers made by Mighty’s current manufacturing partner, Printful, which then ships out the item to the end customer. Sellers earn a percentage of the sale.
Mighty fully intends to one day enable its smaller entrepreneurs to sell their own items and recently launched an online community where its young CEOs can encourage one another and trade sales tips.
Let’s meet some kids who became entrepreneurs and learn about the ideas they launched, in no particular order of importance.
1- Robert Nay, Founder of Nay Games
In December 2010, Robert Nay, a 14-year-old with no business experience let alone any coding experience, launched a new mobile game called “Bubble Ball.” Two weeks into the launch, Bubble Ball received 1 million downloads on Apple, overtaking the popular game app “Angry Birds.”
Robert did his research in a public library and wrote 4,000 lines of code in just one month. Now, Nay Games offers 24 new levels of Bubble Ball.
2- Leanna Archer, Founder of Leanna’s Essentials
Leanna Archer was only 9 years old when she discovered her secret to success in her great-grandmother’s hair product recipe.
Today, the now 20-year-old entrepreneur is the hair-product mogul she dreamed of being as the CEO of Leanna’s Essentials.
3- Lily Born, Founder of Imagiroo
When Lily Born was 8, she noticed that her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease, was often spilling his drinks due to his condition.
Lily saw the inconvenience and set out for a solution. Using moldable plastic, she made her grandfather a plastic cup that didn’t tip and was comfortable to hold.
After more and more innovation, the original Kangaroo Cup is now the featured mainstay of Lily’s company, Imagiroo.
4- Farrhad Acidwalla, Founder of Rockstah Media
With only $10 from his parents, 13-year-old Farrhad Acidwalla created an online community around aviation. A few months later, he sold the online community for $1,200.
Four years later, he invested $400 into what’s now Rockstah Media, an international brand, marketing, and web development agency. As a 23-year-old, Farrhad is one of the many kid entrepreneurs turned successful CEO, managing 42 employees.
5- Mikaila Ulmer, Founder of BeeSweet Lemonade
At the age of 4, Mikaila was stung by a bee. She then became fascinated in honeybees and after taking on a research assignment in school, found out that their population is dying. Mikaila then set out to create a business to save the honeybee population.
Mikaila took her great grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe, added local honey to it, and donated the profits to efforts to save the dying bee population. Mikaila received $60,000 on Shark Tank to grow Me & the Bees Lemonade. Mikaila’s now a millionaire from Whole Foods picking up her lemonade brand for $11 million.
6- Moziah Bridges, Founder of Mo’s Bows
At the young age of 9, Mo couldn’t find any bow ties that were up to his style standards. So with the help of his mother and grandmother’s sewing skills, and some vintage fabrics found in his grandmother’s closet, Mo started designing his own bow-tie line. Today, he sells his ties in stores across the US, selling more than $200,000 of his handmade ties.
7- Alina Morse, Founder of Zollipops
Like other kids her age, Alina Morse loves candy. But showing maturity unfound in most 7-year-olds, Alina knew that candy was bad for her.
The entrepreneur created her own line of healthy candy. With $7,500 of savings from her grandparents, Alina set out to create Zollipops, a fruit-flavored lollipop sweetened without sugar.
8- Ryan Kelly, Founder of Ryan’s Barkery
Ryan started testing combinations of dog treat flavors after not liking the smell of some he bought for his dog, and soon Ryan had his own homemade dog treat business.
At the age of 10, Ryan Kelly was one of the youngest kid entrepreneurs to ever appear on Shark Tank and received a $25,000 investment into Ryan’s Barkery business now called Ry’s Ruffery.
9- Cory Nieves, CEO and founder of Mr. Cory’s Cookies
15-years old baking prodigy Cory Nieves is the founder and CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies. He founded his company at the young age of 6 when he decided to help his struggling single mother. Cory’s goal was to earn enough money to buy his mother a car so she wouldn’t have to take the bus to work.
Today, his factory bakes annually thousands of cookies in 12 flavors which are sold in famous stores like Bloomingdale’s.
10- Callum Daniel, CEO and founder of iCodeRobots
When he was little, just 4, Callum loved playing with robots. Later on, he learned how to build them using code.
At 8, he wanted to help other children build robots. Because there were no robotics classes for children available at that time, he decided to be the first to supply these classes so he set up iCodeRobots.
Callum’s company sells robotic classes for children, helping them gain the necessary skills and self-esteem to build and code robots.
11- Cameron Johnson, Serial Entrepreneur
Cameron Johnson called the shots and set up his first business at the age of 9. Even before graduating from high school, he owned a profitable empire of a dozen business ventures. By the time he was 15 years of age, Cameron became the youngest American to become a part of the management of a Tokyo-based company.
12- Jaden Wheeler & Amaya Selmon, Partners of Kool Kidz Sno Konez
Jaden Wheeler (12 years of age) and Amaya Selmon (10 years of age) started churning out snow cones, using a blender. After setting up a makeshift arrangement in their home, they drew the attention of their mother who began to assess their progress in business.
After gaining confidence in their capabilities to establish a small business, the siblings acquired a food truck as a gift from their encouraging mother. This made them the youngest food truck owners that Memphis ever produced.