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I’m just a Teenage Start Up Baby

Can a teenager start, manage and build a successful brand and business?

Of course they can.  If they get the right support early enough in the education pathway. Well, that’s my theory.

So, I’ve decided to test the theory and take my life into my own hands and see if I can co-mentor my daughter (Yr. 10) towards having an active commercial brand by her 16th birthday. She’s quite interested in the idea. Probably helped by recently attending the Enterprise Nation Start-Up show and hearing some very relatable start-up brand owner stories and meeting her skincare idol.

With 2 million 18–24-year-olds considering starting a business, it’s probably safe to assume that there could be quite a few 14- to 17-year-olds also thinking they might also like to run their own business, especially as social media feeds are soaked with stories of young business folk innovating and succeeding and Tik Tok making it so easy to sell anything, to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

It’s all there for the making, taking and raking it in, surely?

Or is it?

The School of Business

Are we equipping future generations with the knowledge and inspiration they need to manage a business?

Recent conversations I’ve had with some Gen Z start up owners suggest not. Which, when you think about it is quite peculiar. Surely, providing teenagers with the education and inspiration to start-up, whether they eventually start their own business or join a business, will at least equip them with the insight as to how a business works and how they can contribute to the success of that business?

Being a great employee is a good stepping stone to being an amazing employer.

Maybe the Business GCSE, with a focus on how to start a business should become a compulsory subject. Maybe the second language that must be learned in schools is Business? Everything is business. Everything. Art, culture, charity, music even volunteering needs commercial grease to make the wheels go round. Knowing how things work, make it easier to shape, influence and make the wheels turn for you. If you want to develop a particular skill, your skills and productivity will be sold. You will be an instrument of business. Even if you are pursuing your purpose. Better to know how to profit from your skills, rather than making a loss.

Post Education Investment

So, lets imagine that Business GCSE does become the second language for many. Where do they go next, with their big ideas and inspiration.

Maybe there could be regional-centric network of privately managed funds set up specifically to provide funding, coaching, mentoring and a network to support teenagers take an idea, go-to-market and build a business.

Those funds will get some of the brightest and most creative minds thinking up business ideas that innovate and inspire generations. Mix in a few business mentors and coaches into that business model and you have the perfect blend between purpose and profit and a potential national economic powerhouse.

Is it a Pipedream? Or a Purpose Powerhouse?

Pipedream. A great brand name for a fund that specialises in early-stage investment into new brands and provides coaching, mentoring and a support network to get to market.

If a premiership football club will invest millions in a skilled teenager (whose career could be curtailed by one tackle), why can’t we invest in the skills, ideas and brilliance of young business people?

If you know anyone who like to think about this idea in more detail, drop us a line, lets talk.

Start Up Show

Enterprise Nation Start Up Show – 27th January 2024. This is where the journey began.

Serendipity or Stupidity. Time will tell. Wish me luck.

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